NBA Preview: Suns vs. Rockets

| by

Tonight in Clutch City there will be a battle for which I have extremely mixed emotions.  At this point, Houston is all but sniffing the tail end of any playoff birth.  We have played hard but the teams above us in the standings have played harder – Phoenix included.  Tonight we will see an epic battle take place; with Steve Nashed injured Aaron Brooks will be starting and going against former team mate Kyle Lowry. 

Last night in Orlando the Suns had a desperate loss but AB had one of those kinds of games that we haven’t seen from him in months.  AB finished with 19 points, 10 assists on 8-14 shooting.  He only took one three pointer, which he missed.  That kind of efficiency shocked me as AB has been cranking up horrible shots outside of the three point arc all season long in Rocket’s red.  Maybe he’s finally healed up from his ankle injury or more likely he’s just got his head on straight.

Hakim Warrick will be starting again in place of Channing who is still out and Jordan Hill, for some reason, will most likely be starting for Houston with Scola still listed as day-to-day with his knee injury.  Patrick Patterson has played tenaciously and effectively since Scola’s injury and yet Hill, who was seemingly out of the rotation prior to the Scola injury, has been an absolute joke on defense.  I don’t understand why Rick can’t amend this rotational flaw despite Hill’s “experience” starting for this team previously in the season.  He’s a liability on both sides of the court right now and I’d prefer to see Patrick start and finish the game.

An interesting point to consider before tonight’s game is how Phoenix’s success may enhance our own.  In the Aaron Brooks/Dragic trade we acquired a first round pick that is conditional.  If the Suns make the playoffs, we get their pick.  If they miss the playoffs, we get Orlando’s less favorable pick.  In other words Phoenix’s playoff success could mean the difference between a 15/16th pick or a late 20s pick in the first round this summer for the Rockets.