The Rockets have already done more than enough to protect their playoff positioning and establish themselves as the surprise (at least in my opinion) team in the NBA this season, currently at 51-22 and 3rd in the western conference.
While all of the attention has been on the incredible season by James Harden, one of the many reasons for their great success is off-season acquisition Ryan Anderson.
Anderson is averaging 13.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this season on 39.8% three-point shooting.
His ability to catch-and-shoot opens up the lane for Harden to operate and makes the Rockets well-oiled offensive machine even more lethal.
The Rockets will be without him the next few weeks, likely the rest of the regular season with an ankle injury.
— The Sports Quotient (@SportsQuotient) March 27, 2017
The Rockets have gone extremely small in his absence thus far, moving Trevor Ariza to the four, but that sort of size disadvantage will come back to bite them in the slowed-down, more physical postseason if Anderson can’t return to health effectively.
If the Rockets want to contend to make it to the NBA Finals this season, they will need a healthy Anderson to do so.