I know I’ve mentioned it in basically every preview for the last couple of weeks, so you’ll be happy to know that Houston no longer has any form of magic number. After their win Wednesday over the Denver Nuggets, they clinched the 3 seed in the West. That’s where they will end whether they win out or lose out.
For Houston, the goal now is to maintain some intensity in games that don’t matter. Meanwhile, they need to get everyone healthy, and that starts with the likely return of Ryan Anderson tonight.
The Detroit Pistons come into town clinging to a chance at the playoffs. By my calculation, their tragic number is one. This game also marks Houston’s last game against an Eastern Conference team (until the Finals??????????). The Rockets are 19-10 against the East this season.
Tonight, Andre Drummond will be a test for the Rockets as they’ve struggled all year to keep elite rebounders off the glass. Marcus Morris is due for a revenge game where he doesn’t miss a single long two. Finally, Reggie Jackson appears to have been shut down for the season.
There’s just four games left. Let’s see how the Rockets play it out. I doubt MDA will rest his starters completely, but he might dial the minutes back and give the youngsters more time on the hardwood.
Tip-off is at 7pm CT.