Apr 9, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic (1) drives the ball to the basket during the first quarter as Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin (7) defends at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: Houston Rockets(45-35) vs. Phoenix Suns(24-56)


 

Planet orange, here’s to a forgettable season(Bottoms up)! Tonight the Suns will take on the Rockets in what would be the Phoenix Suns’ home finale for the 2012-2013 season. The Suns are 16-24 at home this season and it’ll mark the first time the Suns have finished a season with a -.500 record at home since 2003-2004.

“We turned the ball over entirely too much,” Hunter said. “It wasn’t complicated turnovers, it was simple passes that we tried to be too fancy or tried to thread the needle to thin.”

Going into tonight’s game the Rockets are the favorites by a 7.0 margin according to ESPN.com.

The Rockets currently has forwards Chandler Parsons and Carlos Defino listed as day-to-day while the Suns have Michael Beasley listed as day-to-day after missing the past three-games due to the birth of his daughter.

Keys to the game: Suns 

  • Hedge on Harden pick and rolls. James Harden has been getting to the foul-line at will this season because he’s been getting into the paint with ease off of high pick and rolls. If the Suns are able to trap Harden out high, they’ll take away Houston’s number one option on offense; teams did it to the Suns for years with Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire.
  • Be aggressive offensively! As easily as this Rockets team put points up on the board, they give up points just as easily. Houston is ranked 28th in the NBA in average points allowed.
  • Crisp passing. The Rockets are ninth in the league in steals per game. Guys like Jeremy Lin and James Harden absolutely hound the passing lanes.

Keys to the game: Rockets

  • Defend the three-point line. The Suns are not a good three-point shooting team however, they do have quality shooters who can win a game or two single handily if they get hot.
  • Crash the glass! The Suns are in a shortage of centers right now and the Rockets should take advantage by crashing the boards for extra possession every opportunity they get!

The X-Factor! 

  • Something on the line? The Rockets are the current occupants of the sixth spot in the west right now however the Golden State Warriors own the same record as Houston(Houston has the tiebreaker). The Rockets are desperate to hold on to that sixth seed in order to avoid the Thunder or the Spurs in the first-round; no disrespect to the Nuggets or Clippers, but there’s a gap between the top two teams in the west and the rest of the pack.

Match-up of the night! 

  • I like the match-up between Jeremy Lin and Goran Dragic. Lin ultimately replaced Dragic in Houston after signing that big contract however, Dragic has proven to be the better point guard. Dragic got the best of Lin in their last meeting, will the song remain the same?

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