Atlanta Hawks vs. Houston Rockets Preview, Game Notes, & Prediction

Houston Rockets  vs. Atlanta Hawks Preview

The Good Guys’ Lineup:

The Bad Guys’ Lineup:

Who?: Atlanta Hawks (44 – 32) @ Houston Rockets (40 – 36)

When?: April 3rd, 2011; 8:00 PM (Eastern Time)

Where?: Toyota Center (Houston, TX)

How?: SportSouth HD(TV), & 99X FM(97.9 radio)

Houston Rockets’ Blog(s): Space City Scoop, The Dream Shake, and Red94.

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Injuries:
Houston: Yao Ming(ankle) and Terrence Williams(abdominals) are out.
Atlanta: Everyone is expected to play.

Rockets vs. Hawks Season Series:

This will be the second and final time the Hawks will face the Rockets this season. The Rockets won the first meeting in Atlanta 112-106 earlier in January. Aaron Brooks(now with the Phoenix Suns) led the way with 24 points that night. Last season, the Hawks won the meeting at Toyota Center.
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What (or who) to watch out for:

  • Al Horford. He had a 24 point 1o rebound game in his last meeting vs. the Rockets. With the Rockets not having any tall defensive players, I can see Al Horford giving the same type of production, maybe even better.
  • Joe Johnson’s shot selection and the amount of shots he takes. His shot selection vs. the Celtics wasn’t exactly “great”, as he went 4 for 20 from the field. Most of those shots came from iso plays. Will Joe Johnson try to limit the amount of shots he takes tonight since he couldn’t hit anything last game?  Will Joe continue to try to isolate players?
  • Luis Scola vs. Josh Smith. Luis Scola abused Josh Smith in their last matchup. Smoove had a hard time guarding Scola’s physical play on the offensive end.
  • Kevin Martin. The lack of defensive 2 guards the Hawks have plus Martin’s knack for going to the free throw line could mean another huge game for Martin.
  • Defense. In the past two games (Magic & Celtics), the Hawks’ defense has been the reason the Hawks have won. In my last recap, I pondered if the Hawks are building a defensive identity? This game will show the answer.
  • Milestone Watch: Marvin Williams needs 12 more points for 5000 career points.

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Prediction: The Rockets are 3 games back behind the Hornets and the 8th seed. They still have hopes of catching them so I doubt a Rick Adelman team won’t take this game seriously. I expect the Rockets to fight for 48 minutes, the question is, will the Hawks? With the way the Hawks have been playing….I’ll say yes. Hawks win this game but it will be a close one.

Topics: Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks, Game Preview, Houston Rockets, Joe Johnson, Kevin Martin, NBA

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