Match Timing: March 12, 2019, @ 05:30 AM IST
NBA Regular Season
Venue – Toyota Center
Charlotte Hornets’ playoff credentials will face a stern test as they travel to take on the mighty Houston Rockets in a regular season matchup at Toyota Center, in downtown Houston, Texas, on Tuesday morning (IST).
Before Houston Rockets return back to Texas for the home clash against Charlotte Hornets, James Harden and Co. will be on the road, taking on Dallas Mavericks, and possibly hoping to extend the seven-game winning streak.
Their current run came after a little period when it looked Rockets are going South and hitting the snoozing button.
But the shorthanded Houston showed the fight within the group as they beat Golden State Warriors 112-118 at Oracle Arena without the services of James Harden. That was the game which gave the team enough thrust for the current seven-game winning run.
That win over Dubs could be a one-off and can’t be used as an indicator of the team’s true potential. The fact of the matter is that Harden is the team’s biggest star and performer this season. It’s hard to see where Mike D'Antoni and his troops would have been without his often un-humane displays.
People have criticized him and may continue to do so for his reluctance to distribute in the defensive department. Many call him the one-way player, but he does the most important thing on the court and that is to score the points and that too in bulks.
After winning those matches, Rockets have usurped Oklahoma City Thunder from 3rd in the Western Conference. The 2nd placed Denver Nuggets are now one and a half game ahead of them. It’s imperative for Rockets to finish behind Warriors on the table as it offers them a chance to avoid the Dubs before the conference finals.
After losing 131-114 to Milwaukee Bucks, an expected result, Charlotte Hornets have gone 3-7 in the last 10 matches. Their bad form has coincided with the decent return for Miami Heat and Orlando Magic in the same number of games.
The playoff places are not out of reach, as Heat are just 1 and a half game better than them. It’s more than bridgeable. But it’s the form which suggests Hornets could be in trouble to finish in the top-8.
Kemba Walker is a player who can guide the team into the post-season But he can’t do everything on his own and needs good support from his teammates.
Houston Rockets: W-40, L-25
Charlotte Hornets: W-30, L-36
James Harden – The season which fetched him his first ever MVP now looks a tad shadow compare to the numbers he has been racking up this season. It’s just impossible to see another player stopping him from winning the much-craved MVP this season as well. Mr Beard is racking up 36.6 points per game in the current campaign, doing so at an efficiency rate of 30.42.
Clint Capela – Not the same player since returning from a long injury layoff, but the 24-year-old Center is Rockets’ best player in this position. He scored 18 points in the last match, first double-digit score in four games. Perhaps this could be a sign of him hitting the form once again.
Kemba Walker – If there was an award for the “most underrated player”, he would have won it by some stretch. All for his efforts, he deserves to be in the playoffs season after season. But the 28-year-old is fighting, both for the team and for his own name amongst the current best. The 2011 1st round pick is averaging 24.9 points per game.
Jeremy Lamb: The former Houston Rockets man racking up the 2nd best stats for Hornets this season. He can shoot the ball, both from the 3-point range and inside the paint.
Marvin Williams (illness) won't play against Rockets.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeremy Lamb are both doubtful.
Injured – Kenneth Faried is the only Rockets player spending his time on the treatment table. The 29-year-old Center is out with a groin injury.
Questionable – None.
Suspended – None.
Injured – No player has been ruled out as of yet for Hornets.
Questionable – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (knee injury), and Jeremy Lamb (thigh injury) have both been listed as questionable and will be assessed ahead of the match.
San Antonio Spurs’ legend Tony Parker was given a rest last time around. The 36-year-old remains questionable ahead of this match.
Suspended – None.
INDIA FANTASY PREDICTION:
With a 23-9 record at Toyota Center, Houston Rockers are a force in home games. The last time they tasted a home defeat was on February the 10th against Oklahoma City Thunder. It’s a good unbeaten stretch now, and we doubt Charlotte Hornets have the potency level beyond Kemba Walker to hurt the hosts.
A win for Rockets is our call.
NOTE: THIS CHA vs HOU Dream11 MATCH PREVIEW IS BASED ON OUR RESEARCH AND UNDERSTANDING FROM VARIOUS NEWS SOURCES. YOU CAN SELECT YOUR OWN PLAYING 11 ON THE BASIS OF TEAM NEWS.