Rockets to join growing list of teams reopening facilities

Rockets guard James Harden lit up the scoreboard again, this time in an overtime loss to the Nets.

The Houston Rockets will reopen their practice facility Monday, general manager Daryl Morey told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The Rockets (40-24) were tied with Oklahoma City for fifth in the Western Conference at the hiatus. They are joining a growing list of teams to begin reopening for voluntary individual workouts.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers became the first more than a week ago. Since then, the Sacramento Kings, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors and Atlanta Hawks have reopened — with the Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat being the latest to join.

“As for the format in a return to play, there still is no decision on the form that would take with the 30 NBA teams,” Wojnarowski reported. “The league hasn’t worked through the details on whether all 30 teams would return or whether regular-season games would be played or if perhaps there would be a play-in tournament to give more teams a chance to make the 16-team playoff field, sources said.”

According to NBA restrictions, no more than four players can enter a facility at a time. All four must practice at separate baskets and be given their own ball. Head coaches and lead assistants are not yet allowed to be in attendance, and those rebounding for players must be wearing a mask and gloves and practice safe social distancing.

“For 12 years now, I haven’t really worked out without a basketball in my hands. And so you know, trying to learn how to do that was difficult,” said Cavs forward Larry Nance Jr. “So now with the practice facility being back open, I’m kind of back at ease, with a ball in my hands.

“I know how to get the good kind of sweat in, I know what’s going to get me a condition. I know how to do that really well. I haven’t looked forward to anything more than going back to the gym every day.”

Sam Amico covers pro basketball for Sports Illustrated. Follow him @AmicoHoops.