Rockets vs. Nets preview: Eric Gordon is probable to return

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images /

James Harden and the Houston Rockets will look to keep things rolling as they head to Brooklyn to take on the Nets.

The Houston Rockets have defeated a few NBA giants recently.

Their biggest win in recent weeks came against the Warriors back on Jan. 20. Houston followed that victory with wins over the Spurs and Cavaliers to begin February. Now, the Rockets will finish their road trip on a back-to-back starting with the Brooklyn Nets.

After facing two contenders in nationally televised games, the Rockets could come out with low energy against the Nets. That’s exactly what Mike D’Antoni wants his team to avoid, via the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen.

“That’s why coaches get gray hairs because I’m not worried about guys getting up for Cleveland and San Antonio: I worry about this. Whether or not worry does any good, I doubt it. We have professional enough guys that know we have to get up because they are a good professional team. If we don’t play well, they’ll beat us. We have to get ready. Hopefully, we’ve learned enough lessons over the years.”

It would definitely be easy for the Rockets to look pass Brooklyn. The Nets are coming into the game at just 19-35, they’ve lost 7 of their last 10 games, and they don’t have a shot at making the playoffs.

The team’s leading scorer, Jeremy Lin, is out for the season with a ruptured right patella. And D’Angelo Russell has struggled to find a rhythm since his return from a knee injury that sidelined him for two months.

Injury report

Eric Gordon is probable for tonight’s game after missing the last two games with back stiffness. Trevor Ariza is out as he continues to deal with a hamstring injury. Luc Mbah a Moute will start in Ariza’s place. Luckily, the Rockets are 7-1 when Mbah a Moute starts.

As for the Nets, Quincy Acy is questionable due to a finger injury. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will miss his sixth consecutive game due to a groin injury.

Closing thoughts

The Nets rank sixth in pace this year, and they’re also second in the NBA in 3-pointers attempted (33.9). In order to make up for their lack of talent, Brooklyn advances the ball quickly in order to get a decent look before the opposing defense sets.

Next: Houston Rockets: 4 must watch games in February

Basically, the Nets play a similar game to the Rockets, and that will be their downfall. Obviously, they don’t have enough talent to go toe-to-toe with Houston and beat them at their own game. If the Rockets prepare for this game with the same focus they had against Cleveland, they should leave Brooklyn with a win.