Rockets shift Christian Wood to center, start Danuel House Jr. over Daniel Theis

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  • Houston Rockets
    Houston Rockets
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  • Daniel Theis
    Daniel Theis
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  • Christian Wood
    Christian Wood
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With his team having lost 12 straight games, Houston Rockets head coach Stephen Silas had hinted at a potential lineup change in recent days. Prior to Wednesday’s game at Oklahoma City, he executed one.

After declining to reveal his starters in a pregame session with reporters, 28-year-old forward Danuel House Jr. was listed as a starter when the lineup came out shortly before tipoff. Veteran center Daniel Theis, started most of the season in the frontcourt, was available off the bench.

“We’re in a spot where we need a win,” Silas said pregame.

Silas will presumably explain the decision postgame, but Houston’s issues with floor spacing have been well documented. By starting House over Theis, this allows Houston to shift Christian Wood back to center, which is where he played most of the 2020-21 season and had a greater athletic advantage with an ability to play in more pick-and-rolls.

A versatile 6-foot-6 forward, House hasn’t played especially well in seven games this season, averaging 4.1 points (28.6% on 3-pointers) and 3.3 rebounds in 14.4 minutes. But his games and minutes have been limited after spraining his right foot, and the Rockets hope his efficiency will bounce back to its usual levels as his playing time increases.

In his first three seasons with Houston from 2018-19 through 2020-21, House averaged 9.7 points in 27.7 minutes while shooting 43.1% from the field and 37.3% on 3-pointers. He remains one of Houston’s most athletic players and among the most versatile and flexible on defense.

Houston also had a change in Wednesday’s backcourt starters, with veteran Eric Gordon starting in place of Kevin Porter Jr., but that’s solely a short-term move due to Porter’s nagging left thigh contusion.

After Wednesday’s game, Houston travels to New York for a Saturday afternoon matchup with the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

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2021-22 Houston Rockets roster