As the Rockets near full health, Kenneth Faried will miss at least the next two games and Iman Shumpert could return in Houston’s next outing.
Since the start of the New Year, the Rockets have won 18 of their last 28 games, despite a myriad of injuries. Chris Paul missed a significant portion of December and January and Clint Capela missed about half of January and February, however, Houston kept the ship afloat.
Most of Houston’s success throughout this time can be attributed to the stellar play of James Harden, but the Rockets wouldn’t have won so many games without the resurgence of Kenneth Faried.
Faried put up big numbers as a starter for the Rockets and even when Capela returned, Faried contributed well both as a backup center and as a starting power forward. Faried has averaged 14.9 points and 9.4 rebounds on 60.2 percent shooting in his 16 games with the Rockets.
Unfortunately, Faried injured himself a little over a week ago during Houston’s game in Charlotte. He was initially listed as day-to-day, but Faried was diagnosed with an adductor strain after a recent MRI.
Also, Iman Shumpert, who hasn’t played since Feb. 27 against Charlotte, is listed as questionable for Houston’s game against the Sixers on Friday.
Shumpert has struggled in his five games with the Rockets so far, averaging just 4.0 points per game on 28.0 percent shooting from the floor. However, Shumpert nailed a solid 36.6 percent of his 3-pointers during his time with Sacramento earlier this season, so we still haven’t seen him at his best.
The Rockets mainly acquired Shumpert for his defensive ability. Shump is an active defender with excellent hands and he can defend point guards or small forwards. Houston has been solid defensively as of late, ranking ninth in the league in opponents’ points per game over their six game winning streak. Houston’s defense should take another step forward once Shumpert returns to the lineup.