The Houston Rockets will be without a star tonight for the second time in two games against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Houston Rockets will look to improve upon a tough start to the season as they play the Clippers for the second time in the young season. They will be a bit handicapped, though, as the injury bug has certainly hit early.
The 2017-18 Most Valuable Player, James Harden, will be out as he suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain in Wednesday’s loss to the Jazz. James Ennis will also be out as he continues his recovery from a Grade 2 hamstring strain and Nene is still out for a while with a calf injury.
Thankfully, some help will be back tonight. Chris Paul returns from his two-game suspension after getting in a fight with Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram. He will be back and will try to propel the Rockets to victory against his former team.
Let’s look at the projected lineups, though it’s tough to tell at this point!
Starting 5s (Maybe?)
We could potentially see Carmelo Anthony’s first start of the year tonight for the Rockets. Coach D’Antoni was considering the idea of it after a poor showing from Michael Carter-Williams in his last start and a strong performance off the bench for Melo.
Chris Paul didn’t play particularly well in his three games against his former team last season. Let’s hope that changes tonight, as the Rockets will really need him if they want to win shorthanded.
Clint Capela played pretty well against the Clippers last time out but wasn’t rebounding particularly great. He’ll need to do that against big men Marcin Gortat and Montrezl Harrell or the game may end in a similar fashion.
We likely won’t see much of Boban Marjonovich tonight for the Clippers, as he was eaten alive by the Rockets in the last game. If he does play, expect the Rockets to try to abuse him on the perimeter once again.
Patrick Beverley vs. Chris Paul should be pretty fun to watch. The past and present point guards of the Rockets will be matched up against each other for the first time since they were repping their previous teams.
Containing the duo of Harris and Gallinari could prove to be challenging for the Rockets tonight. Melo will probably have to guard one of those and he hasn’t particularly been great on defense this season. If MCW plays, he’ll need to play well on the defensive end.
Be sure to tune in tonight at 7:00 p.m. CT on AT&T SportsNet for the game!