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Houston Rockets: Luc Mbah a Moute out longer than expected

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 7: Luc Mbah a Moute #12 of the Houston Rockets scores in the first half against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on December 7, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 7: Luc Mbah a Moute #12 of the Houston Rockets scores in the first half against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on December 7, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
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One of the best defensive players on the Rockets will be out for a little bit longer than expected.

On December 13 in a win over the Hornets, Luc Mbah a Moute dislocated his shoulder after dunking. Originally, it looked like the injury would only keep him out a couple of weeks.

While he’s been out, his production has been greatly missed. The defense has been nowhere near the same without him along with Chris Paul and Clint Capela. The team defensive rating has dropped from a top-5 status all the way down to 12th, per Basketball-Reference’s defensive rating stats.

Now, news has come out that Luc Mbah a Moute is not really close to returning yet, either. While Mike D’Antoni is not very specific about injuries, he did say that Luc would likely be out another couple weeks.

Here’s the tweet from Hunter Atkins:

At Rockets today, Mike D’Antoni did not indicate a definitive timeline for when James Harden (hamstring) or Luc Mbah a Moute (shoulder) will return. He said two or maybe four weeks for Harden and “a couple weeks, I don’t know” for Mbah a Moute.

— Hunter Atkins (@HunterAtkins35) January 2, 2018

Luc Mbah a Moute is missed off the bench

Before the injury, Luc Mbah a Moute was someone the Rockets could count on to come off the bench and contribute in many ways. Luc can play defense on the best wing player as well as solid defense in the post. He can knock down the 3, as he’s shooting 37% from there this year. He can also handle the ball if need be. At times when CP3 was injured, Luc would be one of the primary ball-handlers on offense.

This news comes at the same time as the Harden hamstring injury. He will be out 2-4 weeks and that really hurts the Rockets. Thankfully, the team has a slightly easier schedule in January minus a few games, so hopefully, the Rockets can stay afloat in the West.

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Next: Who needs to step up with James Harden out?

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