The non-stars who need to show up for their team to win

Who better ball for Colts and Texans

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You know the big names. Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson at quarterback. T.Y. Hilton and DeAndre Hopkins catching the ball from them. J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney trying to make Luck run for his life. There's plenty of star power to go around in this game. The stars almost always show up in these games. With the stars performances almost a forgone conclusion we get to the next level of players. These players are non-stars who can turn the tide of the game.

Who better ball for the Colts or Texans to win the game? Let's find out.

Keke Coutee

Now, it is unknown if he is even going to play in this game. The Texans rookie wideout has played very little this season due to a hamstring injury. He is officially questionable and a game-time decision but it would make sense he is playing because if he wasn't the Texans have been wasting a roster spot on him.

He was magnificent in his NFL debut against the Colts earlier this season. It was his first NFL game action period as he missed the preseason with the hamstring injury. He caught 11 passes for 109 yards making clutch plays for Watson and the offense. If healthy and available, he provides an element the Texans don't have and would be tough to scheme for with the limited looks at him.

Dontrelle Inman

The former Canadian Football League pass catcher joined the Colts mid season and while it has taken some time for him to gel with the offense he's shown incredible talent the past two weeks. He's caught 11 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Now while it might not seem like a lot he stepped up when Hilton was ailing and the Texans have struggled to cover anyone on the Colts. Add to the fact they haven't faced Inman yet and he is a player to watch.

Christian Covington

The Texans defensive lineman has had the most success this year against the AFC South. He absolutely mauled the Titans a little over a month ago and he sacked Luck the last time these two teams met. The Colts do a very solid job of neutralizing the Texans edge rushes with their quick passing game and even when they do risk a big drop back they have stymied Watt and Clowney more than a few times. Covington's ability to rush from the middle of the line is invaluable in this game. Especially if Clowney is rushing with him occupying Colts linemen. Covington will have to win solo battles and make plays.

Pierre Desir

He is one of the best stories on the field. A son to Haitian immigrants who played at Division II schools and was called the Division II Richard Sherman spent time as a temp agent to make money for a family he had when he was very young. Drafted by the Browns and bouncing around the NFL until he ended up playing for the Colts. He is maybe the most important player on the Colts defense. He got lit up in the first game between the Texans and the Colts. Last game though, he shadowed Hopkins and the best receiver in the NFL turned in his worst game with just four catches and 36 yards total. If Desir plays that way against Hopkins again, simply, the Colts win.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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