Tonight’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers was originally scheduled for January 24, but due to various postponements, the NBA moved it up to tonight. Before we get upset about a forced back-to-back, bear in mind that the January 24 game would have been part of a back-to-back with San Antonio, so there was always going to be a B2B situation. This is actually better because it doesn’t force Houston to travel in between games. The Rockets will also get a 3-day break before playing the Spurs.
Of course, that’s of concern to the Houston Rockets in a couple of weeks. For tonight, their goal will be to try to find some semblance of an NBA defense rather than whatever this nonsense is that they’ve been showing over the last few games. The defense was never a strong suit (they’ve given up 110+ points in every game but one since the 7-game winning streak. That puts the team behind the proverbial eight ball every night because they have to have an above-average night on offense, and Houston is too young and inconsistent to expect that kind of production. The Nets can get away with giving up 110 points per night because they have so much firepower. The Rockets, in case you had forgotten, are not the Nets.
Anyway, expect Joel Embiid to score at least 40 tonight if the game is even somewhat close in the second half. Otherwise he’ll have 28 points on 9-10 shooting.
Tip-off is at 7pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest