1. Houston Rockets center Christian Wood
One can argue that Christian Wood‘s absence from the Houston Rockets these past eight games shows how valuable and critical he is to their success. The team will hold the longest losing streak in the NBA after the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to snap their 10-game losing streak Tuesday night against the Atlanta Hawks in a one-point victory.
With Christian Wood missing time due to a nasty ankle injury in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Houston Rockets are sorely missing their 6’10” center, as they once upon a time were 11-10 and were in the playoff picture. The team was at their best defensively and were finding a rhythm winning seven of eight games dating back to late January up until February 4th.
The Houston Rockets’ struggles without Wood is a compelling case for why he should replace Anthony Davis as an All-Star this year. In an Instagram post made last week, Wood stated that he intends to return to action prior to the All-Star break.
Christian Wood: “I’ll be back before all star break” pic.twitter.com/vma7QIfjE3
— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) February 19, 2021
This ultimately will allow the Houston Rockets to potentially turn things around prior to the break and get healthier before resuming their season after the event. When asked about his team’s struggle, Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas acknowledged Wood’s absence and the impact it had on the team.
“We don’t have Christian Wood, and he’s playing at an All-Star level. Throughout this whole streak we’ve been missing at least two guys that we depend on.”
If we dive into the numbers, it makes a stronger case for Wood to be an All-Star. Here is a tweet that summarizes his contributions, which is a lot more powerful than just typing his regular statline.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 24, 2021
Wood being in the Top-20 for seven categories is asinine and he definitely deserves to be a serious candidate to replace Anthony Davis. By missing time, one has to wonder if this hurts his case considering Ingram and Booker have played a much larger portion of their team’s games.
Ingram hasn’t missed time, while Booker has played 87 percent of the season thus far. Wood, on the other hand, has only played in 58 percent of the Houston Rockets’ games and this could hurt his chances drastically for grabbing the final roster spot.
Regardless of the missed time, there was no doubt Wood was on track of earning an All-Star spot with the way he was playing prior to the injury. It was a personal goal of his that he had his sights set on, but he could end up falling short this season.
Wood is still very young, as he is only 25-years-old. There is plenty of time for the Houston Rockets big man to earn accolades in his career, however let’s hope his first one can be a trip to Atlanta in March!