Fans should pay more attention to news about Luc Mbah a Moute tomorrow than they did to this meaningless game. In the second quarter the Houston swingman dislocated his right shoulder on a thunderous dunk in traffic.
The injury is to the same shoulder Mbah a Moute hurt in December. The earlier injury caused the defensive cog to miss an entire month and 15 games. Due to the NBA’s historic ability to draw out playoff matchups he would be available for a Western Conference Finals series if the injury and timeline were the same, but fans should pay close attention to tomorrow morning’s news.
Both the win and loss were meaningless. Houston has had the Western Conference’s top seed clinched for more than a week and the Los Angeles Lakers don’t have their own first round pick this year.
James Harden likely wanted to log a decent game to protect the MVP candidacy and Chris Paul likely played to continue an under-the-radar campaign for All-NBA. Games played is the biggest factor saddling Paul’s claim for an awards spot.
Paul led the Rockets with 22 while Harden chipped in 21.
The Lakers took the court without Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, or Isaiah Thomas. They did bring Andre Ingram to the game.
Who? Just their 32-year-old rookie playing in his first ever NBA game. Ingram holds the record for most G-League and D-League games played and threes made in the league. He’s been toiling in the lower league for 10 years.
Tonight he went for 19 points on 4 of 5 from deep in a game resembling every Disney movie about sports ever. Seriously, if a cat in a Lakers jersey came out and made a free throw I wouldn’t have blinked.
While Ingram rose to the NBA’s level, Chris Paul sent Ivica Zubac to the G-League:
PUT THIS CHRIS PAUL NUTMEG IN THE HALL OF FAME pic.twitter.com/FOKNEgWVR0— SB Nation (@SBNation) April 11, 2018
Also, Zhou Qi airballed a free throw. So he’s absolutely a future All-Star.
The Rockets close out the season tomorrow night as they head to Sacramento to face the Kings. Tipoff is at 10:30 p.m. CT.