Rockets Center Nene Suffers Muscle Tear

On Monday, the Houston Rockets announced that Nene, reserve center, will miss the rest of the postseason after suffering a left adductor tear in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals. This injury is a disappointing ending to a promising first season with the Rockets. The 15-year veteran averaged a 10-point performance in this year’s postseason games. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said, “I hate it for Nene. He’s been so valuable all year and is such a good guy. The good news is, I don’t think it’s as bad as I’m hoping it wouldn’t be. I think it’s going to turn out that way. Obviously he’s done for this series. We’re just hoping he gets well quick.” The 6-ft-11 center made his mark on the postseason in Game 4 against the Oklahoma City Thunder team when he made all 12 of his shots, scored a career playoff-high of 28 points and tied the NBA record. The Rockets are in a precarious position of figuring out how to defend San Antonio Spurs big man combo of a 6-ft-11 LaMarcus Aldridge and a 7-ft Paul Gasol. Of the predicament, Rockets star guard James Harden said, “It’s tough to see Nene go down. He’s a big part of what we do … guys have to step up. It’s an opportunity for guys who don’t play big minutes, and for guys like Montrezl [Harrell] who haven’t really played and might get some opportunities. Whoever it is, we’ve got to try to fill that role.”

Clint Capela, Rockets 3rd year Swiss center, has stepped up in a big way defensively. His ability to protect the paint and shoot over defenders has made him that much more effective on both sides of the court. Between Capela, power forwards Ryan Anderson and Montrezl Harrell, the Rockets are still contenders in this semi-final matchup. Players are ready to step in and step up and explained by Anderson, “It wouldn’t be a very good situation if me and Clint got into foul trouble. We want to play smart. Coming off the bench is something I’ve done in my career and I’m fine with it. Whatever I have to do to help the team and whatever’s best for this group.”