Both the Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets are coming off embarrassing losses at the hands of inferior rivals. Houston dropped their Christmas Day showdown with the Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn lost at home on Boxing Day to the New York Knicks. The Nets shot 21-78 (26.9%), including just 8-28 on shots inside the arc.
The Nets will be missing Kyrie Irving (shoulder) and Caris LeVert (thumb) tonight. Obviously, Kevin Durant is still out and is expected to miss the year with an Achilles injury.
For the Rockets, Clint Capela could miss the game with a heel injury. Anyone that watched the Swiss big man play against the Warriors could tell that he wasn’t near 100% and Houston should make sure that he’s healthy before bringing him back. Eric Gordon won’t be back tonight, but he will return tomorrow for Houston’s game in New Orleans, which will be helpful since Russell Westbrook will be sitting that game on the second night of a back-to-back.
This is a big game for two teams trying to make headway in their conferences. The last time these teams met in Houston, Spencer Dinwiddie turned into a flamethrower in the final minutes and Houston lost in OT. Hopefully tonight can be a comfortable win for the good guys, but knowing Houston’s penchant for making their lives difficult, I expect the Nets to come out and punch Houston in the mouth followed by the Rockets trying climb out of that hole for the rest of the game.
Tip-off is at 7pm CT