The gist: Expect sluggish legs with the Rockets on the tail end of the dreaded schedule hazard. The Hawks are on the second night of their back-to-back and will be coming off a home game against the Nets.
Key matchup: Kevin Martin vs Joe Johnson
A high-volume scorer, a reliable free throw shooter, and a primary offensive option. Check, check, check. This faceoff has the trappings of 30 points each from both ballers… by the end of the third quarter.
X-factor: Terrence Williams
With an Atlanta team that sports a shallow SF position (Josh Smith is a PF in my book), this is Williams’ opportunity to play his heart out. Of course, for all we know, I could be referring to Marvin.
Code Red: Tracy McGrady. Jerry Stackhouse. Vladimir Radmanovic. These three guys may have some gas left in the tank. The Rockets would do better than to spark their fuel with some open looks and converted baskets. Better make sure the Rockets don’t chow on too many slices of Alex Meruelo’s La Pizza Loca.
A reader, Stephen, in response to the possibility of Dallas signing both Deron and Dwight, writes:
The Rockets could do the same,only w/a much better supporting cast intact.
It basically involves trading Martin for no incoming 2012 salary or using the amnesty on him.
Not re-sign Thabeet,let Flynn and Dragic go. Stretch buy-out Dalembert’s $1.5mil 2012 option so it only counts $500,000 against Salary Cap.
Left w/ Scola,Lowry,Hill,Williams,Patterson,Morris,Motie(coming over),Bud,Parsons. About $29mil in salary,leaving just enough for 2 LeBron,Bosh type $14.5mil deals.
Llull could come over,his 2 Rd salary not counting towards cap til he signs. MLE available for Lee.
I’d assume if such was agreed upon by Dwight and Deron Williams,Lowry would get traded for some cap relief and a young player/draft pick,freeing up more room to sign Dwight,Williams.
If such a fantasy came true:
Knicks pick and any others
The scenario where the Rockets could chase Dwight and Williams is very remote. BUT,it’s possible and it has to be in Rocket’s thinking.
So I doubt the team makes any moves until the Dwight situation gets resolved. If Dwight is traded-or reasonably certain to be-then I think the Rockets will make some trades,resolving the Martin/Lee situation among others. Until then,or forced by a particular situation,they’re standing pat.(Which means they’ll probably pull off a multi player,multi-team blockbuster trade tomorrow .)
Obviously the pipe-dream of all pipe-dreams, but interesting nonetheless.
Friday, 7:00PM CST @ Memphis
Thread for in-game discussion.
In today’s episode, I touch on last night’s win at home over the Spurs.
The gist: The Rockets are on the second night of their back-to-back to back. The Grizzlies have a day’s rest in between their home game against the Thunder.
Key matchup: Kyle Lowry vs Mike Conley, Jr.
Two former teammates will be right in each other’s grill in a match that might be very well determined with how true they stick to the coach’s playbook. Lowry will have a slight edge as his reputation has him on the fringes of being a top 10 PG in the league, if he is not already there. Conley has some catching up to do.
X-factor: Samuel Dalembert
With Luis Scola a defensive liability, Dalembert will be accountable to cover the Grizzlies’ lethal bigs and limit their production.
Code Red: After failing to nab Marc Gasol in the offseason, the big man will be out to prove that he is worth every penny of the four-year, $55 million max contract that Houston offered him. Rudy Gay will have a barnburner of a night if Chase Budinger and Marcus Morris slack off.