The Houston Rockets have had plenty of days off lately. After a terrible loss to the Mavericks at home last Sunday, Houston has had two days off before each of their next three contests, including tonight. Houston actually doesn’t have a back-to-back until next weekend, and will be able to get into a rhythm with games every other day for the next two weeks. With a bunch of underachieving teams and several Eastern Conference foes, the Rockets will need to take advantage of this stretch before the schedule gets rough again.
They start with the San Antonio Spurs, a team that has surprised a lot of folks (myself included) with their 7-14 start. Gregg Popovich has struggled to find successful lineups this season. That’s been a shocking development for the greatest coach ever, and I believe the Spurs will turn things around before long. Even with the poor start, the Spurs are only 2.5 games out of eighth place in the West, so the opportunity is very much still there for them to get into one of the playoff spots and round their way into typical Spurs form.
To put it more simply: the Spurs are going to make the playoffs. No one has forgotten about them. I will believe that they won’t make the playoffs when the season ends and the standings don’t say “x-San Antonio.” Heck, even then I’d be expecting some eleventh hour miracle where the eighth seed has to forfeit and the Spurs get their spot. Popovich is too good and the Spurs have enough depth that they’re going to be better than .500.
For the Spurs, notorious Rockets killer LaMarcus Aldridge is questionable with a thigh injury. He missed San Antonio’s game Sunday night in Detroit and the Pistons won in a rout. The guess here is that he’ll make sure to come back, not only to try to get the Spurs back to their winning ways but also to torment the team that he has owned throughout his career.
Clint Capela should return to action tonight after recovering from his illness. Danuel House Jr. is still doubtful with an illness of his own.
Tip-off is at 7:30pm CT