[Thanks to jrobulls for today's game preview. Game thread at 7:08. I'll be at the UC and live-tweeting instead of cheering -yfbb]
It’s an assumption that the Roseless streak continues tonight against the Rockets. The nicest quality about this game is that it comes right after yesterday’s game. However, the Heat loss helped the pain, and now the Celtics are first in their division. What happened to the Sixers? The Eastern Conference seeding is really up in the air, but enough about seeding.
This is the only meeting of the season between the Bulls and the Rockets. Last night, the Rockets (28-25) blew a 10 point lead heading into the 4th quarter and lost in OT to the Indiana Pacers. Houston is currently the 8th seed in the West. They’re a good team, but inconsistent and missing some key players. They are 5-5 the last 10 games. More on the Rockets injuries after the jump.
The Rockets have not been able to avoid the injury bug. Kevin Martin, their leading scorer per game, has not played since March 11. Kyle Lowry has not really suffered an injury, but he has been out since March 8th with a bacterial infection. He is scheduled to have a catheter in his right arm removed on Thursday, and he may miss the rest of the season. In terms of reasons for missing games, this sounds like one of the worst. From Jonathan Feigen at Ultimate Rockets:
"Lowry discovered he had the medical issue by accident, as he went in to get an MRI on his groin and his team doctor said he didn't look right. So he was sent to the Knicks' physician (the Rockets were in New York) and was diagnosed with a bacterial infection. "
Lowry had a 104 temperature for a while, and has no idea where the sickness may have come from. That is messed up. Those groin injuries are annoying, but without the MRI, the doctors do not find out about the infection.
On that crazy note, let’s look at who will actually play tonight. Note: I have not watched the Rockets play at all this season, so the “analysis” is based off some quick research and stat finding.
PG: Goran Dragic has become a nice addition since he was traded from the Suns last year, getting more and more playing time throughout the season since Lowry and Martin have been out. He has managed to score in double figures since March 6, and can drain the 3 pointer.
SG: Courtney Lee (Yes, he’s still in Houston) has become the starting SG. He has struggled to shoot lately, but he still managed 20 points last night.
SF: Chandler Parsons is listed as the starter for SF. My first thought was “Who?” He was drafted in the 2nd round last year out of Florida. He must be decent, as he’s averaging 28 minutes a game with 9 points, 5 rebounds.
PF: Luis Scola might be the best player on the Rockets, and probably their most consistent. Expect some quick double teams (That was your “What will Thibs do?” guess of the evening).
C: Marcus Camby has started the past two games because Samuel Dalembert has suffered from flu-like symptoms, though Dalembert may get a few minutes. They have very experienced (a.k.a. old) veterans at the position. Samuel Dalembert is 31, and Camby is 38. Camby played 38 minutes last night, so he might be a little gassed. He’s 38. I can’t believe he’s 38. That’s the same age as Steve Nash. Where does time go?
Bench: Chase Buddinger can play at forward or guard, and comes off the bench to provide a 3-point threat. Patrick Patterson can play forward or center and may see significant playing time.
Obligatory college moment: If Marcus Morris makes an appearance, expect a “Kansas is playing tonight” reference.
Big Mac probability: 30%. I expect a grind-it-out game.
Thibs will have the Bulls ready to play, but it will be interesting to see how well Houston performs after the OT loss. Tip at 7 PM CST. Check out The Dream Shake.
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