Houston Rockets at Brooklyn Nets Preview
The Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets have had completely opposite starts to the 2019-20 season. While the Rockets seem to have blended in new starting point guard Russell Westbrook seamlessly, things have not gone as smoothly with the Nets’ new starting point guard, Kyrie Irving.
The Rockets are currently sitting in second place in the Western Conference at 3-1, and they have won their last three consecutive games. Brooklyn, on the other hand, has tumbled all the way down to 12th in the East at 1-3 after losing their last two. The Nets will have to defend their home court a little better as they are 1-2 at Barclays ahead of tonight’s interconference matchup with the visiting Rockets.
Time: 7 PM ET
Arena: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Rockets: Nene, Gerald Green, Michael Frazier (O)
Nets: Kevin Durant (O)
Houston Rockets Starting Lineup
It’s hard to decide which Houston-Washington game was more interesting on Wednesday night, the World Series matchup between the Astros and Nationals or the scoring fest between the Rockets and Wizards in a game one week into the regular season. That game was huge for the Nationals, but it’s hard to change the channel on a game that ended in a 159-158 final score.
It’s clear Houston has no problems with offense, but defense could be another issue.
“The only way we’ll get to where we want to go is our defensive efforts, and it has to be consistent,” James Harden said. “Right now, we’re not consistent and that’s why we go through tough times like that. That’s what the course of the year is for. We just try and build those habits and continue to keep building.”
With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson injured, we might have to come up with a nickname as clever as the Splash Bros. for Harden and Russell Westbrook, who combined for 76 points, 21 assists and 13 rebounds.
Brooklyn Nets Starting Lineup
The Nets lost their second straight game on Wednesday night. After their overtime loss against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, they were unable to get passed the Indiana Pacers in a 118-109 loss.
This week, ESPN reported some early troubles with Kyrie Irving and the Nets, and coach Kenny Atkinson noted there hasn’t exactly been great cohesion on the floor either.
“We’re not really running anything,” Atkinson said. “In training camp, you’re practicing a lot, you’ve got nice flow, you know what you’re doing. We’ve kind of lost a little bit of our structure and organization. Which is natural with a new team. New guys. We’ve got to play with each other more, get to know each other more.”
The Nets were in the game in the first half and just seemed to falter down the stretch. Irving led the team in scoring with 28 points, with Spencer Dinwiddie chipping in 20 off the bench.
Key Player Matchups
Russell Westbrook vs. Kyrie Irving
When browsing through the NBA schedule for today, this game immediately jumps out at you because of this matchup alone. Westbrook and Irving play in different conferences so we are only treated to this matchup twice a season, but it’ll certainly be a nice Friday night treat. Russ has been on fire to start the season, already averaging a triple-double of 22.5 points, 12 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game. Kyrie may not be a walking triple-double, but he can certainly light up the scoreboard with his 35.3 points per game average
James Harden vs. Joe Harris
Joe Harris is among the best sharpshooters in the league, but James Harden is a scoring machine, as evidenced by his 59 points against the Wizards. Harris is shooting the ball at an incredible 52 percent clip from beyond the arch, but it seems he still has yet to find his place in this offense run by Irving. Meanwhile, Harden and Westbrook have had an almost seamless transition.
Stuf picks for the Rockets-Nets matchup are James Harden and Kyrie Irving. Harden has the highest projection of all players tonight at 58.91 points, and he is available on FanDuel for $11k. Irving, who has a lower salary of $9k, is projected for 42.83 points.
Eric Gordon is basically the epitome of a value player with points per $1k rating of 5.83. His salary of just $4k should net you 23.3 points tonight. Caris Levert is slightly lower in his rating. He is available for $6k and is projected for 32.08 points in tonight’s game.
Bet on Matchup
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