The Rockets are resting three of their key rotation players for this afternoon’s game vs. the Sacramento Kings. Trevor Ariza, Eric Gordon, and Nene will sit today vs. the Kings, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
Rockets will hold out Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, Nene today vs Kings. In addition to Gay, Richardson, Afflalo, Koufos, Tolliver out for Sac.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) April 9, 2017
It was already presumed that Nene would sit due to a not-so-serious finger injury sustained in Friday’s loss vs. the Pistons, but Ariza and Gordon are healthy scratches for today’s game. Troy Williams will likely get the start in Ariza’s spot at the small forward position. Clint Capela will return to the starting lineup after being a healthy scratch vs. the Pistons and Montrezl Harrell will also look to receive more playing time at center. It’s also possible that Lou Williams and even Isaiah Taylor, who was just called up from Rio Grande Valley, could see some action today in California’s capital.
This is the first half of a back-to-back, so that could explain the reasoning behind today’s DNP-CD’s for Ariza and Gordon. James Harden and Patrick Beverley, who have both stated they would like to play every game, are in today’s lineup and I don’t see them taking these last few games off.
I wish they would rest Harden and Beverley at least one game, but to each their own. I admire their grit and competitiveness for wanting to play - and win - every game possible. It’s important to have guys like that on every team, but everyone wants to win. Just because Ariza and Gordon are sitting tonight does not mean they don’t want to win any less than the other guys. At this point in the season, the Rockets are locked into their seed, and locked into their playoff matchup against Oklahoma City, so they really should be using these games to prepare for them, not for Sacramento.
Hopefully this rest pays off, and the non-rest for the guys dressing tonight pays off too.