The NBA is investigating Rockets forward Danuel House Jr., for a potential violation of the league’s health and safety protocols on its Florida campus, putting his return to the Western Conference semifinals in jeopardy, ESPN reported Wednesday.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 06, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
With House listed as out of Thursday’s Game 4 for “personal reasons” after missing the Rockets’ Game 3 loss Tuesday to the Lakers, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association have been in talks about the issue.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said Wednesday that the Rockets were uncertain if House would be able to play but did not indicate that the NBA was holding House out.
“We haven’t heard, yet,” D’Antoni said. He had said Tuesday that House’s absence was not related to COVID-19.
House had scored 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting in Game 2 and has averaged 11.4 points in the playoffs this season, making 43.5 percent of his shots. He had earned praise from D’Antoni on Monday for his play and spoke extensively about the post-season being a breakthrough for him.
House has played as the Rockets’ sixth man since Russell Westbrook returned from his quadriceps injury in Game 5 of the first-round series against the Thunder, replacing Westbrook midway through the first and third quarters. With House out, Austin Rivers checked in for Westbrook in the first quarter, Ben McLemore in the third quarter. Neither scored in Game 4.