Rockets superstar James Harden, who hasn’t played since a New Year’s Eve victory against the Los Angeles Lakers, might return to take on the Dubs.
Mike D'Antoni said James Harden got in a good, hard workout today, remains on schedule to return either Thursday vs. Timberwolves or Saturday vs. Warriors.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) January 16, 2018
A healthy Harden could make for a terrific game. In most people’s eyes (and by most metrics), Harden and Stephen Curry have been the two best players in the NBA this season. Unfortunately, both have been hampered by injuries: Curry by a sprained ankle, and Harden by a strained hamstring.
Even if Harden is healthy, the Rockets may not be at full strength. After Houston’s loss on Monday to the Los Angeles Clippers, tempers flared from both teams. In what likely amounted to a very bizarre scene, players from the Rockets (including Harden and Chris Paul) attempted to get into the Clippers’ locker room following the game.
Just check out some of these reports . . . the police were even involved!
Houston Rockets’ players James Harden, Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green pushed into Clippers locker room post-game looking to confront Austin Rivers, league sources tell ESPN. Security escorted Rockets out before anything turned physical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 16, 2018
Rockets players were clamoring for Blake Griffin too, league sources said. Chris Paul also entered with other Rockers players through a backstory that connects team dressing rooms. https://t.co/BRgyHe1WgL— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 16, 2018
LAPD was called into the locker room area. Now hearing Chris Paul stayed out of it, 3 Rockets players were going after Austin Rivers.— Ashley Brewer (@abc7ashley) January 16, 2018
Sources: As the four Rockets marched through the back hallway into the Clippers locker room, center Clint Capela knocked on the front door of Clippers entrance. Someone opened door, saw him standing there -- and shut it on him.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 16, 2018
Because of the actions that went down, it’s likely that some Houston players will be suspended by the league.
The NBA's investigation into the Clippers-Rockets tomfoolery began late Monday night and continues into today, league sources tell ESPN. There will be no shortage of punished individuals.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 16, 2018
The Rockets play on Thursday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but that’s their only game before Saturday. If anyone receives suspensions for multiple games, or if the league is a few days delayed in determining punishment, it could impact who is available against the Warriors.
It’s kind of a win-win for Warriors fans. Either the Rockets are at full strength, which should make for a great game, or the Rockets are missing players because they wanted to fight Austin Rivers, which is absolutely hilarious.
You can’t lose!