Friday, January 15, 2010

Heat Take Off to Houston, Face Rockets

January 15, 2010

With two games left on their road trip, the Miami Heat head to Texas to face the Houston Rockets; making it the first of two meeting these clubs will have this season. The Rockets swept the Heat in their season series in 2008-09 and have won the last three consecutive match-ups played in Houston.

Coming off an impressive victory against the Golden State Warriors, the Heat look to continue their offensive efficiency and leave the Toyota Center with another road victory. Miami shot 56% from the field and 50% from behind the arch in Golden State, dropping an uncharacteristic 115 points on their opponent. Dwyane Wade tallied 35 points, followed by Jermaine O'Neal's 24 and Michael Beasley's 19.

What to Look For Tonight
  • A win tonight would out the Heat over .500 in road games this season, they are currently 8-8 for the season in away games. 
  • The Rockets are averaging over 100 points a night, but are allowing triple-digit scores to their opponents as well. 
  • Wade needs two more free throw attempts for 4,000 career attempts. He's currently 5th in the league with 9.4 free throws per game.
  • Quentin Richardson is just one three-point field goal away from reaching the 1,000 mark. On Wednesday night, Richardson made three from behind the mark.
  • Udonis Haslem is a double-double away from recording 15 off-the-bench double-doubles. He's already the all-time franchise leader in this category. 
Keys to Victory
  • The Rockets enjoy a fast tempo style of play that allows them to score in the hundreds on a regular basis. The Heat must dictate the tempo, force Houston to play half court sets and keep the Rockets below the 100 mark (Miami is 5-14 when allowing 100+ points).  
  • Miami must continue to spread to scoring duties and have four or more players in the double-digits. It will take more than a 30-point showing by Wade to beat the Rockets.
  • Do not underestimate the scoring ability of Rockets PG Aaron Brooks. Brooks is the leading scorer on the Rockets, averaging 18.9 points a night, and can explode for 25+ on any given night.  
  • Battle Houston's ultra-athleticism with disciplined ball control, sound box outs and limited fast break points. The last thing Miami wants is to get out hustled by the Rockets in turnovers, offensive rebounds and fast break points.

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