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Houston Rockets: 3 matchups to watch against the Thunder

Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

As the Houston Rockets prepare for what will be an emotional game against the Thunder on Monday, let’s take a look at the three most important matchups in the game.

After the Houston Rockets were eliminated in Game 6 against a Warriors team without Kevin Durant, the two biggest questions surrounding the Rockets were centered around James Harden and Chris Paul’s strained relationship and the possible moves the team could make in order to get over the hump and beat Golden State.

At the time, no one could imagine that both Durant and Klay Thompson would suffer injuries that would not only put them out of the playoffs, but also sideline them for most, if not all, of the 2019-20 season as well. No one expected Durant to leave over the summer or that the Warriors would trade Andre Iguodala.

We all knew Paul George leaving to play with one of the LA teams was a possibility, but the trade still caught the NBA world off guard. And the thought of OKC sending Russell Westbrook to Houston for Chris Paul had never crossed anyone’s mind.

Westbrook’s return to Chesapeake Energy Arena will be extremely emotional, but since this game will be played in Houston, the storyline is centered on Chris Paul’s return.

He only spent two full seasons with the Rockets, but this team experienced a lot of highs and lows during his tenure. One of the biggest high points came after Houston’s 65th win in the 2017-18 season, marking a record for the franchise that sent a clear message to every critic who said that Harden and Paul couldn’t thrive as teammates. The two biggest lows for this team came in May of 2018 and 2019, as Houston failed twice to beat the Golden State Warriors in the postseason.

All eyes will be on the point guards from each respective team and Toyota Center will definitely give Chris Paul a standing ovation. Let’s take a look at the three top matchups to keep an eye on.

Next: No. 3

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