Houston Rockets' James Harden and Russell Westbrook skip team flight to Orlando, will join later

James Harden and Russell Westbrook
James Harden and Russell Westbrook
Raunak J
Modified 10 Jul 2020

We're mere weeks away from the most unique set of NBA games ever as all flights head to Orlando, Florida. The Disney World Resorts will play hosts to the remainder of the NBA season and teams have already started making their way into the bubble, one of them being the Houston Rockets.

As per Shams Charania of The Athletic, Mike D'Antoni's side has traveled without marquee players James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

This shouldn't cause concern to Houston Rockets fans because the duo is still expected to join the team in the near future. Several players from other franchises have also missed team flights but are expected to join up directly inside the NBA bubble at Orlando, Florida.

Houston Rockets travel to Orlando

The Grand Floridian, the new home of the Houston Rockets
The Grand Floridian, the new home of the Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets are one of the eight franchises that will be arriving at Disney World Resorts in Orlando, Florida on July 9. The likes of Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks will also be arriving there on the same day.

Also read: LeBron James and LA Lakers leave for NBA bubble in Orlando

The Rockets will be putting up at the Grand Floridian resort which will also be occupied by seven other NBA franchises, five of whom have already reached. The Philadelphia 76ers and the Indiana Pacers are the other two teams that will also be checking into the Grand Floridian on Thursday.

Houston Rockets looking to salvage NBA season

Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets' head coach Mike D'Antoni

The Houston Rockets went for broke when GM Daryl Morey completed the trade for Russell Westbrook with the Oklahoma City Thunder. And while they have performed in patches, at this point H-Town does not look like the contender they wanted to become with the mega trade last summer.

The Houston Rockets will kickstart proceedings in Orlando as the sixth-best team in the West against division rivals Dallas Mavericks. They lost four of their last five games prior to the shutdown, some being to weaker opponents in the form of Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets.

With a 40-24 record heading into the NBA restart, the Rockets aren't really far off from the fourth seed Utah Jazz. However, Mike D'Antoni's men will have to really tough it out in the remaining eight seeding games to get a favorable match-up in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

The Rockets have had trouble beating other championship contenders throughout the season. However, they will have another go at two of the best teams in the NBA in the form of Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers and will be hoping to finally deliver results.

Also read: 5 Things that must happen for Houston Rockets to reach the NBA Finals

Published 10 Jul 2020
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