After mysteriously missing Game 3 due to “personal reasons”, the Houston Rockets may be without Danuel House further, pending an investigation.
Tuesday night, Danuel House’s presence was deeply missed in Game 3 against the Lakers because of his energy and defense. When D’Antoni was asked about House after the game, he seemed upset and had no idea when the versatile forward would be returning for the Houston Rockets.
Since House was not in Tuesday’s lineup, Austin Rivers and Ben McLemore got extra minutes. Those two have struggled throughout the playoffs, only combining for 6.3 points per game. In 21 minutes of play, neither Rivers nor McLemore scored against the Lakers Tuesday night.
The only positive spark off the Rockets’ bench was Jeff Green, who had 16 points in 35 minutes. Hopefully, House comes back for Game 4 Thursday so he can take his place ahead of McLemore and Rivers in the rotation while also giving 34-year-old Green a breather as well.
Danuel House’s role on the Houston Rockets is extremely important
On Undisputed, Skip Bayless opened the discussion of Game 3 by addressing how important Danuel House has been for the Rockets so far.
"LeBron had as hot a shooting 1st half as I've ever seen. But then the 3rd quarter happened and LeBron went cold. A grand total of 2 points and I'm hearing virtuoso and the 2nd best playoff game he's ever had? But I didn't see Rajon Rondo coming."@RealSkipBayless pic.twitter.com/7iawPYZgfP
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) September 9, 2020
Russell Westbrook also spoke about how the Rockets missed House’s defensive abilities because of his length and athleticism.
“His size is the most important part. We definitely missed that today,” said Westbrook. “His athleticism is huge for our team. Not having the size, athleticism, his motor — it kinda changes the way our rotations are.”
House’s current offensive rating is 109.8 and his defensive rating is 107.2, which is a huge improvement from last year’s playoffs. In fact, his averages from last year’s playoffs across the board have increased.
House has been incredibly impactful for the Rockets so far in this year’s postseason. He’s been helpful for the Rockets in the rebounding category, in which he’s averaging 4.7 defensive rebounds per game. The main reason the Rockets have stayed in the games is because of their rebounding.
The Latest on Danuel House’s status
On Wednesday evening, Houston Rockets beat writer Jonathan Feigen gave the latest update on the possibility of House returning for Thursday’s crucial Game 4.
Danuel House Jr. is listed as out for personal reasons in the afternoon injury report. Those things can, and sometimes do change, but not often from out. Robert Covington (headache) is listed as questionable.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) September 9, 2020
Update: Wednesday night, Adrian Wojnarowski shared more about the situation involving House:
House was a late scratch for Rockets’ Game 3 loss to the Lakers due to “personal reasons” and is listed as "out" for Thursday’s Game 4 on the official injury report. Sources say league hasn't cleared him to play in Game 4 yet, but NBPA and NBA are discussing issue. https://t.co/VFY865aLlH
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 10, 2020
We’re still unsure what the story behind the investigation is, but if he is suspended further, it could be very costly for the Rockets.
Update: Thursday morning, Chris Haynes shared more information about what’s being investigated.
Yahoo Sources: Houston Rockets guard Danuel House Jr. under investigation for potentially allowing a female COVID-19 testing official into his room. https://t.co/EyrjgJD5sl
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) September 10, 2020
Sham Charania of The Athleticshared a post also with more information on the matter, including this: “Those sources said there appears to be no video connecting House and the female; only the flagging of her entering and leaving the hotel, and the possibility of a door opening and closing to match those timelines.”
For the sake of the team, let’s hope his alleged violation turns out to be a misunderstanding and he can join the ballclub to help them avoid a 3-1 hole against LeBron James and the Lakers.