This will be a huge test for the young Houston Rockets. Going up against the Western Conference Champion Oklahoma City Thunder and their superstars will be fun to watch. Guys like Royce White, Terrence Jones, Jeremy Lamb and Donatas Motiejunas will have a lot on their plate in the first game of the preseason.
I want to see Motiejunas get some playing time against Serge Ibaka. It will be a great test and learning experience for him. Ibaka is one of the best defenders in the NBA and if Motiejunas wants to take his offensive game to the next level he will need some practice against the best.
Omer Asik will get his first chance to silence the critics against veteran Kendrick Perkins. Perk never backs down from a challenge, even in the preseason. Both guys are known for their defense but will also be asked to score in the paint. Look for a battle between these two.
Jeremy Lamb will also get tested by James Harden and Thabo Sefolosha. Harden is an offensive star in this league and Thabo is one of the better on-ball defenders. Lamb will get a chance to prove his play in the NBA Summer League wasn’t a fluke.
It will be Royce White’s first game as a pro and will also be his first chance to show the critics he has what it takes to overcome his issues and become a successful athlete.
This will be Jeremy Lin’s first game as a Rocket and he will have to prove himself immediately by going up against star guard Russell Westbrook. All eyes will be on this matchup.
Keep a close eye on the backup point guard and center positions Rockets fans. These are spots Houston desperately needs to fill. They have the talent at point, but lack size behind Asik.