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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets

After another foe bites the dust, San Antonio finishes their impressive away run with the final game of their annual Rodeo Road Trip, hoping to return home 7-1 after a trip to Houston tonight.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs Houston Rockets

Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Date: 2/27/16, Time: 7:00 PM Spurs Time

The Houston Rockets are a team that resembles a volatile family member at a wedding. Depending on their mood, you never know who you're going to get. Sometimes, they can be sociable and generous, tucking a wad of cash into the hands of the bride during the dollar dance. But oftentimes, you find them face down in the punch bowl, imbibing in the intoxication of their own greatness

Houston is a study in contradictions. They are fifth in team points per game (105.6), but 18th in average scoring margin (-1.2). They are first in steals (10.1), but 25th in defensive efficiency (1.05). In contrast, the Spurs usually rank somewhere in the top five across the statistical board, stability clearly at an advantage over a franchise apparently run by James Harden.

With reports of the two stars not getting along in H-Town, it seemed like Dwight Howard would be used as a sizable bargaining chip before the trade deadline. A deal never materialized, and the one move Houston made was nullified following a failed physical. D12 is averaging career lows since his rookie season, and lacks chemistry with Harden, as seen in this candidate for worst lob ever. The Spurs will implement a typical strategy of Hack-a-Howard, until Adam Silver bans it. Howard's FTM this season against the Spurs is even stranger; in games where Howard averaged a free-throw percentage over .500, the Rockets lost; in games where he shot under .500, they won. His sizable frame will always be difficult to contend in the low-post, especially off the glass.

For the rest of the team not named Harden or Howard, Trevor Ariza brings some defensive depth to the backcourt, but has been struggling with his jump-shot as of late. Veterans Jason Terry (still weird seeing him out of a Dallas uni) and Corey Brewer provide offensive threats off the bench, especially in transition.

The Rockets are currently at 29-29, a half game ahead of the Jazz, and keep hopscotching in and out of the playoff picture. The Spurs just completed a successful SEGABABA in which they held their opponents to an average of 85 points, winning by an average of 17. It will be interesting to see how they handle a Houston team averaging 112.4 ppg in their last five contests; the Spurs have held the Rockets to beneath 100 points in two of the last three meetings. With a victory tonight, the Spurs would improve to 7-1 during the Road Road Trip, their best since 2012.

San Antonio Spurs (49-9)

Houston Rockets (29-29)

February 27, 2015

Toyota Center, Houston, Texas

7:00 PM



Tony Parker


Patrick Beverly

Danny Green


James Harden

Kawhi Leonard


Trevor Ariza

LaMarcus Aldridge


Clint Capela

Tim Duncan


Dwight Howard

Game prediction: Spurs by 9

For Houston's take, visit The Dream Shake

As always Tony must dominate Fisher.