Houston Rockets: James Harden questionable vs. Celtics

By Tevin Williams
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In another stroke of bad luck for Houston, an injury could keep reigning MVP James Harden of the Rockets sidelined in Thursday’s game against the Boston Celtics.

Injuries ultimately put an end to the Houston Rockets year last season and the team hasn’t had better luck this year.

The Rockets haven’t been completely healthy for many games all year and the injuries are starting to pile up again. James Ennis hasn’t played since Dec. 13 due to a hamstring strain and Chris Paul has missed the last two games and likely at least the next two weeks due to the same injury. Now, the league’s MVP could spend the next game watching the action on the sidelines.

According to the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen, James Harden is considered questionable to play in Thursday’s game against the Celtics at Toyota Center. Harden is dealing with a bruised left calf, which he likely suffered against the Thunder on Christmas Day.

Obviously, losing Harden would be a big blow for the Rockets, especially since Chris Paul is already sidelined with an injury. The Rockets are 1-2 this season without Harden, but Paul was present in all three of those games.

The Houston Rockets have a lot more depth at guard since Brandon Knight made his season debut earlier this month and the team also recently signed Austin Rivers as a free agent. However, Knight is on a minutes restriction and he hasn’t shown much of the scoring touch that he’s had throughout his career. Not to mention, both Knight and Rivers are more like shooting guards in the body of a point guard. Neither player excels at getting other guys involved and they fit best playing off the ball in Houston’s offensive system.

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If Harden can’t go against Boston on Thursday, Eric Gordon and Clint Capela will be the team’s top options and they’ll have to put up big numbers in order for Houston to win. Harden is a very reliable player and he has never missed more than 10 games in a single NBA season. Typically, Harden is able to play whenever the team lists him as questionable. Hopefully The Beard is healthy enough to lead the Rockets to their eighth win in the last nine games.