2012-13 NBA Game Of The Week: Week 4 Rockets V Knicks
With so many great games coming up this week we have chosen the one we are more excited about, Houston and New York. So let’s take a look at the match up.
GAME TIME & VIEWING OPTIONS:
Time & Date: Saturday, November 24, 2012 12:00pm AEDT
Location: Toyota Center, Houston.
FORM HEADING IN:
New York: 7-1
New York got off to the best possible start going 6-0; they were the last remaining undefeated team.
The Knicks had great wins against Miami, Philadelphia twice and a come from behind win over San Antonio.
Their first loss came against Memphis, where things got very physical and tensions were tight. The Knicks quickly bounced back with a comfortable win over Indiana.
Houston came out firing after acquiring James Harden in a huge off-season trade. They defeated Detroit and Atlanta in their first two games.
Things quickly went down hill from there, since then they have only won 2 out of 8 matches. They lost twice to Portland, both in over time. The two wins they had in that stretch have come against the lowly sides of New Orleans and Detroit.
STORY LINE OF THE MATCH:
The biggest story line to watch will be Jeremy Lin playing against his old team. When Linsanity hit New York last season it looked as though the Knicks could be a great team and make a run in the playoffs. Unfortunately injury struck and Linsanity was cut short. When Houston offered him a 3 year $25 million contract, New York decided not to match the offer.
It will be interesting to see how Carmelo Anthony and Lin react to one another at the beginning of the match. There have been many rumours that Anthony was the driving force behind getting Lin out of New York, and has since stated that Lin’s contract is ‘ridiculous’.
MATCH UP OF THE NIGHT:
The shooting guard battle between James Harden and Jason Kidd will be a great one to watch. While Harden has had an amazing start to the season with his new team, Kidd has been a solid contributor for the Knicks.
Harden’s first match for Houston was mind blowing, he scored a whopping 37 points to go with 12 assists and 6 rebounds. His second match was just as impressive; scoring 45 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. For the season Harden has averaged almost 27 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
Kidd has been a welcome addition to his new team also. Kidd has averaged 8 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and nearly 2 steals per game. This match up will be great because they play different styles at the same position. Harden is the new prototype of shooting guard; quick, explosive and can pass, whereas Kidd the 17 year veteran of the NBA is the proven scorer, NBA Champion and great influence on his team mates.
The Knicks have one of the best bench players of the season thus far in J.R Smith. Smith has reveled in his role as the backup shooting guard. Smith is averaging over 16 points per game, which is the second most on the team, only behind Carmelo Anthony. Smith is also playing well on the defensive end, averaging over 5 defensive rebounds per game.
Houston’s second year forward Marcus Morris has been a pleasant surprise for the Rocket’s this season. After only playing 17 games last season, he has shown a lot of improvement and looks as though he could be a very solid player for Houston. In 20 minutes of playing time Morris has averaged 10 points, 2 offensive rebounds and 2.5 defensive rebounds.
One player you can’t forget about for New York is Steve Novak. Novak, he can hit 3’s like few others. While his production has been down slightly this season, you can’t count him out from beyond the arc. He has been only hitting about one or two 3 pointers per game, but when he gets in a rhythm he can be near unstoppable and a match winner.
Carlos Delfino has been a good contributor for Houston since crossing from Milwaukee in the off-season. Delfino is a great scorer and provides Houston with 8 points, 2 assists and 4 rebounds per match. If he can keep the scoring going when Harden is on the bench, he will be as valuable as anyone else on this Houston team.
It will be great to see two scoring machines in James Harden and Carmelo Anthony going basket for basket. The problem for Houston is; if Harden doesn’t score the team doesn’t win. Whereas for New York, not all of the offensive plays go through Anthony anymore. In New York’s come from behind win over San Antonio, Anthony only scored 9 points. This shows how much New York has improved compared to previous seasons. In previous years if Anthony or Amar’e Stoudemire didn’t score New York couldn’t compete.
PREDICTED STARTING LINE UPS
- Point guard: Raymond Felton
- Shooting guard: Jason Kidd
- Small forward: Ronnie Brewer
- Power forward: Carmelo Anthony
- Center: Tyson Chandler
- Point guard: Jeremy Lin
- Shooting guard: James Harden
- Small forward: Chandler Parsons
- Power forward: Patrick Patterson
- Centre: Omer Asik
If Houston is to get close in this game, they will need to make sure New York’s rebounding woes continue. If Omer Asik can beat Tyson Chandler in the rebound count, good things could happen. Houston will really need to take advantage of their home court and get off to a good start, getting the crowd involved early. I believe New York has too many scorers compared to Houston. With the remarkable start New York has had, I would have to go with New York in a tight, high scoring contest.
My Prediction: New York-110 Houston-101