The Houston Rockets will make a trip to Orlando to take on the Magic in what will be their first game without James Harden this season.
The Houston Rockets have proven that they are a resilient team as they have battled through injuries to different key players, the biggest of those being Chris Paul. But now with James Harden sidelined for an extended period of time, the Rockets face their biggest test yet.
The Beard was diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain after an awkward drive in Houston’s previous game against the Lakers. Harden will be re-evaluated in two weeks, so the Rockets will have to pick up the pieces and continue moving along without their best player.
Houston’s first test without Harden comes against the Orlando Magic, a team that started out red-hot but then cooled off just as quick. Orlando opened the season 6-2, boasting double-digit wins against elite teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and the San Antonio Spurs. But the Magic came crashing down to earth after suffering a nine-game losing streak between Nov. 11 and Nov. 27, only to suffer a second nine-game losing streak between Dec. 8 and Dec. 26.
After tonight’s matchup with Orlando, the Rockets will face the Warriors back in Houston on Jan. 4. The Rockets could easily overlook the Magic in anticipation for Golden State and head into the Warriors matchup on a one game losing streak.
So, what are the most important keys to victory against the Orlando Magic? For Houston, it starts with defense.
Next: No. 3