Southwest Division standings (as of Tuesday)
The Rockets rocked a 2-1 record last week, which is exactly what they need to keep doing to get back in the playoff race. Of course, they shouldn’t be losing any overtime games if they hope to make it, and they actually did that. But it’s a start, especially after a brutal start.
This will be a week that the Rockets should gain ground. Detroit, Milwaukee, and Cleveland, all with similar records to the Rockets but more of a reason to have them, are the opponents. I’d be disappointed if they didn’t turn at least match last week’s record out of this.
Onto the games:
Tuesday Dec 7th vs. Detroit Pistons — The Pistons haven’t done anything well recently. Their big money players are Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, Richard Hamilton is looking extremely old, and the team has no inside presence at all. Rodney Stuckey and Tayshaun Prince are nice players, but if the Rockets have any fight in them, this shouldn’t be a close game. Prediction: Rockets 108, Pistons 97.
Friday Dec 10th @ Milwaukee Bucks — The Bucks have been without center Andrew Bogut for most of the season, and that’s really crippled their record. Scott Skiles has them playing their trademark great defense, but the team as a whole has disappointed on offense. Bogut is back on the court, so if anyone is going to give the Rockets a run this week, it will probably be the Bucks. Prediction: Rockets 93, Bucks 95.
Saturday Dec 11th vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – You may remember this team from their emotional asskicking against LeBron James and company. They have a lot of solid role players, but there’s no one on the team that can really handle the offensive load they’re getting. Think about the Rockets without Luis Scola or Kevin Martin. That’s what this Cavs team is right now. Prediction: Rockets 103, Cavs 88.
Other Southwest Division schedules for this week:
San Antonio: Weds vs. GS, Fri vs. ATL, Sun vs. POR
Dallas: Tues vs. GS, Thurs vs. NJ, Sat vs. UTAH, Mon vs. MIL
New Orleans: Wed vs. DET, Fri vs. OKC, Sun @ PHI, Mon @ MIA
Memphis: Weds @ PHO, Sat @ LAC, Mon vs. POR
Boy, none of these teams are getting challenged at all this week. I guess New Orleans has the roughest schedule having to go to Miami and playing the Thunder. You’ll want to be a Golden State fan this week, as well as pulling for Portland. While the Rockets might have the easiest schedule, San Antonio and Dallas don’t even have to leave their arenas all week.
San Antonio: 2.66
New Orleans: 12
For more Rockets news check out The Dream Shake.