Nene Hilario
Houston Rockets center Nene Hilario (42) smiles after making a basket agains the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half in game five of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Reuters/ Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets need all the help they can get but Nene Hilario will, unfortunately, be unavailable. The reserve big man has been ruled out for the rest of the NBA playoffs 2017 following a torn left adductor which he suffered in the game 4 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni rued the development, pointing out the value of Nene for Houston. Harden shared the same sentiment and called on other big guys to step up with the untimely sidelining of the Brazilian center.

“It's an opportunity for guys who don't play big minutes and for guys like Montrezl [Harrell] who haven't really played and might get some opportunities. Whoever it is, we've got to try to fill that role," said Harden in an interview with ESPN.

The loss of Nene means the Rockets will be mission valuable numbers off the bench. He averaged 10.0 points and 4.7 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game while shooting 70.6 percent from the floor during the playoffs, jacked up numbers from the regular season.

Nene’s departure will also be a big blow since he is one less big body the Spurs have to deal with. LaMarcus Aldridge has taken the bumps from the Rockets physicality and hence the reason why Harden hopes the other guys will be ready for the banging.

Rockets starting center Clint Capella may end up playing extended minutes in the NBA playoffs with Nene out. Ryan Anderson could also be getting more playing time, someone D’Antoni used at times. The 29-year-old expects to play more starting game 5.

“Obviously I'm not a very conventional 5-man, but it also makes it difficult for the other team to figure out how to guard us with pick-and-pops or if I'm rolling to the basket or whatever it is.”

The Rockets have gotten back in the series after dropping games 2 and 3. Game 5 will be a pivotal game for both teams as the series now becomes a best-of-three. The pressure is more on the Rockets since the Spurs host the upcoming matchup and the final game seven if the series goes the distance.

With Nene’s injury, losing one more man makes it tougher.The Rockets James Harden and Spurs star Kawhi Leonard are expected to go all out once more. The former may need to step up as well but on both sides of the court. The Spurs host the Rockets for game 5 of the NBA playoffs 2017 series on May 9 starting at 11 a.m. AEST with a live stream available via Watch ESPN.