The long off-season filled with anticipation and excitement is finally over for the Houston Rockets, as they take on the Charlotte Bobcats to open the season Wednesday night at the Toyota Center. The Rockets are coming off a great pre-season where they finished 6-1. Momentum is high as they closed out their final 2 games with wins over the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies, so high, that coach Kevin McHale has chosen to keep the same starting lineup as he went with in those 2 games.
New Look Starting Lineup
The Rockets will begin the season with Patrick Beverley starting at point guard, along with James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Dwight Howard, and Omer Asik. This gives the Rockets plenty of flexibility as they begin games with a unit who produced the best defensive numbers in the pre-season, and then go with offensive firepower off the bench lead by Jeremy Lin, Omri Casspi, and Francisco Garcia.
Bobcats Look Pretty Good……On Paper
Yes, the Bobcats have been a doormat to the NBA since their franchise was established in 2004, but they have a fairly talented squad, at least on paper. Their big off-season acquisition this summer was bringing in center Al Jefferson, whose talent and production has been overlooked based on the teams that he’s played on his whole career. It’ll be more of the same for him in Charlotte, but Jefferson is being paid handsomely so it doesn’t affect him. The Bobcats also drafted Cody Zeller with their lottery pick and are high on him as their power forward of the future. Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are all young players who have shown that they have a high upside in the NBA. The Bobcats also have sparkplugs off the bench with veteran guards Ramon Sessions and Ben Gordon, as well as shot-blocking guru Bismack Biyombo.
What To Watch For
3 key things to look for in the Rockets season opener:
1) Can Harden and Howard keep up their efficient production from the pre-season
2) How the Howard/Asik twin tower combination look together, vs how the Rockets look when just one of them is in the game
3) How Beverley looks as the starter, and how Lin looks coming off the bench.
Tip-Off: 7 PM CST
TV: CSN Houston