It’s gameday! The Philadelphia 76ers are hosting the Houston Rockets tonight at 7:00 pm EST at Wells Fargo Center. You can catch the action on NBC Sports Philadelphia, or on local station 97.5 “The Fanatic”. Fashionably, the 76ers will wear their statement edition jerseys, while the Rockets plan to wear their association edition uniforms. Also, tonight will present the first of two games between these teams this season. Last year, Philly defeated Houston in both of their regular season contests.
Houston Rockets Outlook
The Houston Rockets are in last place (15th) in the Western Conference with a 10-27 record. Unfortunately, Houston is on a rough seven-game losing streak, as well as 1-9 in their last 10 contests. Besides, the Rockets are playing in the first game of their two-game road trip tonight. To make matters worse, Houston has a horrendous record of 3-17 in road games this season. Statistically, big man Christian Wood leads the Rockets, averaging 16.8 points per game, 10.3 rebounds per game, and shooting 46.9% from the field this year.
Last Saturday, the Houston Rockets were defeated by the Denver Nuggets 124-111. However, rookie guard Jalen Green had an impressive performance of 29 points, five three-pointers, and 46.2% accuracy from the field. Most importantly, Houston’s assistant coach John Lucas, guard Kevin Porter Jr., and Christian Wood got into an argument at halftime. As a result, Porter Jr. threw an object at Lucas, then left the arena. Additionally, Wood refused to play in the second half because of these events. In the aftermath, Porter Jr. spoke with the Rockets regarding what happened, and he feels “apologetic” for his actions. (reported by Shams Charania & Kelly Iko of The Athletic) In the end, Porter Jr. and Wood got suspended from tonight’s game because of their poor behavior. (reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN)
Stephen Silas: “We were angry at halftime that we had just given up 47 points. We watched the film. We had a spirited debate. I have certain demands of this group as far as playing hard. Making mistakes is different than giving the effort and I wasn’t satisfied with the effort.”— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 2, 2022
5:30 am EST Injury Report:
- Armoni Brooks (Out – Health and Safety Protocols)
- Eric Gordon (Questionable – Right Hamstring Tightness)
- DeJon Jarreau (Out – Health and Safety Protocols)
- Alperen Sengun (Out – Right Ankle Sprain)
Philadelphia 76ers Outlook
The Philadelphia 76ers reside in 6th place in the Eastern Conference with a 19-16 record. As well as that, Philadelphia is on a much needed three-game winning streak, but only 5-5 in their last 10 contests. To boot, the Sixers went undefeated in their three-game Eastern Conference road swing. Consequently, those wins make Philly 13-10 against Eastern Conference opponents this season. However, the 76ers have surprisingly struggled at home this year with a 6-8 record. Statistically, star Joel Embiid leads Philadelphia, averaging 26.3 points per game, 10.8 rebounds per game, 4.0 assists per game (career-high), shooting 46.8% from the field, and 40.0% from three this season.
Last Thursday, the Philadelphia 76ers impressively beat the Brooklyn Nets 110-102. Joel Embiid led all scorers with 34 points, 7 rebounds, 3 three-pointers, and 47.8% shooting from the field. In addition, Tyrese Maxey contributed 25 points, 7 rebounds, and a career-high five three-pointers. Moreover, Maxey had the most fourth quarter points (8 points) than any other 76ers player. To the entertainment of many, Embiid taunted Nets’ superstar Kevin Durant after Philadelphia secured their win.
🤣After talking trash to Kevin Durant you Gotta love Joel Embiid talking trash to Sixers teammate Tyrese Maxey!— Jeff Skversky (@JeffSkversky) December 31, 2021
"you see what happens when you freakin' shoot 3's? Come on man, shoot the 3!… you were great… that's how you respond to criticism" @JoelEmbiid loves @TyreseMaxey pic.twitter.com/ae0I4dUe6A
Unfortunately, the 76ers are struggling with the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols once again. Swingman Matisse Thybulle re-entered the league’s protocols and is listed as questionable for tonight’s game. The Philadelphia forward contributed 2 points, 1 steal, and 1 block in their win against the Brooklyn Nets. Additionally, guard Myles Powell and rookie Jaden Springer are sidelined once more because of COVID-19.
5:30 am EST Injury Report:
- Myles Powell (Out – Health and Safety Protocols)
- Ben Simmons (Out – Personal Reasons)
- Jaden Springer (Out – Health and Safety Protocols)
- Matisse Thybulle (Questionable – Health and Safety Protocols)