April 8,2014 — 7:30PM (PST)
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)
Coming off a very poor performance vs. the Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers will attempt to even up the season series vs. the Houston Rockets.
Despite another loss, C/PF Jordan Hill continue to show his worthiness to stay on the Lakers roster following season. A player who provides the “Dennis Rodman” effect without all the crazy antics, Hill scored 22 points and 9 rebounds vs Clippers, and has averaged a career high 9.2 PPG and 7.3 RPG this season.
Unfortunately for fans who purchased tickets to boo former Lakers center Dwight Howard tonight, he will not be available tonight, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.
Dwight Howard's return from an ankle problem is drawing near, but sources say his comeback will not be Tuesday night in L.A. against Lakers
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) April 8, 2014
Howard’s service will most likely not be necessary since C Omer Asik can fill in nicely and the Lakers simply do not possess enough talent to defeat the Rockets.
SG James Harden has enjoyed life as an NBA starter after the Rockets acquired him from the Oklahoma City Thunder right before the 2012-2013 season, becoming the best NBA Shooting Guard this season due to the unavailability of superstar SG Kobe Bryant. Harden has averaged 25.4 PPG and 5.8 APG this season, hoping to carry the Rockets far into the playoffs in a few weeks.
PG – Jeremy Lin / Kendall Marshall [Advantage: Rockets]
SG – James Harden / Jodie Meeks [Advantage: Rockets]
SF – Chandler Parsons / Wesley Johnson [Advantage: Rockets]
PF – Terrence Jones / Ryan Kelly [Advantage: Even]
C – Omer Asik / Jordan Hill [Advantage: Rockets]
Notable Bench Players
Rockets: G Jordan Hamilton, F Omri Casspi, G Francisco Garcia, F Greg Smith,
Lakers: C Robert Sacre, F Wesley Johnson, PG Steve Nash, PG Jordan Farmar
Bench Advantage: Rockets
Rockets: Out-PG Patrick Beverley, Out-C Dwight Howard, Questionable-F Greg Smith
Lakers: Out-G Kobe Bryant, Out-C Pau Gasol, Out-G Xavier Henry, Out-G Kent Bazemore, Out-C Chris Kaman
Keys for Lakers Victory
Hit Open Shots: Without any defensive skills, talent, or chemistry with multiple injuries, the Lakers need to like they did when they scored 51 points on the New York Knicks a few weeks ago. SG Jodie Meeks, who has progressed extremely well this season, will be heavily relied upon to fulfill that task, along with F Ryan Kelly, and F/G Nick Young.
Since the Rockets currently have the 4th seed with a few games remaining, this game means significantly more for the Rockets and Lakers. Therefore, getting off to a quick start for the Lakers seems very unlikely. The only entertaining value from the Laker’s fan’s point of view will be the play of PG Steve Nash who ac tually has played well in limited role and might consider retirement following this season.