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Charlotte Bobcats vs. Houston Rockets preview -- Game 16

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The Big Picture: The Houston Rockets are only 4-10, which has to be a major disappointment for a team that has playoff aspirations. Injuries to Yao Ming and Aaron Brooks have, apparently, been too much for Luis Scola's awesomeness to overcome.

The Bobcats have to beat teams that are on the outside of the playoff picture if they actually want to be one of those playoff teams. While still early in the season, the Cats haven't yet shown that they're the kind of team that can beat out the three or four other teams that will be fighting for the 7th and 8th seeds in the Eastern Conference. This game might be a bellwether.

Musical Interlude: Wolfmother -- "Dimension"


Key to Victory: The Rockets over the past few years have been the ultimate Old Men At The Y team. They've done everything exceptionally well, from shooting threes, to playing tenacious defense, to running the break when the opportunity presents itself, all even though they don't look like they could possibly be athletic enough to pull it all off.

Even though Houston is playing the third-fastest pace in the league, guys like Brad Miller, Shane Battier, and Chuck Hayes are getting real minutes, which implies that the fast pace comes from taking quick shots in semi-transition more than sprinting back down the floor off of defensive rebounds. Thus, the Cats' main concern should probably be slowing them down when they get the ball and speeding up when they're on defense and their lack of raw speed might be a liability.

Detail That May Interest .08% of You: Kevin Martin was unheralded coming out of high school, even though he was a finalist for Mr. Ohio Basketball. Underestimated at every step of the way.