Before the Houston Rockets take on the Denver Nuggets Friday night at Toyota Center, Coach Ime Udoka spoke with the media about the in-season tournament, Jalen Green and the tournament court. The one thing that stood out about the pregame press conference was an update on Amen Thompson.
It wasn't an update on when he would be back, but where he would be playing once he is ready for game action. I asked Coach Udoka if Thompson may spend some time down with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets G League Affiliate team, when he is ready for court action. Here was Coach Udoka's answer.
I asked Coach Udoka if he Amen will spend time with the Vipers once he is ready to get back on the court to ramp up his endurance.— Lachard Binkley (@BinkleyHoops) November 24, 2023
“Something we discussed and probability pretty high”
Next time you see Amen in a game will more likely be with the Vipers pic.twitter.com/28W9DJFG90
As you see in the above post, Coach Udoka said it has been discussed, and there is a high possibility that he will spend time with the Vipers. Since Thompson hasn't played much at all during the season and even Summer League, it makes sense for Thompson to spend some time in Rio Grande Valley to work on conditioning and getting used to being back on the court. The Vipers run some of the same plays as the Rockets, which will also help him get used to the offensive playbook and defensive scheme.
To be clear, it is more about rehab than anything else, and he probably won't spend much time with the Vipers, but just enough to get endurance to the point it needs to be to play in NBA games.
There is a chance that Thompson will start practicing with the team on the court next week, but we have not gotten confirmation on that yet. For the last couple of weeks, he has worked out on the sideline during practice as he works his way back onto the court.