As the Rockets continue to pile up victories, winning hasn’t come without a price. In last night’s 108-96 victory over the Charlotte Hornets, the Rockets lost forward/occasional center Luc Mbah a Moute to a shoulder injury suffered on this play.
The injury looked really nasty and at first appeared as if it could have been a broken arm. The Rockets even rolled out the stretcher for Mbah a Moute, but he waved it off and left the floor under his own power.
Mbah a Moute is scheduled for an MRI today and is expected to miss at least one to two weeks, potentially more depending on what the imaging shows.
It’ll be a big loss for the streaking Rockets, who rely on Mbah a Moute as one of their primary defenders off the bench. He’s versatile and can defend almost any position, including the five, and the Rockets will really miss him in Friday’s contest with the San Antonio Spurs.
Rockets starting center Clint Capela had this to say to the Houston Chronicle about Mbah a Moute’s injury.
Luc is a key for us defensively. We're going to have to be more focused on defense because without Luc, it's not going to be easy.
Head coach Mike D’Antoni, already notorious for a short rotation, will likely lean on veterans Ryan Anderson and Nene to soak up additional minutes while Mbah a Moute heals. For instance, Anderson played 33 minutes last night after averaging just 17.5 in the two games prior. It is possible we could see some Troy Williams, especially if Nene needs a rest night, or D’Antoni could just cut the rotation down to seven guys, something we’ve seen from him before.
Regardless, one thing is certain, Mbah a Moute will be missed. But if the Rockets won without Chris Paul in the lineup, my hunch is they’ll do OK without Mbah a Moute, as long as it’s for a short period of time.
Rest up and hurry back, Luc!