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Houston Rockets vs. Boston Celtics game preview

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NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another injury.

As the Rockets look to be getting Chris Paul back at some point during this back-to-back against the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards, the team learned that they would be missing Clint Capela for at least both of those games with an orbital fracture. Of course, the team is still missing Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

With Houston missing at least two key cogs, we can expect the next few games to play out like the last few for Houston: competitive but ultimately futile due to a lack of depth. Briante Weber has gotten some burn recently and shown flashes, but isn’t anywhere close to contributing to a contending team.

For a solid chunk of the young season, the Celtics and Rockets have been tops in their respective conferences. However, things have turned a bit sour for both squads. The Celtics find themselves back at the top of the East despite losing three of their last four and six of their last eleven. I’m writing this before the Celtics take on the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.

There isn’t much to say for Houston other than the next few weeks are going to be painful. I think the hot start and Golden State looking mortal gave Rockets fans a lot of hope that Houston could be the top seed in the West. At the end of the day, the top seed is usually the team with the best combination of health and depth. Right now, the Rockets are staring at a few more weeks of having neither. Even when they get their full squad back, depth will continue to be an issue.

Boston has struggled and also lost on Christmas Day, but I think they’re in a better position moving forward due to their depth and the fact that they play in the East. Imagine how terrifying this team would be next year if they make the Finals this June without Gordon Hayward. And if you’re a Rockets fan holding out the unreasonable hope of getting You-Know-Who, you want the Celtics to be so good that it convinces LeBron to leave the conference.

Tip-off is at 7pm CT on TNT (ugh) and AT&T SportsNet SW (YAY!)