How was your week

Posted: February 29, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

In February the Houston Rockets made a four team deal with the key piece of that deal being Clint Capela. At 6-10 Capela was the Rockets only real legitimate big man and was getting 13.8 rebounds per game for Houston. Now the Rockets do have a couple of seven footers on their roster in Tyson Chandler and Isaiah Hartenstein, but they don’t exactly play a ton of minutes for the Rockets. That means when the Rockets take the floor their biggest player is normally 6-5 P.J. Tucker. Now they did just sign 6-8 forward Jeff Green for the rest of the season; so they did get a little bigger. This was a big change for the NBA, but it seems to be working for the Rockets.

Since Capela was traded the Rockets have went 6-2 and while they got out of the gate slow with their new style losing 2 of their first 3 they’ve now won 5 straight games. The Rockets are currently 38-20 and in 4th place in the Western Conference. Houston finds itself just 2 wins behind the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers; so they have a chance to move up in the standings.

Now the biggest thing with the Rockets version of small ball is; will it work in the playoffs?

Now we know that the Rockets are going to score with James Harden and Russell Westbrook on the court, but will they be able to stop the bigger stronger players when the game slows down in the playoffs.

There’s really no reason the Rockets shouldn’t try something different if they didn’t believe they where going to contend for the NBA title starting what would be a true NBA style center. Houston has made the playoffs the last seven seasons and while they haven’t made it to the NBA Finals they have lost twice in the Western Conference Finals. Last season the Rockets got knocked out of the playoffs in the conference semi-finals by the Golden State Warriors. Golden State has actually knocked Houston out of the playoffs in four of the last seven seasons they’ve made it. Now the Rockets shouldn’t have to worry about the Warriors in the playoffs this season.

The Rockets are the second highest scoring team in the NBA per game at 118.9 points, but they also give up 114.1 points per game which ranks 21st in the league. With the playoff struggles the Rockets have had you have to wonder if Houston will be able to out score teams with the playoff style that’s played.

The Rockets have 24 regular season game to try and work out any glitches that might be in their new system. Can the Rockets use this new system to win an NBA title? I guess will find out soon.

Since the Philadelphia 76ers went through there “process” we’ve been waiting for them to contend or win an NBA title. To be fair they where close last season as they where knocked out of the playoffs by a last second Kawhi Leonard corner jumper. If Leonard would’ve missed it’s possible the 76ers would’ve won that game in overtime and moved on to the NBA Finals. Of course it did go that way for Philadelphia and that means there are still questions.

Philadelphia hasn’t been at the top of there game this season. The 76ers are 37-23 which is good for 5th in the Eastern Conference right now. They are just 1/2 game out of the 4th spot currently held by the Miami Heat. I’m sure the 76ers would like to have home court advantage at least in the 1st round of the playoffs, but right now they need to focus on getting there top players healthy.

Ben Simmons hasn’t played since February 22nd and even when he played them he was only in the game for 4 minutes and 44 seconds. Simmons is dealing with a back injury that is being described as a nerve impingement and he won’t be re-evaluated for two weeks.

Oddly the 76ers are 3-1 with Simmons out, but that may just be an anomaly as they’ve beaten the Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks without Simmons. That one loss though was to another under .500 team the Cleveland Cavaliers.

I don’t think that anyone believes that Philadelphia will have any type of playoff success without a healthy Simmons, but it’s unclear right now if he’ll be back by then.

It looked like the 76ers took another big hit as in that loss to the Cavaliers on Wedsneday night center Joel Embiid left after playing just 7 minutes and 36 seconds. Embiid suffered a shoulder injury, but luckily it doesn’t appear to be a serious injury.

Embiid suffered the injury when he collided with Cleveland’s Ante Zizic late in the 1st quarter. Embiid stayed in the game to shoot two free throws, but was removed from te game at the next stoppage and didn’t return. Tests on Embiid’s shoulder showed no structural damage and he’s been diagnosed with a sprain. Embiid’s progress will be handled basically on how he feels which was described as symptom base and will be re-evaluated in a week.

Even without Embiid and Simmons the 76ers still beat the Knicks 115-106. Tobias Harris led Philadelphia in scoring that night with 34 points. The 76ers had four other players score in double digits against the Knicks. Kyle O’Quinn pulled down 10 rebounds while Al Horford handed out 9 assists.

The 76ers are about to embark on a four game West coast road trip without Embiid and Simmons that starts with games against the Los Angeles Clippers tomorrow and then the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. Philadelphia will face the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors to wrap up that road trip.

Do you think the 76ers can play .500 basketball on this road trip without Embiid and Simmons? Or do you see them doing better or worse on this road trip?

It’s not like Philadelphia will fall out of the playoffs while Embiid and Simmons get healthy, but they would at least like to tread water while their two best players recover from their injuries.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you’d like.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Comments
  1. I think Philadelphia will go .500 on their road trip. Houston is an interesting team that might go deeper into the playoffs than most people think.
    The Bulls, on the other hand————–

    Like

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