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Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni concerned with starters’ heavy minutes totals

Mike D'Antoni, Rockets

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni is concerned with how many minutes his starters are playing, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

Rockets All-Star point guard Chris Paul is dealing with a leg injury which forced him to miss Monday’s game against the Washington Wizards. The All-Star sat out Saturday night versus the Cleveland Cavaliers as well and is playing roughly 34 minutes a night. For a player who is injury prone and 33-years-old, that’s a lot of minutes Mike D’Antoni is giving him.

Reigning MVP James Harden is playing almost 37 minutes a night. The superstar guard is third in the league in minutes per game, while small forward P.J. Tucker is ninth.

The Rockets enter Monday with a record of 9-9, eighth place in the Western Conference. After scoring the second most points per game last season, Houston is only averaging 106.9 points per contest, 22nd in the NBA. Their defense has been keeping them in a lot of these games, as the Rockets are giving up only 107.9 points per night, seventh in the league.

There’s still a lot of games left to be played. If the Rockets want to turn things around, they have to have a healthy Chris Paul in the lineup. However, you don’t want to wear Paul’s body out in the regular season because then he will be prone to getting hurt in the playoffs like last year. Mike D’Antoni needs to trust his bench more, especially in the regular season.