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Houston Rockets vs Philadelphia 76ers

The Rockets are hitting the highway for a three-game swing that begins tonight towards the Philadelphia 76ers.
Houston shall be without the services of Chris Paul and Trevor Ariza. Also doubtful for the game is Nene.
As a lot because it hampers the Rockets to lose Ariza and possibly Nene, the Rockets are in a a lot better place to deal with these losses than they had been final season. Then, they might have needed to flip to Corey Brewer or Sam Dekker to fill in for Ariza. Now they've Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and may nonetheless have PJ Tucker coming off the bench to supply minutes on the wing place.
Final season, the Rockets performed out the season with simply two true bigs in Clint Capela and Nene. With Nene sitting on back-to-backs, the Rockets had been compelled to depend on Montrezl Harrellto present them minutes on the place. Harrell was nice in spots, however as a participant already undersized as an influence ahead, he floundered loads of instances on each ends of the courtroom.
Cue Daryl Morey as soon as once more, who went out and signed Tarik Black to be the third middle on the Houston roster. With the Nene state of affairs, Black is actually extra like a 2.5 on the depth chart somewhat than the third middle. With Nene assured to overlook extra video games and Capela to doubtless get a knock or two, Black’s contributions shall be very important to sustaining consistency on each ends of the courtroom.
However sufficient about Houston. Let’s speak concerning the Philadelphia 76ers. As soon as dubbed the 6-76ers (h/t Xiane), The Course of appears to be full. Philly began with a assassin’s row within the East, opening at Washington, dwelling towards the Celtics, and at Toronto. The Sixers misplaced all three video games, however bounced again with a pleasant win in Detroit. Ben Simmons had a triple-double.
The Markelle Fultz shoulder state of affairs would be the matter of debate tonight, as a single cortisone shot has abruptly been blown way out of proportion. Fultz shall be effective.
As for the Captain of The Course of, Joel Embiid continues to win at just about all the things (besides towards Hassan Whiteside on Twitter). Embiid gave me my favourite non-Rockets second of final 12 months although once we channelled WWE legend Triple H throughout his intro.
What’s extra, Rockets followers ought to keep in mind that final 12 months Embiid was an absolute drive when the teams met in Philadelphia. It was an extremely memorable recreation, and never simply because James Harden had a 50-point triple double. No, the sport was superior as a result of it felt like each time the Rockets, weary and injured throughout a 5-game highway journey, began to tug away, the younger Sixers stored clawing again. It was spectacular to look at a younger crew beginning to put issues collectively. What’s extra, it simply appeared like Embiid was about as excellent as you may be as a rookie. The one gap in his recreation appeared to be pick-and-roll protection, and even then it's a must to keep in mind that nobody participant can clear up a pick-and-roll run by James Harden.
I don’t know if Philly is a playoff crew. What I do know is that they've tons of younger expertise (the three guys talked about earlier and Dario Saric), plus some vets in J.J. Redick, Robert Covington, Amir Johnson, and Jerryd Bayless who all know their roles on this crew. If they'll put all the things collectively, they’re a terrifying out for any of the highest groups within the East.
Tip-off is at 7pm ET.
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