Less than 24 hours ago the Cavs walked off the court in Memphis with a nasty taste in their mouths. Today they find themselves in Houston for an always tough match-up with the Rockets.
The first quarter could be very important tonight. We know that the Cavs have been getting off to solid starts this season, and with the OT game yesterday, coupled with Houston’s rest the Cavaliers might not have it in the tank to come back if they find themselves trailing big in this one. LeBron has been tremendous in the first quarter this season, but not in the scoring column. It is in first quarter assists that LeBron is King. In fact, Lebron has either scored or assisted on 48.8% of the team’s first quarter field goals. That’s a crazy stat! It is by far tops in the league. (Thanks Cavs media notes!)
Last season the Cavs and Rockets split the season series with each team winning on their home floor. The Rockets have the 4th best offense in the league statistically at scoring in the paint, while the Cavaliers boast the best defense against points in the paint. Of course, Memphis had the best offense in that category, and they certainly got to the basket against us.
Probable starters- for the Cavs: LeBron James, JJ Hickson, Shaquille O’Neal, Anthony Parker, Mo Williams.
For the Rockets: Shane Battier, Luis Scola, Chuck Hayes, Trevor Ariza, Aaron Brooks.
Injury report: (Let’s see if I can do better this time) for the Cavs: Leon Powe (knee) is out, Jamario Moon (groin) is doubtful. For the Rockets: Yao Ming (foot) is out, Tracy McGrady (knee, personality) is out.
Key match-ups: JJ Hickson and Andy Varejao against Luis Scola. Hickson was terrible against Randolph. Can he bounce back and handle Scola? Can Andy stay out of foul trouble? Mo Williams against Aaron Brooks. Mo has trouble against fast PGs. Brooks like to drive and dish. Can Mo keep in front of him?
Here’s hoping for a better showing tonight!