Saturday we see one of the most interesting games of the season — the 6-0 Houston Rockets vs. the 4-0 Golden State Warriors. Two teams we knew would be good who early in the season are trying to show they belong in contender status. The Warriors have won their games by an average of 15.8, the Rockets it’s 14.7 (per 100 possessions it’s +16.5 to +16.2 in favor of the Warriors). They have two of the top three defenses in the NBA in this young season. This should be a blast…
Except, this showdown is going to be missing some key role players.
On the Rockets’ side, starting point guard Patrick Beverley is out a week (at least) with a tweaked hamstring, while starting four Terrence Jones has a contusion to his peroneal nerve in his leg that will have him out a week.
That means probably Jason Terry starts at the point and Donatas Motiejunas will start at the four .
For Golden State, starting power forward David Green will be out at least a couple more weeks with his hamstring strain the team announced Friday. He had missed the start of the season but pushed himself to get back for the Clippers game — the Warriors had targeted that one — but he aggravated it after just 7 minutes on the court.
It’s not that bad for the Warriors because Draymond Green has been fantastic filling in as a starter. Behind him Marreese Speights and Harrison Barnes will get a little run.
All this goes to show is while Saturday’s game should be fun, it’s the first month of the season — don’t read anything long term into this. Both of these teams need to show they can sustain this level of play. Still, what a start. And this should be the best game so far of a young season.