3. March 31st @ Philadelphia 76ers
The Houston Rockets defeated the Philadelphia 76ers on Jan 3 by a score of 118-108. In that game, Harden finished with 44 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. But in that meeting, former Rockets starting center Clint Capela contributed with 30 points and 14 rebounds in that contest.
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Now, the Rockets don’t have a seven-foot rebounding rim protector in the starting lineup anymore, which is great to have when matching up against a tall, athletic team like the 76ers.
Most likely, Covington would get the tough assignment, which would be a difficult task for the 6-foot-7 forward.
The 76ers are an extremely tough matchup for Houston. If the Rockets can prove their small-ball system works once again against a team that is far superior in height, they have a fighter’s chance against the rest of the league.
This game would be the biggest statement made by the Rockets throughout the entire season.
Once again, the superstar backcourt of Westbrook and Harden would need to showcase their MVP style of play to lead the Rockets in each of these big games. If not, it won’t look good for coach Mike D’Antoni and the team and their confidence in the system going forward.
Many believe the Houston Rockets don’t have a strong chance of making a push for the championship, but if they can win these three big games, they can prove they are ready for a deep playoff run.