The game between the Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic on Tuesday will feature both teams that are not in full strength. Chris Paul and Aaron Gordon will reportedly miss the game for their respective teams as they are dealing with different injuries. The Rockets are also without Trevor Ariza, who is suffering from a hamstring injury, according to John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com.
.@HoustonRockets G Chris Paul (groin strain) is OUT tonight vs. @OrlandoMagic. They are already without F Trevor Ariza (hamstring injury). ORL won’t have F Aaron Gordon (hip flexor strain) tonight either.
— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) January 30, 2018
The importance of Paul and Gordon to their teams goes beyond words. The nine-time All-Star has adjusted quickly to the Rockets and has been doing a good job at setting up his teammates, as well as being a leader on the court. Gordon, on the other hand, is producing stellar numbers for the Magic and is currently enjoying a career year, with averages of 18.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 34.0 minutes per game.
Eric Gordon will reportedly take the place of Paul in the starting unit, per Alykhan Bijani of ESPN, with James Harden expected to receive a lot of minutes at the point guard spot for the Rockets on the night. Jonathon Simmons should see a bump in his usage as he takes over the spot of Gordon, with Mario Hezonja most likely having more court action as well.
Luc Mbah a Moute and Eric Gordon will start tonight for the #Rockets in place of Trevor Ariza and Chris Paul.
— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) January 30, 2018
The Rockets will look to win their sixth game in their last seven outings and improve on their 35-13 record to give them more separation from the San Antonio Spurs who are trying to catch them for second place in the Western Conference. The Magic though will try to snap out of a two-game losing skid and win for only the 15th time this season.