Ryan Anderson is a crucial part of the Houston Rockets’ offense, but the team will have to do without him against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
According to several reports, Ryan Anderson will sit out for the fifth time this season as the Houston Rockets match up against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He sprained his ankle in a collision with DeMarcus Cousins during Friday night’s win against the New Orleans Pelicans. Before the injury, he scored 13 points on 5/12 shooting, including a surprising put-back dunk off of a missed three by Patrick Beverley.
The Houston Rockets will certainly miss the big man’s marksmanship; he creates spacing that allows James Harden to work his best. It’ll be tougher now for the Beard to cement his MVP case in a head-to-head contest against Russell Westbrook.
Ryan Anderson is out for Sunday's game against the Thunder with a right ankle sprain.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) March 25, 2017
Without Ryno, the Houston Rockets are 2-2 on the season. Four games is a pretty small sample size, but it’s clear that they perform better with him in the lineup. Houston throws up more threes than any other team in the league, and Anderson’s absence won’t change that. It could, however, affect the team’s accuracy in a negative way. On the season, he averages 13.5 points per game on team-best 39.7% shooting from deep.
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At this point, it’s unclear who will step into the starting lineup to fill Ryno’s spot. Several players have started at the four position in his place this season, but none has performed better than Sam Dekker.
In his one career start, Dekker poured in 30 points on 12/19 shooting against the Memphis Grizzlies. I’d like to see Mike D’Antoni go that route this time around, leaving the bench duo of Eric Gordon and Lou Williams untouched.
As I previously stated, the Rockets beating OKC would all but confirm James Harden as the 2016-2017 MVP. He is the current favorite over Russ, but it’s extremely close. Ryan Anderson missing doesn’t make winning impossible, but it is another hoop that the Beard will have to jump through on the way.
Stay tuned to Space City Scoop for more analysis, news, and opinions on the Houston Rockets.