TV: League Pass
- Rockets guard Jeremy Lin enters his first meeting with his former club in the midst of a slump that has cut into his playing time. Lin, who is shooting 33.3 percent overall this season while struggling to keep opposing point guards from delivering explosive offensive stretches of play, has given a boost to critics of his three-year, $25 million contract with his disappointing performance. But Lin said his main concern is simply playing hard, rather than exceeding the expectations of his detractors. “Nothing specific about New York. … I’m just going to go out there and play my heart out,” Lin said. “I’ve been exposed a lot early on in the season and have a lot to work on. … Everybody has their own specific contracts and opinion if they’re worth it. Whether I’m overvalued or undervalued, it’s not my concern as long as I’m trying to reach my potential.”
- Rockets forward Chandler Parsons has stuffed the stat sheet in recent outings, posting four double-doubles in the last five games. The continued development of the second-year forward, who draws the daunting task of containing superstar Carmelo Anthony on Friday, has given Houston a reliable second scoring option, perimeter defender and rebounder as it attempts to battle through Lin’s insufficient output.
- New York forward Rasheed Wallace is a late scratch due to a sore left foot.
- Now emotionally removed from Friday’s 114-111 defeat at Dallas, Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he still believes he made a poor decision to shorten his rotation to eight players against the Mavericks. Woodson added that he plans to use nine or 10 players moving forward. “That was one game,” Woodson said. “It was something I tried that didn’t work, so we’ll figure it out tonight. … [My rotation is] based on personnel and what I’m feeling in terms of … who can help us win.”
- The Knicks (8-2) have finished with at least the same amount of steals as their opponent in each of their 10 games. New York, which is collecting 9.0 steals per contest, should have an excellent chance to continue this streak against a Rockets (5-7) squad that has committed 20-plus turnovers five times this season.
- Houston reserve forward Carlos Delfino (strained groin) will miss his fifth consecutive game, and backup center Cole Aldrich (sprained right ankle) will sit for the second game in a row.
– Matt Miller