Preseason Game Day Preview: Spurs vs. Rockets

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (3-3) vs. HOUSTON ROCKETS (4-2)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Tony Parker 12.8 DeJuan Blair 8.8 Manu Ginobili 3.8
ROCKETS Kevin Martin 15.5 Luis Scola 6.0 Kyle Lowry 4.3

The San Antonio Spurs will play their final preseason game at home against the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are coming off a 95-85 victory over the New Jersey Nets, while the Spurs lost their last preseason outing against the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-111.

This is the second time the two teams will meet in this preseason. The Rockets won the first meeting against the Spurs, 90-87. 

Since this is the final preseason game for the Spurs, expect more minutes from their starters. However, with two more cuts to make before the regular season starts, the Spurs might also give significant playing time for Bobby Simmons, Alonzo Gee and Marcus Cousin. 

The Rockets, on the other hand, could use this game to give their starters regular minutes. Luis Scola has only played in three preseason games so far and Brad Miller just recovered from an injury. He played 26 minutes scored 11 points, grabbed five boards with four assist against the Nets.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Spurs:


Offense
– Entering this game, Tony Parker and DeJuan Blair are the only Spur averaging in double figures but with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Richard Jefferson, George Hill and Matt Bonner probably playing more minutes, the Spurs will not lack firepower on the offensive end. 

Defense — With the frontline of Scola, Yao Ming and Miller, it will be key for the Spurs to limit the Rockets inside points. They also should be wary of the Rockets’ backcourt of Kevin Martin, Aaron Brooks, Courtney Lee and Chase Budinger all of whom can score.

Rockets:

Offense — The Rockets’ offensive strength is on the interior but they also have good outside shooters. After six preseason games, five players are averaging in double figures for the Rockets.

Defense — If they can matchup well against the Spurs in the paint, it will be key for the Rockets to limit the Spurs’ dribble penetrations and kick outs. Also they have to look out for the Spurs’ transition game.

INJURIES

Spurs — Splitter – strained right plantaris muscle (out).

Rockets — Ming – ankle (day-to-day), Miller – ankle (day-to-day), Kyle Lowry – bruised right knee (day-to-day)

PREDICTION: This is the final preseason game for the Spurs, which means the regular season will start soon. Unlike in their previous outings, expect the Spurs’ starters to be on the floor in the final period. This will be a good time to see how they really measure up against the other NBA teams.

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