Southwest Division standings (as of Tuesday)
The good news? The Rockets actually played .500 basketball this week. The bad news? They didn’t gain anything on any team outside of New Orleans, who tumbled to third place in the Southwest this week after an awful week. The worst news? Another brutal three game stretch against a pair of contenders and a hungry Memphis team. Oh, and the playoff report: another drop by John Hollinger, who now gives the Rockets just an 18.7% chance at getting swept in the first round.
Onto the games that will be bringing you sadness this week:
Wednesday Dec 1st vs. Los Angeles Lakers — The Lakers had an off-week, but also have, by my count, three players (Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Paul Gasol) that nobody on the Rockets can defend. Oh, and the rate of bandwagonism that you’ll have to deal with at this game will also be depressing. So I guess what I’m saying is: ouch. Prediction: Lakers 118, Rockets 103
Friday Dec 3rd @ Memphis Grizzlies — The Grizzlies and Rockets are mirror-images of each other in advanced NBA statistics: The Rockets are 13th in offensive rating, 24th in defensive rating. The Grizzlies? 23rd in offensive rating, 12th in defensive rating. All of that despite giving many minutes to Zach Randolph. I guess if there’s one game to get optimistic about this week, it’d be this one. Prediction: Rockets 105, Grizzlies 104
Saturday Dec 4th @ Chicago Bulls – You may remember the Bulls from earlier this season, when nobody could stop Derrick Rose. I’m guessing that this will be a rerun and a recurring theme as well: the Rockets can’t stop great point guards. Prediction: Rockets 87, Bulls 93
Other Southwest Division schedules for this week:
San Antonio: Tue @ GS, Wed @ LAC, Fri vs. MIN, Sun vs. NO
Dallas: Weds vs. MIN, Fri @ UTAH, Sat @ SAC
New Orleans: Wed vs. CHA, Fri vs. NY, Sun @ SA
Memphis: Tue vs. LAL, Weds @ ATL, Fri vs. HOU, Sun @ DEN, Mon @ UTAH
Horrific stretch for the Grizzlies, as they play four playoff caliber teams this week. And then the Rockets too. Dallas gets it easy after a rough week with just three games, two against bumbling franchises. New Orleans gets it even easier with two against bad teams and one against the Spurs. This week, if you can bear it, root for Utah and Minnesota.
San Antonio: 1
New Orleans: 7.33
For more Rockets news check out The Dream Shake.