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Lin, Harden take spotlight for Rockets
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On October 31, 2012 @ 9:00 am In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
Four key story lines for Wednesday’s nine-game NBA slate:
How will the Houston Rockets’ mini-Big Three handle the new spotlight?
The Rockets picked at underused parts this offseason. They brought in point guard Jeremy Lin from the New York Knicks and center Omer Asik from the Chicago Bulls as restricted free agents, offering the young potential stars hefty contracts. Then they landed shooting guard James Harden in a stunning trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder last week. All three figure to start for the remade Rockets, who will define themselves based on how those three and a bundle of young forwards handle themselves. The first test comes in the form of another rebuilding team, the Detroit Pistons (7:30 p.m. ET).
Who wins: future superstar Anthony Davis or aging superstar Tim Duncan?
Duncan was the first overall pick in the 1997 draft by the San Antonio Spurs. The New Orleans Hornets only can hope Davis, this year’s top pick, produces similar results. Duncan, a four-time champion, is the greatest power forward in NBA history, but he’s had some ailments lately, and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has limited his minutes. Davis is springing and athletic and skilled and actually might be a matchup problem in this season opener (8 p.m. ET, NBATV), except Duncan has handled these young punks for years.
Can the Los Angeles Lakers bounce back from an ugly opener?
They’re better than that. The 99-91 loss to the Dallas Mavericks wasn’t indicative of all the new-look Lakers have to offer. But some of the problems were real. Will Steve Nash be allowed to run more pick-and-rolls, or will he be confined by coach Mike Brown’s Princeton-based offense? Can Dwight Howard or Jordan Hill, the Lakers’ top centers, hit a free throw? They went 4-for-20 Tuesday. All this and more when Los Angeles heads to the Northwest to face the Portland Trail Blazers (10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV).
Who will play on the wings for the Los Angeles Clippers?
Matt Barnes is suspended for one game. Chauncey Billups is out as he recovers from last season’s torn Achilles tendon. Grant Hill has a bone bruise on his knee. The … [For more on Jeremy Lin, James Harden take spotlight for Rockets, click here.]
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