The Rockets have been hit with the injury bug inside the bubble. Eric Gordon had a sprained ankle, Danuel House with a toe injury, PJ Tucker injured his hand against the Indiana Pacers, and Russell Westbrook will now miss partial of the playoffs with a quad injury. Hopefully, this does not affect the Rockets’ field of play.
“Not only him [Russell Westbrook] but House, Eric is getting into his rhythm, P.J. didn’t play an entire game—it’s our entire group. We’re fully healthy, which we were these first few games, we’re a really dangerous team,” as Harden told Kelly Iko of the Athletic on Wednesday after a loss to the Pacers. “We gotta get guys healthy and get them back on the court as soon as possible.”
Rockets at full strength
The Rockets flow of things could possibly be off because of injuries. Everybody on the team has not played together since the first scrimmage. Even Westbrook was out because of health concern after catching COVID-19. This Rocket team was never at full strength like Harden said. The Rockets have looked dangerous inside the bubble without certain players. Imagine at full strength on how the Rockets would look. When the Rockets are healthy, Mike D’Antoni confirmed there will be a nine-man rotation.
The Rockets are second in points in the NBA, so they are dangerous team offensively without certain players still.
What the Rockets will miss from Westbrook
Westbrook being out the lineup is huge because of his creation the court. His court vision is unbelievable for the Rockets. When Westbrook penetrates inside the paint, it allows the shooters to get open for the Rockets.
“For me, nothing changes no matter who’s on the court,” Harden said, via Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “My aggressive mentality no matter who’s on the floor. What’s missed is his ability to get to the basket, draw defenders in and create opportunities for our team.”
Even though Westbrook is 12th in assist for the NBA, does not mean he is not a good passer. He provides an energy spark for the Rockets as Westbrook is able to push the floor and defend at an extremely high level. Westbrook is averaging 27.2 points per game which is 7th in the lead.
Westbrook is also the Rockets leading rebounder with eight rebounds per game. Since the Clint Capela trade, the Rockets are being out rebounded every game. Inside the bubble the Rockets had been out rebounded 438 to 313 which is a 125 difference. The Rockets will for surly miss some help from Westbrook as they face Oklahoma City Thunder’s Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel in the first round on Tuesday.
The Rockets will miss Westbrook’s passion and leaderships. Harden will have to become more of a ferocious player with Westbrook gone.
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