The Houston Rockets are sitting comfortably after winning their previous series against the Jazz in five games. They will have a nice advantage in terms of rest as they soon head into the second round of the playoffs.
The Houston Rockets are in a great position right now, all things considered. They were able to handle the Jazz in five games during their first-round series and are now just waiting for the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers to finish their matchup.
The Clippers are doing great things for the Rockets. They keep pushing the Warriors and have forced a Game 6 that will be played tonight. Houston, thanks to LA, will now have the rest advantage in their probable second-round matchup against the defending champions.
There’s a (very) slim chance that the Clippers could actually end up winning this series as the No. 8 seed in the West. Playing them in the Conference Semis is obviously more favorable than playing Golden State, but that’s more of a pipe dream at this point. For now, them forcing a Game 7 on Sunday night would continue to give the Rockets more rest.
Good for Capela and Harden
Capela has had two illnesses that he played through in the first round. He looked a ton better in Game 5 and was back to his usual self. According to Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic, Coach D’Antoni says he’s back to 100%.
Clint Capela Update:
Clint Capela: “I feel way better, my body feels better.”
Coach D’Antoni said that Capela: “I would say he’s a 100 now. You’d have to ask him, but he looks good.” #Rockets
— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) April 26, 2019
As for James Harden, he seems to have hurt his left hand or wrist a bit. This was likely during the tough fall he took when Royce O’Neale pretty much tackled him. He has it wrapped today but insists that he is fine:
James Harden has a large wrap on left hand. Said (twice) it is "nothing."
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) April 26, 2019
The extra time off would really help make sure these two guys are at max strength against the Warriors. Also, more rest is always a good thing for Chris Paul as he heads deeper into the playoffs. Let’s be sure to keep him healthy. Last year, the second round was CP3’s best. That would certainly be a welcomed sight against Golden State.
The Clippers and the Warriors should be pretty interesting to watch tonight. There are a lot of implications for Houston in terms of rest, so we’ll have to see what ends up happening!