The 5-7 Houston Rockets are in town to take on the 1-11 Washington Wizards. These two teams split their season series last season, the Wizards winning 98-91 in D.C. on November 10, 2010 in what was dubbed “Asian Heritage Night” as Yi Jianlian faced Yao Ming. The game was broadcast on NBA TV and also in front of millions in China. Unfortunately, Yao got injured after playing only six minutes in the first quarter; that game would be his last before retiring. Magic Johnson was in attendance, sitting courtside next to Ted Leonsis, John Wall recorded his first NBA triple double, and Cowboy Al Thornton was the unsung hero. Washington’s return trip to Houston on December 27 was a 100-93 loss under different circumstances. Not 10 days earlier Gilbert Arenas had been traded to Orlando and not three days earlier, JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche got to fighting in the club. For today’s game preview 3-on-3 we have Truth About It’s Sam Permutt, Michael Pina of TrueHoop Houston Rockets blog Red94 (and from the blogs Shaky Ankles and Wiz of Awes), and Matt Moore of TrueHoop blog Hardwood Paroxysm, CBSSports.com, and several other NBA-related places all over the web. Three questions, three answers starts now…
#1) Through 10 games, Houston’s point guard Kyle Lowry has a 24.6 PER, which ranks 11th in the NBA. He leads the Rockets with 17.8 points per game, and averages 6.9 rebounds, 9.3 assists and 3.5 turnovers. Comparatively, John Wall averages 13.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 4.2 turnovers (PER of 12.4). How do you see the battle between these two playing out?
MATT MOORE: Lowry’s going to kill him. Lowry’s been on fire for about a year now, which mostly means he’s not so much on fire as he is just becoming one of the top point guards in the league. Meanwhile, Wall is the primary threat on the Wizards, every team knows it, and he’s regressed in his second year. It’s nothing to panic over, he just needs to slow down when he finishes at the rim and take his time to think through the play sets. But Lowry’s a physical defender despite his size, and should give Wall an exhausting day.
SAM PERMUTT: This could be a good match-up for John Wall. Kyle Lowry is able to use his quickness and speed to his advantage against most point guards in the league, but Wall should have him beat in those categories. Still, Lowry is a very intelligent player, so expect him to get his also. Both guards will have good games.