In the first game of a road back-to-back, John Wall and the Houston Rockets visit Gordon Hayward and the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.
From Houston’s perspective, what’s most interesting is that neither Wall nor Victor Oladipo is listed on the official injury report for Monday’s game. Neither of those two veteran guards has played in both ends of a back-to-back in the 2020-21 season, and to this point, the Rockets (11-11) have chosen to stagger their absences on different ends.
It’s possible that head coach Stephen Silas could be opting to revise the usual “maintenance” protocol for at least one part of that duo. Or, it might be that the Rockets see Monday’s game at Charlotte (11-13) as easier to win than Tuesday’s game at New Orleans (10-12).
With star big man Christian Wood sidelined indefinitely with a right ankle sprain, the Rockets need all the wins they can get in the interim. While Houston had won seven of eight prior to Wood’s latest injury, they lost Saturday’s home game to San Antonio in the first matchup after.
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Here’s when you should tune in to see Monday’s game:
Date: Monday, Feb. 8
Time: 6 p.m. Central
TV Channel: AT&T SportsNet Southwest
Live stream: fuboTV (watch for free in Houston markets)
Probable starting lineups
Houston Rockets (11-11)
Guard: John Wall
Guard: Victor Oladipo
Forward: Jae’Sean Tate
Forward: PJ Tucker
Center: DeMarcus Cousins
Charlotte Hornets (11-13)
Guard: Terry Rozier
Guard: Devonte’ Graham
Guard: LaMelo Ball
Forward: Gordon Hayward
Center: Cody Zeller
Between Rozier, Graham, and a star rookie in Ball, the Hornets are quite guard-heavy —which might be factor into the apparent decision by the Rockets to play both Wall and Oladipo in this game. Silas will meet with the media at approximately 90 minutes before Monday’s tipoff, which is when there could be final confirmation on the team’s plans.
The Hornets will be on the back end of their own back-to-back, though both games are in Charlotte — which means there’s no travel in between. The Hornets may also benefit from Sunday’s game having a midday start time thanks to the Super Bowl, which will buy them a few more hours of rest than teams normally have in back-to-back scenarios.
In Sunday’s game, the Hornets cruised past the Wizards, 119-97 (box score), with Rozier and Hayward combining for 51 points.
Note: This post first appeared on Rockets Wire. Follow us on Facebook!
Rockets reaction: John Wall, Eric Gordon not enough in loss to DeMar DeRozan, Spurs