Until he retires, every time James Harden returns to Toyota Center is going to lead to some nostalgia. After all, it was in a Houston Rockets uniform where Harden won MVP and had the best years of his career and gave Houston its best run of form since the 1990s.
Harden has been out since November 2, so tonight is a big night for the Philadelphia 76ers as they hope to finally overcome the Eastern Conference and show that their process (and Daryl Morey) works. In the offseason, Philly basically got the old Rockets band back together, signing P.J. Tucker away from Miami and Danuel House Jr. away from irrelevance. De’Anthony Melton and Montrezl Harrell are also former Rockets that are on the roster.
Tyrese Maxey is also out for the Sixers, but he should be returning in the next couple of weeks. Right now, the East seems to belong to Boston and Milwaukee, but we’ve seen teams crash the party before.
In general, I think Rockets fans would like to see some consistency from Jalen Green, who hasn’t been playing at his highest level lately. His shot will return, but for now he just seems a bit off.
Joel Embiid will look to score 50 tonight, and he’s pretty unstoppable before you factor in Houston’s defense. Embiid presents a totally different dynamic than the average big man that plays well against Houston in that he can pull out to the perimeter and beat you from out there.
Tip-off is at 7pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest