What 2 Watch 4 - Trail Blazers Vs. Rockets
Nicolas Batum vs. Chandler Parsons
When most fans think about the Rockets, center Dwight Howard and guard James Harden come to mind, and with good reason. The All-Star duo are arguably the best players in the NBA at their respective positions and are primarily responsible for Houston transforming into a legitimate championship contender.
But Howard and Harden aren't doing it alone, as their supporting cast, lead by third-year swingman Chandler Parsons, have been integral in Houston's success this season.
Parsons was particularly hard on the Trail Blazers the last time the two teams met, with the 6-9 forward out of Florida nearly tallying a triple-double with 31 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in 42 minutes. Parson's performance alone was bad enough, but his counterpart, Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum, scoring just six points on 2 of 6 shooting made his performance that much more difficult to overcome, as the Rockets eventually pulled away to win 126-113.
Batum will have to try to slow down Parsons while playing with what the team has described as a "nasal contusion," which could force Batum to play with a protective face mask. If that's the case, he'll need to get acclimated to the mask quickly, as Parsons will surely look to build off his last performance against Portland.
• Is averaging 13.6 points, 12.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.0 steals in his last five games
• Leads the NBA in distance traveled on the court this season at 162.5 miles
• Is tied with LeBron James for fourth in rebounding among small forwards at 6.9 boards per game
• Is 11th in three-point shooting percentage among small forwards at 38 percent
• Ranks 13th in the NBA in distance traveled this season at 150.9 miles
• Is averaging 11.8 points, 6.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds in his last five games