The Rockets were not going to be a very good team this year had they been healthy, but their struggles with injuries have only added to the misery of the league's worst 16-win team. With only a handful of games remaining, this sad chapter in Houston basketball will soon be at an end, but not before they encounter yet another sad moment.
On Thursday, the Rockets announced they would have 13 players on the injured list for Friday's game against Milwaukee. Only KJ Martin, DaQuan Jeffries, Anthony Lamb and Armoni Brooks are NOT listed on that list and only Martin, a rookie, was a member of the team to start the season.
It's a remarkable distinction. On Wednesday when they lost to the 76ers, they dressed only eight players, the league mandated minimum, but only seven were available to play. Then Kevin Porter, Jr. was ruled out after the first half with a sprained ankle, leaving them with six. It seems the team could be in the same boat on Friday with perhaps only six semi-healthy players available to get on the floor.
This season has been painful enough without the scourge of injuries absolutely decimating the roster. It's cruel and unusual punishment for a team that plays hard every night and mostly loses.
But, these are the growing pains they must suffer with a very young roster more focused on future possibility than current tragedy. To quote Norman Dale from the classic basketball film Hoosiers
, "for those on the floor at the end, I'm proud of you." Hopefully, they will have enough they don't have to play four-on-five.