Brooklyn Nets Versus Houston Rockets Preview


The Brooklyn Nets(16-21) host the Houston Rockets(26-11) on Monday night at Barclays Center in a match-up between two teams heading in total opposite directions. The Nets are losers of five straight games while the Rockets are winners of three games in a row and four of their last five. The Nets ultimately hit rock bottom on Friday night when they suffered an excruciating loss at home to the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite their recent struggles, Brooklyn has the fortune of being in an extremely weak Eastern Conference so they still have a good chance of making the postseason. This is the first meeting between the Nets and the Rockets so far this season and they will meet up one more time on February 27th in Houston.

Key Matchup: Mason Plumlee Versus Dwight Howard

Nov 29, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets power forward Dwight Howard (12) shoots against Brooklyn Nets power forward Mason Plumlee (1) during the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Nets sophomore center Mason Plumlee will have his work cut out for him on Monday night, he will have the difficult task of going up against Dwight Howard. Howard has a minor knee injury and is probable to play in this game and if Howard does play as expected his presence will certainly be felt all game long. Howard is averaging 17.2 points and 11.6 rebounds per game this season and the Rockets big man has averaged a double-double every single season of his illustrious NBA career.

“I did want to go to Brooklyn. That’s the place where I told the Magic that I really wanted to go,”- Howard said in October 2012.

Howard is 29 years old and he will be coming to Barclays Center which is a place that many expected to be Howard’s home by now. Assuming Howard’s minor knee injury doesn’t sideline him, this will be Howard’s first game playing inside of Barclays Center and during October of 2012, Barclays Center was a place that Howard wanted to call home.

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There was absolutely no chance that Howard wouldn’t be traded or sign with the Nets and somehow the trade never happened. Whether it was Howard signing a one year extension with the Magic when he could have left in free agency or whether it was the Magic trying to get the Nets to give up more than they were willing too, everything possible went wrong in the Dwight Howard saga and Howard ultimately never became a Net.

The Nets ended up sticking with Brook Lopez signing him to a max deal and now Mason Plumlee has emerged as the guy for Brooklyn, while Lopez is being discussed in trade rumors yet again. Plumlee has been a major contributor for Brooklyn since being inserted into the starting lineup and his biggest test of the season might be tonight against Howard.

Prediction: Brooklyn Nets 86 Houston Rockets 98

The Nets are ice cold, while the Rockets are feeling great about themselves. Although the Nets are playing at Barclays Center the Rockets firepower will be too much for Brooklyn to handle. The Nets will fight and give it their all but in the end James Harden, Dwight Howard and company will be too much for the Brooklyn Nets to handle in this game.

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