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James Harden out, Russell Westbrook back in Tuesday vs. Spurs

The Beard will rest while Russ is expected to get back in after missing a few games.

James Harden of the Houston Rockets dribbles down the court against the Sacramento Kings during the first half at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 9, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets are playing superstar limbo with James Harden and Russell Westbrook. The Beard has been ruled out to rest Tuesday vs. the San Antonio Spurs because nobody in the NBA cares about the remaining games but DFS and betting partakers.

Russell Westbrook (quad) will return to the lineup after missing the past two games. Eric Gordon (ankle) is also out Tuesday but will play Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers, per coach Mike D’Antoni. So will Harden — play Wednesday, that is.

So the backcourt is Russell Westbrook’s for Tuesday, but again, we don’t know just how much Russ will even play in this game. The Spurs need the game way more than the Rockets do. I’d argue Houston cares about seeding but then they decide to rest Harden, so who knows what D’Antoni is thinking.

So we should see a tight rotation of Ben McLemore, PJ Tucker, Robert Covington, Jeff Green and Westbrook on Tuesday. If Russ doesn’t play a ton, Austin Rivers and McLemore should see most of the backcourt minutes. Rivers is coming off 41 points against the Kings. I highly doubt the Spurs will let Rivers go off again, but he’s a streaky shooter. Rivers will have value given he should play around 30 minutes.