Report: Rockets and Thunder Share Same Hotel Ahead of NBA Playoffs Matchup

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2020

Houston Rockets guard James Harden stands on the court during a break in the action against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, March 7, 2020. Charlotte won 108-99. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Miami Heat 116-115 on Wednesday to clinch a first-round playoff matchup with the Houston Rockets, and there's no shortage of compelling storylines to go along with it.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Rockets (No. 5 seed) and Thunder (4) will stay at the same hotel and inside the same building within the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

During the offseason, the Thunder traded Russell Westbrook to the Rockets for Chris Paul, first-round picks in 2024 and 2026 and pick swaps in 2021 and 2025.

Last year, ESPN's Tim MacMahon reported there was "friction" and "turmoil" between Paul and James Harden, and the fact that Houston parted with CP3 plus so many future assets suggested there may have been some truth to it.

If there is any bad blood remaining between Harden and Paul, it will add another layer of intrigue to what should be a highly entertaining and competitive playoff series.

Westbrook playing against the team he spent the first 11 years of his career with should pique the interest of NBA fans as well, although there is no guarantee he will be healthy enough to suit up. Russ is dealing with a strained right quad muscle, and he is scheduled to be re-evaluated before the start of the playoffs.

Westbrook being absent would take a huge storyline out of the equation, but Harden vs. Paul and the two teams staying in the same hotel should make for a must-see series regardless.

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