The next two games are crucial for the Houston Rockets.
The New Orleans Pelicans are 20-32 and technically tied (behind on percentage points) with Portland for the final spot in the play-in tournament. After an early part of the season where they appeared to be in the running with Houston and OKC as the worst teams in the West. With Zion Williamson out indefinitely due to a foot surgery and subsequent...weight gain, the Pelicans seemed directionless.
In their last 14 games, the Pels are 7-7. That includes wins over the Nuggets, Knicks, Clippers, and Warriors. Brandon Ingram is back to his high-scoring ways and Jonas Valanciunas is an actual center (which Houston struggles to defend). They’ve suddenly become a possible buyer at the trade deadline, so you’re starting to see scenarios where Eric Gordon returns to the team whose fans hate him with a burning passion.
This is an actual home-and-home series. These teams play tonight at Toyota Center, then again on Tuesday at Smoothie King Center.
Basically, the Rockets need to lose both of these games and the Pelicans need to win both. Seems like a match made in heaven, as long as the players don’t get in the way.
Tip-off is at 6pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest