Well, Houston Rockets fans, the time has finally arrived. After the best regular season in franchise history, the Rockets open up their most anticipated postseason in over two decades tonight when they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Toyota Center.
We’ve given you plenty of coverage for the series this week, from Ethan’s epic series preview, to Max’s call for a pumped home court, to Jeremy embracing the now, to my chat with the opposition, and of course, AK’s preview. Make sure you get caught up on your reading while you’re waiting for the game to start.
The Rockets will be without Luc Mbah a Moute with a shoulder injury and also Ryan Anderson, who is still nursing an ankle sprain. That leaves Joe Johnson and Trevor Ariza to man the backup minutes at power forward.
Ryan Anderson is out for the Rockets vs. Wolves. Joe Johnson and Trevor Ariza will work at the backup four, D'Antoni said. Harden defends fours when Ariza in at that spot.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) April 15, 2018
The Timberwolves are in a little bit better shape, though both Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson are less than 100 percent. In fact, Butler was sporting wrap on his injured wrist during warm ups, but claimed to be fine.
Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler warmed up with a black wrap on his right wrist but played coy when asked about a potential injury. "I don't know what you're talking about," Butler said. "It's a good luck charm." https://t.co/mWtiaU1WDo pic.twitter.com/MefhYX24Ge— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) April 15, 2018
Regardless of the status of Butler’s wrist, the Rockets are favored for a reason, and I’m sure we’d all like nothing more than a statement at home in game one. The Rockets coasted into the playoffs nursing some injuries and getting rest, so it will be imperative for them come out and show they’re right back in the groove that got them here.
It’s the playoffs, H-Town!! Enjoy the night, and go Rockets!!