I know we’ve been saying this a lot lately, but thank goodness the Houston Rockets are blessed with unusual depth this season. They were without four players in last night’s victory over the Utah Jazz, and it appears at least one of them will be out for a while.
Forward Ryan Anderson missed Monday’s contest with hip pain, being described as a sore hip flexor, but according to the Houston Chronicle this morning, Anderson is also dealing with some issues with his groin and his lower abdomen as well. He told the Chron:
“There wasn’t necessarily a specific play when I felt something bad. A few days ago, I felt a little something in my lower abs, my groin area. Last night, it really flared up. Right now, it’s pretty painful down there. I tried to warm it up. I guess it’s a strain in my lower ab. It’s pretty severe pain when I extend.”
So while at the moment, there doesn’t sound like structural damage, “severe pain” likely means Anderson is gonna sit until completely healthy. Especially in light of Houston’s incredible depth.
Anderson was recently moved to the bench, with P.J. Tucker taking his place in the starting lineup, with Ryno racking up around 20 minutes per night with the second unit. But the Rockets can also use Luc Mbah a Moute at the four, and he went 7-7 from the field in the win over Utah and scored 15 points in the fourth period alone to help the Rockets to victory.
They can also use the newly signed Joe Johnson at the four in a small-ball lineup, and Trevor Ariza is also capable of playing a little power forward as well depending on matchups.
That isn’t to say Anderson won’t be missed. His effect on team spacing and threat of his three-point shot opens up the Houston offense, and we’ve discussed the positive attributes of Anderson’s presence ad nauseam here at TDS.
But with so many options at Mike D’Antoni’s disposal for mixing and matching lineup combinations, and with the Rockets both playing extremely well in the present and planning ahead for a potential long postseason run, there’s no reason whatsoever to trot out an ailing Ryno, especially if he’s in so much pain.
The Rockets should be able to hold it down without him, and having everyone healthy for a possible title shot should be priority number one right now.
Get well, Ryno. Hope to see you back on the court soon.