The third-place Rockets could probably lose the rest of their games and still land the No. 3 seed in their Western Conference. The most important thing for Houston is being healthy and clicking for the playoffs, which would likely begin against the Thunder.
A threat to the Rockets surging into the postseason: Ryan Anderson‘s ankle.
Rockets forward Ryan Anderson is expected to miss two weeks with a sprained right ankle, but the Rockets were relieved after tests that the injury was not more serious, allowing him to return before the end of the regular season.
“All the MRIs and tests came back negative and great,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Now, it’s just a matter of time. They’re saying two weeks. So be it. The important thing is he can play two or three games before we get in the playoffs and it looks like he’ll be on that timetable. We won’t push it.”
Without Anderson, Houston has gone ultra small, starting three guards (James Harden, Patrick Beverley and Eric Gordon) and sliding Trevor Ariza from small forward to power forward. That has worked just fine, including a win over Oklahoma City.
But the 6-foot-10 Anderson provides another dimension while allowing the Rockets to maintain their elite spacing. It’d be a big loss if he’s not full speed by the playoffs.