Preview: San Antonio Spurs Face James Harden-less Houston Rockets
The San Antonio Spurs will look to continue their momentum tonight when they take on the Houston Rockets. The Spurs are coming off of a 4-1 road trip that featured victories over the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. However, it’s understandable that the national media will focus on the Rockets after yesterday’s James Harden trade.
Harden, who was unhappy in Houston and wanted a trade, was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets in a deal that involved four teams. In return, the Rockets got haul of assets headlined by a collection of draft picks and Victor Oladipo.
The Spurs and Rockets face off tonight and then again on Saturday night.
Who Will Play for the Rockets Against the Spurs?
The Rockets will be extremely short-handed, at least for tonight. They will be without John Wall (knee) and Eric Gordon (leg) due to injuries. Danuel House Jr. is out due to COVID-19 protocols. All the players involved in the Harden trade will also not be available tonight.
In total, the Rockets will have only nine players available for this game.
DeMar DeRozan Update: Will He Play?
While the Rockets won’t have much depth, DeMar DeRozan will be back for the Spurs. He had missed the previous two games while visiting his ill father in California. Since he had been getting tested for COVID-19 while away from the team, he is eligible to suit up for tonight’s game against the Rockets.
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
With DeRozan back, the Spurs will surely return to their most common starting five: DeRozan, Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker IV, Keldon Johnson and LaMarcus Aldridge.
In the two games that DeRozan missed, the Spurs went bigger by moving Trey Lyles into the starting lineup. Lyles will now return to the bench.
Houston Rockets Starting Lineup
Three players who will likely start tonight for the Rockets are Christian Wood, PJ Tucker and David Nwaba. At the two guard spots, the two most likely candidates are Ben McLemore and Sterling Brown.
Of all their active players, Wood is far and away the most dangerous. The 25-year-old is averaging 22.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.3 assists.
Spurs vs. Rockets – How the Spurs Can Win
Especially now that DeRozan has returned, the Spurs will have a massive depth advantage. Expect the Rockets to come out with a lot of motivation, but if the Spurs bench produces as well as it has as of late, San Antonio should be able to win tonight’s matchup.