In their final road game of the 2021-22 season, the Houston Rockets will make their first and only international trip when they visit the Toronto Raptors at the Scotiabank Arena in Canada on Friday night.
The young and rebuilt Rockets haven’t won since relocating to a rest plan for veterans Christian Wood, Eric Gordon and Dennis Schroder, and they now have the league’s worst record — and the No. 1 positioning slot in the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery. Entering in – all to myself.
But there is still much to be seen from a development perspective. Young guards Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green combined for 66 points on skillful shooting in Tuesday’s loss in Brooklyn, and Green is on a historic rookie streak of 30+ points with five straight games. If the 20-year-old, drafted No. 2 overall in the first round of 2021, does it again on Friday, he will equalize with Allen Iverson (1997) for the modern rookie record.
Meanwhile, Pascal Siakam and the hosts Raptors are working to secure the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference standings. Toronto also introduced its own highly touted rookie in Scotty Barnes, who will likely join Green in a loaded all-rookie first team for the 2021 draft class.
Put aside the Rookie of the Year debate for a moment to appreciate the 2021 class.
— Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) April 5, 2022
- Date: Friday, April 8
- Time: 6:30 PM Central
- TV Channel: AT&T Sportsnet Southwest, NBA League Pass
- live stream: fuboTV (watch for free in Houston markets)
Houston Rockets (20-60)
- Guard: Kevin Porter Jr.
- Guard: Jalen Green
- Forward: Garrison Mathews
- Forward: J’Sean Tate
- Center: Alprene Sengun
Toronto Raptors (47-33)
- Guard: Fred VanVleet
- Guard: Gary Trent Jr.
- Forward: Ozzy Anunobi
- Forward: Scotty Barnes
- Center: Pascal Siakami
Both lineups are based on each team’s latest game notes.
Houston’s injury report again lists veterans Eric Gordon, Christian Wood and Dennis Schroder as out (mainly to be rested). Two-way players Trevelin Queen and Anthony Lamb remain in the G League.
The Raptors will not release their injury report until Friday, as they also played Thursday versus Philadelphia. For that game, Toronto listed Anunoby as suspect with right quad contusion and Yuta Watanabe as suspect with left quad contusion. In the end, neither of them played.
The Rockets haven’t played since Tuesday, so Friday won’t be a maintenance issue for head coach Stephen Silas. Toronto’s Nick Nurse, on the other hand, may have to be wary of some fatigue factors, as he hosted the 76ers just 24 hours ago.