It’s only right that the fourth and final meeting between these two teams take place with the road team on the second part of a back-to-back. In all four Houston-Minny matchups, the road team was at a major disadvantage. It cost the Rockets their tenth straight win in January, in fact.
As I write this, the Timberwolves are playing at home against the Thunder Thunder. With Minnesota needing to lose to stay ahead of a cluster of teams in the lottery race, it’s tempting to think that Minnesota will play the bench and take the loss with dignity. However, that hasn’t stopped them from trying to win their last four road games. And if a D’Angelo Russell three doesn’t bounce in at the buzzer, the Wolves would have beaten the Lakers despite getting only two points from their four guards. Yes, two points total.
In fact, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins became just the fifteenth pair of teammates to score 40+ points in a game. Unfortunately, it didn’t result in a win.
Houston is likely to play everyone tonight, especially with how disjointed the last few games have been. That was always going to be the case with resting rotation players, but the Rockets still haven’t looked great to close out the season. Again, some of that has to be attributed to the games not having any meaning, which wasn’t true for most of Houston’s opponents, most of whom seemed to be fighting for playoff positioning.
Tonight, I’d like to see the Rockets play their playoff rotation, especially through three quarters. Houston needs to get back into a rhythm and remember their spacing. With the game technically not meaning anything, the fourth quarter could be given to the D-League players for some more reps. I know that a win tonight gives Houston a better than .667 winning percentage and that’s an aesthetically pleasing feat, but unremarkable otherwise.
Finally, since this is the last regular season game preview I want to thank everyone here for reading my ramblings. I didn’t have the greatest year of my life but having an escape made everything a lot easier. Every year I think to myself, “This will be my last year at The Dream Shake,” and every year I loathe the idea of giving it up. It’s selfish of me since I’ve been here for seven years and you guys deserve a new voice. Still, you’re stuck with me for the time being. I’m not going anywhere just yet
I’d love to call out every commenter who has been around this season and made the comments section so fun, but that’s impossible. If you’ve commented on a game preview or one of my rare recaps, I am indebted to you. Please know that it means a lot, even if I know you’re reading for the Rockets and not me.
Finally, special thanks to Jeremy for covering for me earlier this year, to Ethan for giving me the freedom to write what I want, to Josh for being an all-around cool dude that I finally got to meet, and to Christian for always being so supportive.
Thank you all so much.
Tip-off is at 7pm CT.