The Houston Rockets took the pick from the Kyle Lowry trade and made that part of the James Harden trade last season. This off-season they land Dwight Howard and suddenly have one of the better one-two punches in the NBA. They also spent a ton of money on Jeremy Lin. Rockets have been a tad inconsistent to start the season at just 4-3.
The Raptors had their rare Saturday night home game against the Jazz which turned into a blow-out fairly quickly to move to 3-4.This starts a tough week for the Raptors with games at the Grizzlies before returning home on the weekend to play the Bulls and Trailblazers.
James Harden did play with a bruised left foot on Saturday and according to Jonathan Feigen in Ultimate Rockets did not look at 100 percent. Chandler Parsons also missed part of practice on Sunday. In this scouting report on the Raptors from the Rockets point of view it is mentioned the Raptors lead the league in offensive rebounds. This is great but two things about that I would mention about this fact. One if you are leading the league in offensive rebounds you must be missing a lot of shots. Which the Raptors have been so far this season Second and more importantly for tonight Dwight Howard who is always among the NBA’s best at rebounding will be on the floor.
The Raptors really will be hard pressed to deal with Dwight Howard in this one who has a solid history of giving the Raptors fits by playing out of his mind. You would suspect this will be an Aaron Gray night as he will be dressed and likely logging minutes to give Jonas some breaks from having to deal with larger Howard.
Obviously keeping Jonas out of foul trouble will be a key for the Raptors. Another key will be DeRozan or Gay trying to match-up with Harden and in general guarding the three point line will be a key in this one.
I don’t like the Raptors chances in this one. Will have to see how it plays out tonight in Houston.