Rapid Reaction: LA Clippers 117, Houston Rockets 89

Our grades from tonight’s game:

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A friendly fantasy update

Guys, if you’ve been emailed an invite by one of the managers, please accept it so that we can get underway.

We now have 16 in each league. We’ve scheduled both drafts for Saturday morning at 11AM CST. If you can’t make it, we will have to use auto-draft as we simply have no other choice at this point.

I realize how late in the game this is right now to be starting this thing up and I sincerely apologize. I should have done a better job organizing this from the start. Thanks to our managers, Keith, Craig, and Adam, we’ve managed to recover and look ready to get underway. Despite the inconvenience of the late start, I hope all of you who have claimed a bit will stick around and participate this year. I’m excited to see how this goes and whether it can be a regular part of Red94.

Again, please claim your invites if you have not yet done so and check the forums for all updates.  We hope to finally get rolling this Saturday morning.

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The Red94 Podcast – Episode 8

In today’s episode, I talk more about Kyle Lowry, in anticipation to tonight’s matchup against the league’s best point guard.

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Talk of the Moment: Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Clippers

Wednesday, 9:30PM CST @ Los Angeles

Thread for in-game discussion.

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Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Clippers – January 4, 2012 9:30PM

The gist: After keeping in stride with the Lakers for 3 ½ quarters before falling short, the Rockets visit Staples Center again. This time, they take on a Clippers squad that are coming off a 93-88 home win against the Blazers and also have fresher legs thanks to a two-day layoff.

Key matchup: Kyle Lowry vs Chris Paul/Chauncey Billups

Lowry has been an absolute force for the Rockets on offense, piling up the box score and making fantasy league owners salivate over his numbers. If he wants to prove that he deserves to be raised to an All-Star pedestal, he must show that he can take on two of the best pure point guards in the league. Expect the heftier Billups to body up Lowry on one end while Lowry chases Paul through the passing lanes on the other.

X-factor: Chase Budinger

He epitomized the Rockets’ performance last night, waxing hot from outside through the first 36 minutes of action before sputtering with airballs in crunch time. He will have to stay alert and get to the hoop more often rather than settling for contested threes to make a game-changing effect. If he sags off Caron Butler on defensive rotations, he will pay.

Code Red: The Clippers, for all the hype, highlight reels, and charismatic come-on to the crowd, have proven to be a great passing team, with everyone one their starting lineup not named DeAndre Jordan racking up more than two assists an outing. One way the Rockets can expose the Clippers is through the boards. Despite having massive length in the frontcourt in Blake Griffin and Jordan, the team is only averaging 35.5 rebounds, 29th in the league.

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