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DIME PREVIEW: Kings at Rockets

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The Deal

Houston and Sacto possess size, athleticism and talent that most teams can only dream about. Even in the freaky Western Conference, the ¿ and ¿ rosters jump out at you. There will plenty of stars on display tonight, and not one boring minute when these squads clash.

The Weapons

Sacramento might have the most well-balanced squad in the L. No matter which five are on the floor, they usually find a way to win. Starting in place of the injured , B-Jax has more than answered the call of duty. His 20 ppg and his fearlessness and leadership on the court are the reason that the are still a top squad. C-Webb, though his numbers have fallen off a bit, is also helping the cause. Along with Uncle Vlade and , Sac-town¿s big men are as versatile and talented as any team¿s. If Peja gets his foot issues straightened out and Bibby comes back like everyone knows he will, look for this crew to make another serious championship run.

Houston may not have the depth and talent that the have, but they do present two of the toughest match-ups in the NBA in Stevie Franchise and . If these two are on, there is really no way to stop the . Who is as creative and quick as Stevie and who is as absolutely enormous and talented as Yao? A dominant point guard and center are the centerpieces to any formidable squad. They have the guard who can pull up and hit a jump shot or penetrate and dish to shooters like and and they have the really, really big man in the middle to hold it all together. Once these two get comfortable playing with each other, it¿ll be lights out for all but the most talented teams in the League.

The Drama

Vlade represents just another stepping-stone for Yao¿s eventual dominance. Big China was held to eight points when these teams faced off on Dec. 1, so look for him to bring it strong this time. The guard match-up will also be exciting as Wink and Bobby will mix it up. If the pass and create like they normally do, Houston can¿t really stop them. But if the give Yao enough touches and play stifling defense, not even Sacramento can stop them. Count on this one being an acrobatic 48-minute chess match.

The Forecast

Houston, 98-93
Tagged: Rockets, Kings, Yao Ming

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