Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets Preview
The last time the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors played was in May of last season as Stephen Curry and James Harden had a shoot-out that ended with the Warriors winning by five. Things sure have changed in a year as Harden has enlisted the help of his friend Russell Westbrook, and the Warriors are without many of the members of their team that won championships and took them to the NBA Finals last season.
While the Rockets aren’t exactly the class of the Western Conference, sitting at seventh with a 4-3 record, they have been 2-1 at home, where they host the Warriors tonight. Golden State ios basically a walking injury report. They won their last game, but they are 2-5 on the season, good enough for 12th in the Western Conference.
While the Warriors look to have a significant disadvantage tonight, they surprised another Western Conference foe in their most recent game to pick up their second win of the year.
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Warriors: Draymond Green, D’Angelo Russell, Kevon Looney, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Jacob Evans (O)
Rockets: Michael Frazier, Eric Gordon, Nene, Gerald Green (O)
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineup
The Golden State Warriors knew this would be a different year with Kevin Durant leaving the bay for Brooklyn, Klay Thompson out with an injury this season and several veterans either moving on or retiring. But the problems have kept on coming. First, the Warriors got off to a rough start. After that, the Warriors lost the one player that was expected to keep them afloat as Stephen Curry is now sidelined for at least three months. Draymond Green and D’Angelo Russell are also on the injury report, so Steve Kerr has had to be creative to just field a team.
One player that has looked very good for the Warriors is rookie forward Eric Paschall. Paschall seems to be built in the mold of Draymond Green and he’s been on a tear lately, especially in Golden State’s 127-118 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Paschall finished with 34 points and 13 rebounds.
“We did a hell of a job just staying together, getting better every day,” Paschall said. “To beat a team like that with the group we have, we just kept fighting. To do this right now is special; we’ve got so many guys hurt.”
Without Curry and Russell, Kerr and the Warriors looked to rookie two-way player Ky Bowman to play some significant minutes at guard, and in two consecutive games, Bowman has delivered, with 19 points and eight rebounds against Portland, and 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists in a loss against Charlotte.
The Warriors will need sustained strong performances from Paschall, Bowman and Jordan Poole against the Rockets tonight.
Houston Rockets Starting Lineup
The Houston Rockets needed a win after a demoralizing 29-point loss against the Miami Heat on Sunday. They were able to get back over .500 and get the win they needed on Monday with a 107-100 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
“When you bring energy to the game, good things happen for you and for our team. If you don’t bring energy and you’re not active, good things won’t happen. That’s what happened last game,” Rockets guard James Harden said. “We’re not worried about making or missing shots — that’s going to come. It’s our effort.”
It’s fair to say the effort was there for Harden, who finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. With Russell Westbrook out, Eric Gordon had 16 points, and Ben McLemore pitched in 12 off the bench.
Third-year forward Danuel House Jr. is continuing to build upon the success he had last season as a surprise player for the Rockets who stepped up with several injuries affecting the Rockets. The win over Memphis was House’s fourth consecutive game in double figures. He had 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots against the Grizzlies.
Key Player Matchups
James Harden vs. Jordan Poole
Jordan Poole is another one of the Warriors’ young rookie who has stepped up lately, but tonight may present his true ‘welcome to the NBA” moment as he attempts to guard one of the most prolific scorers, not just in the league, but in league history. Poole is coming off a nice 16 point, five assists night. While he may not be limited by Harden’s defense, trying to defend Harden all game is a tall task of its own.
Russell Westbrook vs. Ky Bowman
Like Poole, tonight could be a true baptism by fire moment for Bowman as he draws the walking triple-double that is Russell Westbrook. Bowman can be a scrappy defender, but he’ll have to defend a strong, more athletic opponent and he will be challenged by Westbrook on the other end of the floor.
There are no stud players on the Warriors roster that are actually healthy, so Harden is the only pick here. He’s coming off a huge performance and draws a matchup against a rookie tonight. He is available for $11.2k and is projected for a huge night with 63.52 points.
House is a value player that could be worth taking a flyer on. His FanDuel salary is just $5.1k and he has a projection of 21.67 points. Eric Paschall is among the better values for tonight. You can pick him up for $6.5k for a projection of 34.71 points.
Bet on Matchup
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