In the fourth postseason game against the Spurs, Houston Rockets big man Nene tore his left adductor. He will miss the rest of the 2016-2017 campaign.
The signing of Nene to the Houston Rockets was probably the most underrated move from the summer of 2016. He’s making less than $3 million this season but has earned every penny. In the 2017 playoffs, the Brazilian averaged 10 points and five rebounds per game in just about 18 minutes of court time.
Sadly, Nene won’t get to continue his old man dominance this postseason. After a throwback one-man fast break on Sunday night, he went to the locker room with a supposed pulled muscle. It was announced this morning that he tore a muscle in his groin and will miss the postseason.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) May 8, 2017
More from Space City Scoop
- The unheralded player that gives Rockets fans excitement for the future
- 5 reasons why Rockets fans should embrace the rebuild
- Rockets: 3 reasons why the Oladipo trade isn’t as bad as it seems
- Rockets source buries franchise after Victor Oladipo trade
- Houston Rockets: 3 players that can fill P.J. Tucker’s spot
In game four, Mike D’Antoni was forced to adapt his usual lineup with Nene’s absence. He subbed Eric Gordon into the starting lineup for Ryan Anderson, pushing Trevor Ariza to the power forward position. The second unit then played small ball with Ryno manning the middle.
With Nene out for good, that may become the norm for the rest of the postseason. It worked well against the Spurs because they simply didn’t have the personnel to keep up with Houston’s run-and-gun offense.
Even if the Rockets are able to adapt, Nene will certainly be missed. His experience and leadership are extremely valuable to the team.
Nene is 34 years old with a lengthy injury history and considered retirement before joining the Houston Rockets this past summer. However, he was able to contribute on a nightly basis in somewhat of a renaissance season in 2016-2017.
I sincerely hope we haven’t seen the last of Nene in H-town. He surely has at least one more year in him.