The Houston Rockets should rest James Harden and Chris Paul for the final two games of the 2017-18 regular season.
In the Houston Rockets matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night, everything was at stake, at least for OKC.
A loss would’ve sent Oklahoma City down to the ninth seed, forcing them to win their final two games to make the playoffs. Their entire season was on the line, and they stepped up and won a huge game in Houston.
On the other hand, the Rockets didn’t have much to play for, and it showed. The Thunder were playing very tough defense and diving after every loose ball, whereas Houston coasted throughout the game.
Obviously, Houston has the No. 1 seed locked up. The only thing they had to play for was their home winning streak, which ended at 20 games.
The matchup with OKC was Houston’s last big game of the year. Now, they will close out their season on the road against the Lakers on Tuesday followed by the Kings on Wednesday. Both of these games are all but meaningless to the Rockets and their opponents, as both Sacramento and Los Angeles are disqualified from the postseason.
With nothing to play for, Mike D’Antoni should rest James Harden and Chris Paul. He may opt to rest one of his stars in each game, but ideally, he should hold them out for both games.
The Rockets have struggled with injuries throughout the whole season and it would be a shame if a player got hurt right before the real season starts.
The guys didn’t give play to win against Oklahoma City on Saturday. If Houston doesn’t give 100 percent effort against the Thunder on national television, then they aren’t going to go all out against Sacramento or LA either.
The Rockets should rest their main guys to assure that they’re healthy for April 14, the first day of the playoffs.