Nine-time NBA All-Star James Harden faces his former team tonight as the Brooklyn Nets host the Houston Rockets at Barclays Center. The Nets continue on their mission to bring their first-ever title back to Brooklyn while the Rockets are entering a rebuilding phase. The latter traded Victor Oladipo to the Miami Heat ahead of the NBA trade deadline.
The Brooklyn Nets signed 7-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge ahead of the NBA trade deadline and further boosted their firepower. They are now one of the most stacked teams in NBA history as their roster includes 6 players who are currently All-Stars or were at some stage in their careers.
Houston Rockets vs Brooklyn Nets: Injury Report
The new-look Houston Rockets lack the firepower to take on the offensively lethal Brooklyn Nets. However, their two highest scorers, John Wall and Christian Wood, who could have at least kept the competition level, might not join the team on the court. Wall is recovering from a knee injury and is listed as questionable for the game while Wood is listed as probable due to illness.
Danuel House Jr. is also probable for the game due to back soreness. David Nwaba, Dante Exum, and Eric Gordon are out for the foreseeable future following serious injuries. Gordon is expected to miss 4-6 weeks as a result of a moderate groin strain while Nwaba will undergo surgery for his wrist injury and finally, Exum is still in his walking boot with no timetable for return.
The Brooklyn Nets are going through a few injury woes as well. Their most recent addition LaMarcus Aldridge is yet to make his Nets debut as the team reports he will miss at least two more games for conditioning purposes while ramping up his on-court work. Backup guard Landry Shamet is listed as questionable for the game against Houston due to an ankle injury.
Meanwhile, Spencer Dinwiddie is out for the season following an ACL tear and had reconstruction surgery earlier this year. Finally, Kevin Durant hasn't returned to the court in weeks due to a hamstring injury. Nets coach Steve Nash said he has "doubts" if Durant will play this week.
Houston Rockets vs Brooklyn Nets: Predicted Lineups
With an injury-riddled roster, the Houston Rockets' second unit will likely make the starting lineup. DJ Augustin is expected to start in place of John Wall as the point guard and Kelly Olynyk will likely replace Christian Wood at center. Kevin Porter Jr. will retain his position as the shooting guard. Avery Bradley or Kenyon Martin Jr. are expected to start in place of Danuel House Jr. as the small forward while Jae'Sean Tate continues to be the power forward for the team.
With one of the most star-studded lineups in league history, the Brooklyn Nets will start James Harden as the point guard as usual. Kyrie Irving is the team's shooting guard, while sharpshooter Joe Harris will start as the power forward with Bruce Brown at small forward. DeAndre Jordan will be the starting center as usual. Even with a number of injuries, the bench doesn't look compromised. Blake Griffin, Nicolas Claxton and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will be the bonafide bench players for this game.
Houston Rockets vs Brooklyn Nets: Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - DJ Augustin | Shooting Guard - Kevin Porter Jr. | Small Forward - Kenyon Martin Jr. | Power Forward - Jae'Sean Tate | Center - Kelly Olynyk.
Point Guard - James Harden | Shooting Guard - Kyrie Irving | Small Forward - Bruce Brown | Power Forward - Joe Harris | Center - DeAndre Jordan.