The Warriors return to the Oracle tonight to face the surging Houston Rockets, who in spite of hearing that all-star Yao Ming is out for the remainder of the season, have plowed their way to seven December wins. As always, the Rockets have found a way to stay competitive even with injuries. Aaron Brooks returned in a reserve role after missing 21 games, but the Rockets still keep it moving.
The same cannot be said of the Warriors and their on-going revolving door of injuries.
The Warriors have lost four of five without Stephen Curry and we all remember that nasty streak without David Lee. Dan Gadzuric, who has provided valuable hustle minutes off the bench, is day-to-day with a groin strain sustained midway through the game against Portland.
The last team these two squads met, the Warriors fouled the Rockets twice as many times as the Rockets did Warriors which led to a free throw attempt disparity of 51-18. This translated into 27 MORE points from the free-throw line alone. The Warriors lost that game by 10 after another blown late game recovery. The Warriors are currently allowing opponents to shoot 79% from the line for 3rd WORST in the NBA. The Warriors have surprisingly done well in the last few games of not letting their opponents beat them from the line. But the Warriors continue to beat themselves at the line, currently 5th WORST in the league at 71%. Thanks Mark Price.
With that said, the Warriors need to hold the Rockets from getting hot from the perimeter. Although the Rockets are just average in field goal percentage (15th in the league), the Warriors have consistently allowed bench players like Chase Budinger and Courtney Lee hurt them (18 points combined last time).