After a decidedly unfun four-game road trip, the Rockets return to Houston hoping to end a 15-game losing streak. They will spend the next week in H-Town during a three-game homestand that begins tonight with the resurgent Chicago Bulls.
At 12-6, the Bulls are second in the East after an offseason that saw them bring in DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso. Critics saw the DeRozan and Ball decisions are odd due to the fact that the Bulls already featured a ball-dominant wing (Zach LaVine) and a big who needed the ball too (Nikola Vucevic). The returns have obviously been spectacular so far. Ball has filled in as a do-everything guard and Caruso has continued providing the valuable glue that holds a team together. DeRozan and LaVine share the bulk of the scoring load, but the Bulls are balanced enough with others that can score.
The Bulls are sort of a signpost for their future. The Rockets are also trying to balance hoopers with glue guys, but have obviously been unsuccessful so far. The Rockets showed signs of life against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden, but were second-best by a wide margin in the other three road contests. I’m sure the team would like to kill off the losing streak, but as mentioned before, every team the Rockets play now are going to do their best to not get embarrassed by a team on such a long winless streak.
Houston’s injury report appears to be cleaning up as Kevin Porter Jr. is set to return from injury. Caruso (wrist) and Vucevic (COVID protocols) are considered day-to-day. Javonte Green is probable with an ankle.
Tip-off is at 7pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest