Tonight, the day after scoring 61 points, Lebron James has to play a title contender in the west by the name of the Houston Rockets. Lebron will most likely be paired with Chandler Parsons tonight Chandler Parsons is coming off of an illness which sidelined him 3 days ago verse the Pistons, but is expected to play tonight.
Parsons and Lebron have faced off 3 times, and each time, Lebron won, while dominating Parsons. Lebron averages 34 PPG, 8 TRB, and 5 APG against Parsons and the Rockets. With Lebron coming off of his highest scoring night, Parsons and the Rockets need to stick to Lebron the entire game. The past two games the Heat and Rockets have played (Last season), the games were very close and the Heat only won both games by a total of 9 points.
Both of those games, the Rockets tried to get out and run, but the Heat took advantage. Lebron and Wade stole the show on the fast break and averaged a combined 60 points in the two games. The Heat are the best team in the NBA at causing havoc and running the floor. If a team lets them run, I do not care that they have James Harden or any other star, the Heat will dominate.
The Rockets need to slow the pace down and feed the ball to Dwight Howard. We all know the Heat's biggest weakness is the post. The Rockets have the perfect man to take advantage of the weakness: 7'0, 240 pound, giant, Dwight Howard. The Heat, on the other hand, need to stop Howard in the post. Last year, they did a great job of stopping Howard. Howard only averaged 14 PPG and shot the ball 16 times for the total of the 2 games! The Heat won both games and dominated the Lakers last season. To stop Howard this season, I would not be surprised to see Greg Oden start and try to defend Howard in the post.
A great match up, besides Parsons verse Lebron, will be James Harden and Dwyane Wade. I see Wade going out tonight trying to prove a point. Kevin Durant, "Disrespected" Wade when Durant said Harden was the best shooting guard in the league. With the chance to prove Durant wrong, I don't see Wade stepping away from the challenge. Harden, on the other hand, has to be careful. The Heat's advantage is guard play. If he tries to force the fast break and win by the guards, the Heat will win purely off of Wade and James. Harden needs to look for his shot in the half court, limit turnovers, and feed Howard. If Harden plays carefully and Howard plays well, I see the Rockets walking out with a win.
The final point of discussion for this game is the MVP race. Lebron made a statement last night, but needs to continue to make impressions to take over the MVP race. If he can have another big game and lead his team over a western conference power house, then James will only continue to move ahead of Durant in the MVP race.
In the end, Lebron is on a roll, Wade is rested and ready to prove point, and I see the will of the Heat beating Dwight Howard and the Rockets.