Rockets' Nene remains in a groove despite missing time with injuries

Rockets' Nene remains in a groove despite missing time with injuries https://www.chron.com/sports/rockets/article/Rockets-Nene-remains-in-a-groove-despite-missing-12516609.php
Published 7:21 pm, Monday, January 22, 2018
Photo: Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

Houston Rockets center Nene Hilario (42) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Houston Rockets center Nene Hilario (42) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Photo: Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

Houston Rockets center Nene Hilario (42) makes a free throw shot during the second half of game action against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Toyota Center on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, in Houston. Rockets lost the game 115-107.( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )

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Houston Rockets center Nene Hilario (42) makes a free throw shot during the second half of game action against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Toyota Center on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, in Houston. Rockets lost the

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Photo: Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) confers with center Nene (42) during the second half of an NBA game at Toyota Center, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Houston. ( Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle )

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) confers with center Nene (42) during the second half of an NBA game at Toyota Center, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Houston. ( Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle )

Photo: Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle

With Nene over his bruised knee and the Rockets not playing a back-to-back until Feb. 6 and 7, Nene would seem to have an opportunity to get in a rhythm that could have been more difficult to find while going in and out of the lineup through the first half of the season. In his first two games back, he made 9 of 16 shots.

Nene, however, did not see it quite that way.

"I think I've been in a groove since training camp started," he said. "Of course, coach has options. He matches and he chooses who he puts to play. But everybody has to be ready."

Nene had missed two games with a sore Left Achilles, two with a right foot sprain, one with a right shoulder strain, one with a left corneal abrasion and six with the bruised knee. He was held out of three other games. But he had perhaps his best game of the season in his first game back from the knee injury and was solid in 16 minutes against the Warriors on Saturday.

Rockets' Nene remains in a groove despite missing time with injuries