The last meeting with the Houston Rockets was a good old fashioned slugfest, with O. J. Mayo hitting a season-high 40 points to barely eclipse Houston’s newly-acquired scoring machine James Harden’s 39.
Houston is a curious team, leading the league in scoring while also having horrendous defense (ranked 30th) and also leading the league in turnovers (16.5 per game).
Nevertheless, Houston has improved over last year and Harden leads the charge with 2.4 ppg and 5.3 apg. Omer Asik patrols the paint with 10.3 ppg and 11.1 rpg.
If the Mavericks revert to form from earlier this year, this could be a game of nothing more than two teams running up and down the court, devoid of defense. However, if the Mavericks continue with the trends of the last 8 games and play solid defense as well as better all around-basketball, the Rockets should be vulnerable.
The key will be continuing to have an all-around solid effort scoring whether or not O. J. Mayo is “on” with a decent effort from at least two other guys – take your pick: Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, Darren Collison, Shawn Marion, Vince Carter or that tall German dude. In the offseason we talked about multiple weapons…hopefully it’s time more of them started firing as they have in the most recent stretch of games.
Game time is early – 7:00 CST at the AAC.