Rockets’ Iman Shumpert out, Kenneth Faried doubtful vs. Heat
Kenneth Faried is doubtful for the Rockets against the Heat tonight with a bruised left hip. Iman Shumpert (sore right calf) is out.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) February 28, 2019
This will be the second night of a back-to-back for the Houston Rockets. Therefore, having a key guard off the bench in Iman Shumpert out and a big man as important as Kenneth Faried doubtful is bad news.
The Rockets will want all hands on deck for this matchup and will now be facing a Miami Heat team coming off their biggest win of the season shorthanded.
This goes both ways however, as Miami is also on the second night of a back-to-back, and will be missing two key contributors as well in Hassan Whiteside and James Johnson.
For the Rockets, missing Shumpert simply means more time for Austin Rivers and Gerald Green. It’s hard to imagine they’ll give any extra time to Chris Paul, James Harden or Eric Gordon – as all three already get substantial minutes.
If Faried is out, this could mean time for Nene Hilario or the newly acquired Terrence Jones. Jones hadn’t played in an NBA game since the 2016-17 season before last night. That year, he was putting together an impressive campaign with the New Orleans Pelicans, but for some reason didn’t see any real action after being released near the end of the year.
The 27-year-old could very easily thrive on a team like the Rockets and might be able to carve out a real role if given the opportunity.
The Houston Rockets are currently 36-25. That puts them in fifth place in the Western Conference. They’re still in striking distance of third place, while also being close enough to ninth place to worry.
Every game matters, so these (potentially) two inactives could be painful.