The Houston Rockets cap off their 4 game home stand when they play the Oklahoma City Thunder on national television. The Rockets won their last meeting and have split the season series with the Thunder so far 1-1.
The reason that everyone will be watching tonight is James Harden vs. Russell Westbrook, the two players who are leading the early season MVP watch. Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple-double and has 16 this year, while James Harden has 9 triple-doubles with 3 in a row.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have struggled to break into the second tier in the West, and have stagnated around the 5-7 seeds. Part of the problem with the Thunder is that Russell Westbrook is getting no help and without him they are the worst team in the league. Victor Oladipo has underwhelmed in his new role with the Thunder and their are a lot of positions that need improvement.
Patrick Beverley is back from missing two games with wrist pain, and is an immediate boost to the Rockets back court. Beverley is having a career year averaging 9.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. The Rockets back court has been elite this year with Beverley, Gordon, and Harden all playing superb.
This game serves very important to the Houston Rockets because it is nationally televised and serves as a chance to show what all the buzz has been about surrounding the Rockets success. We should expect D’Antoni to be even more aggressive with this game plan, and activating Beverley should be a hint of that.