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Wednesday, November 13, 7:00PM (EST) at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

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TV: The Comcast Network | Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic FM

by Max Rappaport, Sixers.com
Updated: November 13, 2013

The Sixers look to snap a two-game losing skid when they host the Rockets on Wednesday night. Houston will be looking to get back on track too, after dropping three of their last five following a 3-0 start to the season. 

The Enemy

Ch-ch-changes

The Rockets have undergone a complete transformation over the last two seasons, transitioning from the Yao Ming/Tracy McGrady era of the mid-late 2000s to one with James Harden and Dwight Howard at the forefront.

During the 2011-12 season, Houston’s primary starters were Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin, Chandler Parsons, Luis Scola, and Samuel Dalembert. Today, only two members of that team remain – Parsons and reserve big man Greg Smith.

Where Do They Thrive?

On the Glass

The Rockets lead the league in rebounding (47.9 RPG). Dwight Howard (14.9 RPG) and Omer Asik (8.1 RPG) help make Houston’s frontcourt the league’s most efficient rebounding unit. Small forward Chandler Parsons (6.0 RPG), shooting guard James Harden (4.6 RPG), and point guard Patrick Beverley (3.6 RPG) are solid rebounders at their positions, as well.

At the Line

Houston leads the league in free throw attempts per game by a wide margin, taking 39.1 a night compared to 31.6 a night for the second-ranked Bobcats. Should Houston be able to maintain that pace, the 39.1 free throw attempts per game would be greater than any team has achieved in a single season since 1969-70.

Dwight Howard leads the league in free throw attempts at 10.9 per game and James Harden gets to the line a third-best 8.8 times per game. Additionally, the Rockets average more made free throws per game (26.5 per game) than any other team in the NBA this season.

On the Break

The Rockets are second in the league in turnovers per game (19.4) and have the NBA’s worst turnover differential (+41) this season. However, they allow the ninth-fewest fastbreak points per game in the league (11.5) and average the 10th-most on the offensive end (16.0 per game).

What The Sixers Have To Say

Center Spencer Hawes on Dwight Howard

"I think he just looks healthy again, in a system that plays more to his strengths... Offensively, (Houston) has built it more around him. They've surrounded him with more shooters, and that gives the shooters more space and conversely gives him more room to operate rolling into the lane."

Head coach Brett Brown on James Harden 

"(During my time with the San Antonio Spurs), I was always paying attention to Oklahoma City and James coming off the bench. You see the evolution of him now being a starter, we've coached him in All-Star games, so you get to see him, and you're always amazed at how big he is. People don't realize how big he is – physically and height-wise. He's such a force downhill. He gets to the rim and draws fouls like not many."

Tale of the Tape

Category Sixers Rockets
PPG Evan Turner – 23.0 James Harden – 24.9
RPG Spencer Hawes – 10.8 Dwight Howard – 14.9
APG Michael Carter-Williams – 7.6 James Harden – 5.1
BPG Spencer Hawes – 1.9 Dwight Howard – 1.9
SPG Michael Carter-Williams – 2.6 James Harden – 2.3

Projected Starters

Category Sixers Rockets
PG Michael Carter-Williams Patrick Beverley
SG James Anderson James Harden
SF Evan Turner Chandler Parsons
PF Thaddeus Young Dwight Howard
C Spencer Hawes Omer Asik

Inside Shoot-around