On Wednesday, the Houston Rockets take on the Atlanta Hawks for the first time this season in the Toyota Center, where the Rockets have been nearly perfect (11-1, to be exact).
(Let's not talk about the Rockets' record away from Houston.)
The game will mark just the Rockets' fourth time facing an Eastern Conference opponent this season, and the Rockets are just 1-3 when facing the other conference in 2023-24, with the three losses all coming on the road.
Wednesday's game could lead to a continued workload increase for Aaron Holiday, as the Rockets could again be without the services of rookie guard Amen Thompson- the Rockets' fourth overall pick. Thompson is questionable for the contest, as he's battling an illness that has caused him to miss each of the last four games.
Thompson will truly be a game-time decision and he seemed to be in much better spirits when asked about his availability., while noting the frustration of missing extended time.
“I’m feeling a lot better. It got to the point I was not feeling the best, flu, sinuses, stuff going on. But I’m feeling better so that’s good.
Obviously, it’s difficult. I’m trying to play. But you got to get through some things.”
The Rockets have had several players miss time with illness early in the season, as it's affected Jock Landale, Jae'Sean Tate, Reggie Bullock, and Dillon Brooks already, although Thompson has missed more time than anyone else as a result of the sickness.
Will Amen Thompson miss his fifth straight game on Wednesday?
Rockets fans have taken notice of the fact that Thompson has been traveling with the team, in spite of the illness, prompting many to question why he's been on the bench in light of an illness that's been spreading through the roster.
This is likely because his illness has carried a day-to-day designation, as his symptoms and conditions could improve on any given day, especially considering how much time he's already missed.
I'd expect Thompson to miss Wednesday's game against Atlanta and shoot for Friday's home contest against the Dallas Mavericks. If he really is 50/50 and not fully healthy, it would be wise for the Rockets to continue to rest him until he's fully healthy.