I'm not proud of that headline, I'm really not. The Cleveland Cavaliers are coming off of two surprising wins on the road against the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder. Today, the Houston Rockets come to Quicken Loans Arena as the Cavs try to build a three game winning streak.
Song Of The Day: Can't Stop - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Houston Rockets (22-19) at Cleveland Cavaliers (15-23)
If you saw my first preview (before I took it down), you saw me harping about the matchup between Kyrie Irving and Kyle Lowry. Unfortunately, Lowry is sick and will not play in tonight's game. This makes me sad.
The Rockets have done a nice job of creating a competitive team without a real superstar. Ever since the Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady eras ended, GM Daryl Morey put together a bunch of above average players that play well together. Lowry, Luis Scola, Samuel Dalembert, and Kevin Martin are all nice players but none of them have what it takes to be a franchise star.
The Rockets tried to get their franchise star in Pau Gasol during the offseason. It didn't work (thanks to David Stern). I'm sure Houston was not thrilled about the trade that wasn't, because it's apparent that getting a highly skilled big man is their priority. With Kevin McHale as their head coach, it seems like a perfect fit to have the most skilled big man in the league on their roster. There have been more rumors about Gasol in recent days, but unfortunately, my crystal ball isn't working so I have no idea what is going to happen.
Goran Dragic fills in for Lowry at point guard in the starting lineup. While he isn't as fun as Lowry, he's still quite skilled. People will be quick to rip the Rockets for letting Jeremy Lin out of their grasps, but honestly, he wasn't going to get any playing time at point guard ahead of Lowry and Dragic. The Rockets seemingly have countless quality NBA players on their roster, just no star. This will lead to them getting to the playoffs (in all likelihood) and probably losing to one of the more bonafide teams.
Kevin Martin vs. Anthony Parker
Apparently, Anthony Parker is still the starting shooting guard and he will have his hands full guarding Kevin Martin. Martin is one of the better scorers in the league, however, he's pretty one dimensional. He can score and get to the free throw line -- but doesn't do much else. He's a sieve on defense, but fortunately for him, he'll be guarding Anthony Parker. Now that I have written about this matchup, I'm kind of regretting choosing it as the one to focus one. Regardless, I'm not redoing this section.
Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:
After I picked the Thunder to demolish Cleveland in the last game, I cannot be more wrong about a game for the rest of the season. Therefore, I will go ahead and say that the Cavs win their 3rd game in a row and defeat Houston by a score of 99-93. Woo! Winning streak!