By: Rahat Huq
Five games in seven nights, including three in a row against three of the strongest finals contenders in the league. The East's representative in late May will surely be one of Cleveland or Atlanta. Take note that the game against Cleveland today will begin at 2:30, rather than the 6PM listed originally on the Rockets' web site, as it was picked up by ABC.
The Cavs will be without Kyrie Irving, but are just as dangerous, with Lebron James on a mission. After his performance last week against the Warriors, one can expect James to take similar aim at the Rockets' James Harden.
That Tuesday/Wednesday back to back will be murderous, and Houston would have to feel good about even getting a split. And then, with a back to back against Detroit and Denver, in games you would expect the team to win, the fear is that the exhaustion from the week will reflect in the results.
Having now gone 7-3 in their last ten, and winning four straight, the Rockets have put some distance between themselves and the rest of the pack, a feat truly remarkable considering their injury status. Houston could even conceivably catch Memphis, with just two games separating the teams. But they'll have to get through this week first, and that will truly be a test.