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Houston Rockets at Washington Wizards: Regular Season Game 6 Open Thread

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The Essentials:

Rockets (1-5) vs. Wizards (1-4)
7:00 p.m.
Verizon Center
TV: CSN
Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Notable early Rockets numbers this season

T17th in expected winning percentage (.479)
2n in pace factor (99.1 possessions per game
3rd in offensive efficiency (111.1 points/100 possessions)
27th in defensive efficiency (111.7 points/100 possessions

Tonight's Starters
Rockets vs. Wizards
Ishmael Smith PG John Wall
Kevin Martin SG Kirk Hinrich
Shane Battier SF Al Thornton
Luis Scola PF Andray Blatche
Yao Ming C JaVale McGee

Sean and CJ are covering this one, so they'll be back with pregame updates. For now, here's a preview by our Rockets blog The Dream Shake to check out.

YAO VS. YI! FEEL THE EXCITEMENT.

GO WIZARDS!

Pre-game update:

The following came as Flip Saunders spoke with the media prior to tonight's match-up with the Rockets.

  • The focus [of the team] has to be to get better and not make the same mistakes over and over.
  • Saunders said, "Right now we are beating ourselves... averaging nearly 18, 19 turnovers a game... and some of those games are coming down to the last few possessions." He continued, "When you turn it over you don't give yourself a chance... We have to do better with turnovers and rebounding"
  • When asked about Yao, Saunders commented that Yao is huge and has a phenomenal touch. He said that they "were hoping to get him on a back-to-back (laughs), but unfortunately we didn't. He is a great player..."
  • Saunders said that "Scola is a phenomenal player, he can play both inside and outside. He has incredible footwork."
  • Saunders also expects Gilbert to play tonight, but volunteered that it is "hard for him [Arenas] to go back-to-back until he gets that weight down a little bit... he can't play those major, major minutes." [Hmmm, when did Gilbert's weight become a bit of an issue?]
    If asked if he expects Yi to match up with Yao, Saunders said that Yi may match up with Yao since he is "one of our bigger guys and it is important to make Yao guard." He went on to point out that Yi can actually pull Yao out of the paint and force him to guard him.