By Andy Popp
GAME 36: Blazers @ Houston Rockets
January 5, 5:30PM, Comcast Sports
Previous Match Up: Blazers 100 Rockets 85 (Jan 2nd)
Related: Trail Blazers Games, Schedule, and WIN Tickets
The Rockets haven't changed much since the Blazers' victory over them at home last Sunday. They lost to the Nuggets on Monday and had Tuesday off to reflect.
The Rockets on paper:
Starting five: Shane Battier, Luis Scola, Jordan Hill, Kevin Martin, Kyle Lowry
Off the bench: Brad Miller, Aaron Brooks, Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger, Patrick Patterson
Supposed dunk contest participants: Blake Griffin, JaVale McGee, Serge Ibaka and Brandon Jennings
More from the rumor mill: Andre Miller is on the block and Steve Nash is a possibility.
On Sunday, I wrote that the Blazers needed to get to the line often and do a good a good job slowing down the Rockets' back court. The team only went to the line 19 times (made 17), but held Kevin Martin to 15 points. More of the same will go a long way tonight.
I expect the Rockets to go deep into their bench once again, which could end up being the demise of the Blazers, after playing a tough game last night against the Mavericks. If the Blazers are to win tonight, they will need a lot of production from the 2nd unit.
LET'S GET RICH
To date: 14-12-2.
Blazers +6. I like the Rockets -6 tonight.
NUMBER OF BACK TO BACKS THIS SEASON (IN SETS)
vs New York
vs New Jersey
It gets easier after this with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday. Just don't get caught looking ahead.