Now the real test begins.
The Houston Rockets wrap up their 2-week homestand against the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets, and then turn around for a 3-game road trip to California against teams with championship aspirations (Clippers, Lakers, Warriors). The Rockets almost assuredly will be underdogs in all four games. Rockets fans don’t expect a 4-0 stretch, but I think we’d all like to see Houston hang with these teams, especially on the road. The Nuggets are missing Jamal Murray tonight, but the California teams look like they’ll be at full strength, particularly when it comes to their stars.
The Rockets have won these five games in a variety of ways. They have blown out their opponents, closed out games protecting a lead, and on Friday added “comeback win with a late spurt” to that list.
The matchup that most of us will have our eyes on is Nikola Jokic vs. Alperen Sengun. Rockets fans have compared Sengun to Jokic for a couple of years now, and while Sengun is nowhere near Jokic’s overall talent or accomplishments, the comparison is pretty apt. Jokic is one of the bigger bodies in the league, so it will be interesting to see if Sengun can work in the post as he had in recent games. Jokic should have no trouble manipulating Houston’s newly resurgent defense.
How to Watch
Space City Home Network
Amen Thompson-OUT (ankle)
Jamal Murray-OUT (hamstring)
Looking ahead because we can
Friday in Los Angeles against the Clippers