The next six days will almost completely decide Houston’s tanking destiny for the season.
First up are the contenders at home: the Denver Nuggets tonight and the Memphis Grizzlies tomorrow. Houston would need a minor miracle to win either of these games. No one in the league can really guard Nikola Jokic or Ja Morant, and the Rockets in particular have shown an inability to guard a park bench. Hopefully neither of those guys drop 70, but the NBA will definitely be tuning in to see yet another player go scorched earth against this defense that sponges feel like lets too much water through.
The come the biggest games of the season: the home-and home against the San Antonio Spurs. Both teams play twice before Saturday’s game in San Antonio, but there’s a good chance the Spurs will be on an 18-game losing streak and the Rockets will be on an 11-gamer of their own. The teams then head back east on I-10 to play the second game in Houston.
Basically, if Houston finds a way to get through this stretch at 0-4, it’s going to be tough for anyone to “catch” them. On paper, Houston doesn’t play another tanking team until the end of March (Detroit on March 31, to be precise). Now as much as we’ve been “doom and gloom” here, the Rockets are almost assuredly going to win a few more games this season, right?
I guess this should be somewhat about the Nuggets. Denver’s going to be the top seed in the West and Nikola Jokic should win his third MVP award. Jamal Murray seemed to get hurt in Denver’s game Sunday night, so we’ll see if he’s available. I’ve never seen a player with more self-belief than Michael Porter Jr. The dude has unlimited confidence and is always ready to shoot. And Aaron Gordon is a stud.
Jalen Green might be back for Houston, so that’s nice!
Tip-off is at 7pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest