Three games in the second half of the NBA season can determine the fate of the Houston Rockets as they look to finish off the season strong.
Sitting at 34-20, the Houston Rockets are in a good position to push for homecourt advantage in what’s sure to be a wild Western Conference playoffs. James Harden and company have 14 road games and 14 home games remaining to complete their season and will need every win they can get to put themselves in prime playoff position.
Several marquee matchups remain on H-Town’s schedule, including showdowns with other conference favorites as well as powerhouses in the East, not to mention teams above Houston in the standings.
From potential playoff foes to title favorites, let’s take a look at some of the most important games to keep an eye on as the season resumes on Thursday.
1. March 5th vs. LA Clippers
In the first meeting between these two playoff teams this season on Nov 13th, the Houston Rockets prevailed against a Clippers team without All-Star Paul George, 102-93. James Harden finished the game with a game-high 47 points.
On Nov 22, the fully healthy Clippers defeated the Rockets at the Staples Center 122-119, despite Harden’s 37 points, which included some late-game heroics. In the third matchup, the Rockets defeated the Clippers on the road 122-117, a game in which the starting five for Houston all finished in double figures in scoring.
The Houston Rockets currently lead the season series 2-1. What better way to enter the playoffs than winning the season series against the team that many consider the favorites to win it all?
Both teams match up well against each other since the Clippers don’t really get starting center Ivica Zubac involved in the offense as much, as he’s only averaging eight points and seven rebounds per game.
The Houston Rockets will most likely throw the lineup of Russell Westbrook, Harden, Danuel House Jr, Robert Covington and P.J. Tucker on the floor. The Clippers can match the small-ball lineup well by rolling out Lou Williams, Landry Shamet, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Montrezl Harrell.
This is a potential second-round playoff matchup. If the Rockets can defend their home court on March 5th, they can make a strong statement toward a potential playoff meeting.
Next: Game No. 2