Apparently I was wrong.
I felt like there must be a law stating that the Houston Rockets could never have rest advantage in a game for their franchise’s entire history. The bill sailed through both chambers of Congress with unanimous bipartisan support and Herbert Hoover signed it into law way back in 1930.
Obviously I’m being a little facetious, but it is a nice change of pace for the Rockets to welcome in a team playing a road back-to-back, especially since it feels like all of Houston’s road games have been part of a back-to-back.
Tonight’s game against the Brooklyn Nets is especially important because of the NBA Draft implications. Houston owes their own pick to Oklahoma City (top 4 protected) thanks to the Russell Westbrook trade. However, Houston owns Brooklyn’s first round pick (unprotected) this year due to the James Harden trade. Houston also owns Brooklyn’s second round pick. So, Houston defeating the Nets would be beneficial for the Rockets because it would move Brooklyn higher in the lottery. Brooklyn, like Houston, is currently in a spot in the play-in tournament, so it’s not likely that the pick will be in the top 10, but of course Houston would like the pick to be as high (or low, depending on how you interpret draft picks) as possible. That would also make the pick more tempting in trade offers, should Rafael Stone and front office decide to dangle it at the trade deadline or before/during the Draft.
I’m writing this before Brooklyn’s game tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans, so if anything happens in that game I’ll try to update you. For the Nets, they’re long and play with several wings. Mikal Bridges and Cam Thomas are the main scorers, but six other Nets average double digits. Thankfully, Rockets nightmare Lonnie Walker IV is out with a hamstring injury (I’m not thankful he’s injured; I hope he recovers soon). Unfortunately, Spencer Dinwiddie of “That One Game” fame is available. Cameron Johnson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Royce O’Neale round out Brooklyn’s bevy of wings. Nic Claxton and Day’ron Sharpe will get the Alperen Sengun assignment. Claxton has the length and athleticism to give Sengun a tough time, but we’ve seen Houston’s Turkish (to-be) All-Star handle players of that caliber before.
How to Watch
Space City Home Network
Dillon Brooks-OUT (abdominal)
Tari Eason-GTD (leg)
Lonnie Walker IV-OUT (hamstring)
Ben Simmons-OUT (back)
The Line (as of this post)
Looking ahead because we can
Friday at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves
Does Jalen Green keep up his recent run of exceptional play?
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