Houston Rockets: Luc Mbah a Moute could return during the second round

Luc Mbah a Moute #12 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Luc Mbah a Moute #12 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets forward Luc Mbah a Moute could return in the second round of the postseason after missing the entire first round with a shoulder injury.

The Houston Rockets were able to eliminate the Timberwolves in just five games. Although, it wasn’t always pretty.

Houston’s offense didn’t look like the well oiled machine that we saw throughout the regular season. James Harden and Chris Paul had some rough shooting nights and the 3s didn’t always find their way to the bottom of the net.

The Rockets didn’t shoot particularly well in the first two games of the series. Yet, they were able to win both games because they kept their turnovers low and because they played stifling defense.

Houston’s defense might get a boost in the second round. According to Mike D’Antoni, Luc Mbah a Moute could return sometime during the next series, via FOX 26 Houston’s Mark Berman.

“The series? Yes. The middle of next week they’ll (medical staff) look at it real hard, see where he is. But he’s getting closer.”

When asked if Mbah a Moute would be available for the series opener, D’Antoni said that he would be doubtful.

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Mbah a Moute hasn’t played since Apr. 10, when he dislocated his right shoulder. The same injury held him out for about four weeks when he dislocated his shoulder back on Dec. 13.

Along with P.J. Tucker, Mbah a Moute is Houston’s best perimeter defender. Mbah a Moute can defend the point guard to the power forward, so he can switch on almost any player without creating a mismatch. This gives Houston’s defense a big advantage, especially against teams that have multiple ball-handlers like the Golden State Warriors.

In games that Tucker and Mbah a Moute share the floor together, Houston’s defensive rating is an amazing 98.3. The Rockets have also out scored their opponents by 17.5 points per 100 possessions in the 903 minutes that those guys have played together.

Next: The Rockets win the series over the Timberwolves 4-1

The Houston Rockets defense looked great in every game except for Game 3 in the last series. Expect Houston’s defense to get another boost once Luc Mbah a Moute returns from his injury.