The game of basketball will be played tonight between the Phoenix Suns and the Houston Rockets at 7 p.m. AZ time. Here's a quick look at both teams.
The Suns are coming off what I would consider one of their best performances in the past month. Markieff Morris and the team as a whole looked much more energized under new interim head coach Earl Watson. Morris in particular was bouncing around, looking spry as ever and was the best player on the floor for Phoenix. When I saw Morris establish deep post position for a score I thought I was hallucinating.
Morris scored 30, Devin Booker scored 27 and Archie Goodwin had a double-double and none of it really mattered. The Toronto Raptors still looked comfortable and completely in control, which really has become the identity of this Suns team. They allow teams to come into Phoenix and not be fazed in the slightest. When the Suns make a run the other team never panics and generally get what they want on the offensive end.
The Rockets went from a dark horse title pick to the team that gets the right to be destroyed by the Golden State Warriors or San Antonio Spurs in round 1. Body language concerns were all over the place in the beginning of the season and Kevin McHale got fired.
After a great 2014-15 season that had EVERY rotation player finish with a positive net rating, the Rockets only have three rotation players qualify this year -- Jason Terry, Clint Capela and Patrick Beverley.
They are still a respectable seventh in ORtg, but are a very shaky 26th in DRtg, trailing the Suns by only 0.4 in that department.
In a down year, this team still has James Harden putting up All-Star numbers and every now and then we see glimpses of the elite and dominant Dwight Howard that looked like a future all-time great in Orlando. Houston has a good amount of depth behind those two, but their production has been skittish.
Trevor Ariza is having a rough year, the power forward situation went from overstocked to meh and they only have one consistent three-point shooter shooting above 38 percent for "Moreyball." Bright spots like Beverley and Capela have really helped out their season.
The Rockets almost have a longer injury list than the Suns. Injuries to Capela, Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell have them extremely shorthanded right now. This is a team the Suns could beat, but let's not get too ahead of ourselves.