The Wiz got there big three, but other than that, they lack consistency with their big men.
The Rockets return to Toyota Center Friday night when they play host to the Washington Wizards. Friday’s originally scheduled start time was 7:00 p.m., but tip has since been moved to 7:30 p.m. Washington (37-33) heads to Houston well rested after defeating the Sacramento Kings Tuesday 97-84 at Arco Arena. Houston (31-40) played one of its best all-around games of the season on Wednesday, routing the Seattle SuperSonics 115-87 at Toyota Center.
Friday will mark the second and final meeting between these two teams this season. Houston defeated Washington 123-111 Jan. 3 at MCI Center and will be looking for their fourth straight win at Toyota Center against the Wiz.
A suddenly hot Houston offense should not be cooled too much by a Wizards team that allows nearly 102 points a game. Tracy McGrady had a team-high 38 points against Washington in January, but will once again be out of action Friday.
The good news for the Rockets is that Houston was able to rack up 123 points against Washington the first time these two teams met even without Yao Ming in the lineup.
Yao is in the lineup now and is coming off another stellar effort Wednesday. The best center in the Western Conference scored 29 points in Wednesday’s win, while pulling 10 rebounds and dishing out five assists.
With no dominant presence in the middle for Washington, Yao should have his way, especially after playing just 30 minutes in the rout Wednesday.
While Houston will be looking to Yao for scoring in the post, the Rockets will need to focus much of their efforts on defending Gilbert Arenas. While Washington has three premier scorers in Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, it was Arenas that did the most damage against the Rockets in January.
Arenas scored a game-high 44 points in the loss for Washington, the most by any player against the Rockets this season. Arenas hit on five of 10 attempts from beyond the arc, and similar success Friday could prove fatal with McGrady out of the lineup and unable to match Arenas’ firepower.
Associated Press is trying to stay neutral. Stupid pacifists.Hakeem said:"The best center in the Western Conference"?