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Pre-Game Reconnaissance: Knicks vs Rockets—11/01/17

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Prepare yourself for Knicks-Rockets!

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The suddenly red-hot Knicks are playing the Houston Rockets at home tonight and my only thought is: “bring ‘em on, we want ‘Bama!”

The Rockets are a very good team and we should not feel offended if the Knicks don’t win this game, but the Knicks have shown some very good signs in their three-game winning streak. Meanwhile, the Rockets have lost two straight games by several points.

Let’s check out our contestants tonight.

The Foe:

To help us dissect these 2017-18 Houston Rockets, Ethan Rothstein from SBNation’s Rockets’ affiliate The Dream Shake has agreed to say a few words!

It's an odd time to be a Rockets fan. They're 5-3, although they've lost their last two. Their defense looks better than it has since Jeff Van Gundy was trudging up and down the side of the court.

But the team is far from a polished, finished product. Chris Paul has played about 0.8 games as a Rocket and does not have a realistic timetable for his return. The team is launching 44 three-pointers per game, and shooting right around 30 percent, near the bottom of the NBA. Houston's age and lack of depth at roster spots 10-15 are already proving to be issues.

But these are champagne problems. The Rockets beat the Warriors on opening night, have a 28-year-old megastar who on any given night has an honest claim of being the best player on the floor. Eric Gordon would cruise to an All-Star spot in the East. Clint Capela is a growing force in the middle. They're going to win a ton of games, and probably this one against the Knicks, too.

Thanks, Ethan! You can follow him on Twitter @ethanrothstein!

The Knicks:

New York has been playing, quite frankly, in as close to God-mode as they possibly could these last few days. They came out and destroyed the Brooklyn Nets, took care of Cleveland and despite a late comeback effort, beat the Nuggets. They’re on fire, and our Unicorn has a lot to do with that.

But also, solid point guard play by Jarret Jack, a pretty impressive string of performances from Enes Kanter and excellent rebounding and defence from Kyle O’Quinn.

Oh snap, that .GIF worked? Great success. Anyways, I've been on a Borat binge and I have to get back to focusing on basketball.

Here are some impressive stats from the Knicks in their last few games:

The matchup between New York’s bigs and Houston’s Clint Capela could be a key matchup tonight. James Harden is gonna get his, Trevor Ariza and Eric Gordon will, too. Defending them is always tough, but if the Knicks can shut down the paint defensively, that could go a long way towards coming out with a dub.

MISC.:

The Rangers came back from several goals down to beat the Las Vegas Golden Knights in The Garden. Let’s make it two nights of winning in a row in MSG?? Please!

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Game tips at 8PM ET on ESPN! Now you’re ready for Knicks-Rockets!