Philadelphia 76ers vs. Houston Rockets Matchup Preview
Given this is the last day of the season and neither of these teams has anything to play for this matchup is far less exciting than you’d think. If this was in December, then it would be a different story. We also get to watch two teams battling injuries. Houston is likely going to be without Russell Westbrook even into the postseason as he is dealing with a quad strain. Ben Simmons is out for the year and Joel Embiid is listed as questionable with a wrist injury. I would expect him to sit out. Missing three key names from both sides, this is just usual when it comes to the end of the season. Both teams will be tuning up for the playoffs as they are both sitting in the middle of each conference. The 76ers chances took a major hit once Simmons was announced done for the season, while the Rockets are going to have a tough opening round against Oklahoma City. However, Houston is always a team that can make a deep run as we have seen it before. The Rockets have dominated this series over the last few years, winning eight of the last ten games against the 76ers. However this season they have both had ups and downs with consistency.
Time: 9:00 PM ET
Arena: HP Field House, Orlando, FL
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76ers Starting 5
Both these sides at full health would have been quite the opposites as Philly is certainly a larger team while Houston went full-on small-ball this season. Al Horford and Tobias Harris in the frontcourt is still bigger lineup compared to Houston with PJ Tucker and Robert Covington. When healthy this season they were relatively close in team efficiency. However, it was lopsided on both ends with the 76ers ranking eighth in defense and 21st in the offense. Philly has had the rebounding edge and has moved the ball far more than Houston has with their usage heavily linked to the backcourt. In the last meeting, the 76ers struggled to out-rebound the Rockets and it would be a major issue if they did so again. The prior two meetings before were blowouts. When the 76ers out-rebound their opponents they are 35-12 this season.
Rockets Starting 5
James Harden is coming off of a 45 point game against Indiana. It will be interesting to see what Mike D’Antoni does with the rotation as that continues to be questioned with the heavy minutes’ Harden plays. With Westbrook out, Harden’s usage jumps even higher. Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers will soak up bigger minutes. We will likely see Ben McLemore and Jeff Green get some more run tonight although once again the rotation is going to be a question mark. Danuel House is back as well after missing the last game. In the last two games against Philly, the team has shot over 47% from the field and has been able to get to the line. We know what we will get out of the Rockets as they rank first in three-point attempts and third in pace. A bit different from the 76ers 19th ranked pace and three-point attempts.
76ers vs Rockets Fantasy Basketball Angle
With the injuries in this one, there will be some shifts in usage. The Rockets will be without Russell Westbrook and you can carry these notes into the playoffs because that is a lot of usage that goes out the window. James Harden has seen a 44% usage rate with Westbrook off the court and he averages 1.88 FPPM. Eric Gordon sees a big ump as well and will pick up minutes alongside Austin Rivers. Gordon has a 30% usage rate with Westbrook off the floor. I will assume Joel Embiid sits out for the 76ers and looking at usage, it shifts to Tobias Harris. He has a 28.8% usage rate with them off the court. Al Horford will also pick up plenty of minutes and be a strong value. Given it is the last game of the season, rotations are not safe. Injury reports will likely change over the next 24 hours as well.
76ers vs Rockets Betting Odds
Betting odds will be updated once posted.
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