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Game Day: Houston Rockets vs San Antonio Spurs, Oct 21

By Tamberlyn Richardson
Feb 27, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball as San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) defends during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. The Spurs defeated the Rockets 104-94. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 27, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball as San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) defends during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. The Spurs defeated the Rockets 104-94. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Feb 27, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball as San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) defends during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. The Spurs defeated the Rockets 104-94. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 27, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball as San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) defends during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. The Spurs defeated the Rockets 104-94. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 27, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball as San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) defends during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. The Spurs defeated the Rockets 104-94. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Game Day Countdown breaks down Houston Rockets match versus the San Antonio Spurs, Friday, October 21st.

Houston Rockets travel to San Antonio to face Southwest Division rival Spurs. This is the final game of the preseason schedule for the Rockets. Houston boasts a 5-1 record with the top ranked preseason offense and 11th ranked defense.

Granted preseason games don’t count toward the regular season, however the stats offer some clarity in terms of what needs to be tweaked prior to the season start next week. Expect line-ups, playing time and substitutions to be close to what Mike D’Antoni will utilize in the October 26th season opener versus the Lakers.

Next: Starting Line Ups and Depth Charts

Feb 27, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2) after a play during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Starting Line-Ups:

San Antonio hasn’t played in a week, so they should be well rested.

Houston Rockets Starters:

Point Guard: James Harden

Shooting Guard: Eric Gordon

Small Forward: Trevor Ariza

Power Forward: Ryan Anderson

Center: Clint Capela

Rockets Depth Chart:

Point Guard: Tyler Ennis, Bobby Brown,

Shooting Guard: K.J. McDaniels, Gary Payton II, Isaiah Taylor

Small Forward: Sam Dekker, Corey Brewer, P.J. Hairston

Power Forward: Kyle Wiltjer, Montrezl Harrell

Center: Nene Hilario, Chinanu Onuaku

Spurs Starters:

Point Guard: Tony Parker

Shooting Guard: Danny Green

Small Forward:  Kawhi Leonard

Power Forward:  Kyle Anderson

Center: Pau Gasol

Spurs Depth Chart:

Point Guard: Patty Mills, Dejounte Murray, Ryan Arcidiacono

Shooting Guard: Manu Ginobili, Jonathon Simmons, Bryn Forbes, Nicolas Laprovittola, Patricio Garino

Small Forward: Davis Bertans Livio Jean-Charles

Power Forward: David Lee,

Center: Dewayne  Dedmon, Joel Anthony,

Next: Game Particulars

Feb 27, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Walking Wounded:

Spurs:

Kawhi Leonard, David Lee, and Tony Parker did not play against the Magic listed as personal reasons on rotoworld.  In a normal scenario it would be expected for the core players to start and play in the final warm up to the preseason (especially after a week off). But normal and Popovich have never shared the same sentence.

Rockets:

Pablo Prigioni suffered a shoulder injury which will likely keep him out of game Saturday

Patrick Beverley knee injury, will not play and may not be available for season opener.

Donatas Motiejunas remains unsigned

Venue:

AT & T Center San Antonio, Texas

 

Radio and Television Providers:

In Houston and Area: Root Sports

Worldwide: NBA League Pass

Game Time: 7:30 PM CT and 8:30 PM EST

Next: Spurs Summer Roster Moves

Feb 27, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich coaches from the sideline during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Incoming:

Exiting: 

  • David West veteran minimum contract of 1 year at $1.3M to Warriors
  • Boris Diaw (traded to Jazz)
  • Boban Marjanovic 3-years $21M offer sheet (Spurs will not match)
  • Rasual Butler took a training camp invite from Wolves

Re-upping:

  • Tim Duncan Exorcised Option – Since then has retired
  • Manu Ginobili  1 year, $14M
  • Ryan Arcidiacono, No terms provided
  • Davis Bertans No terms provided

Unresolved:

  • Kevin Martin
  • Matt Bonner
  • Andre Miller undecided, may retire

Next: Keys to game

Feb 27, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dribbles the ball during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Although both teams will try to win the game this match has more to do with tweaking strateies and decision making. After this evening the Rockets won’t play again until their regular season opener next Wednesday.

Finalizing the roster:

With rosters due to be finalized the big question for Houston is whether the Donatas Motiejunas contract situation will get resolved. Rumblings are Sam Dekker has been pegged as the backup power forward which isn’t positive news for D-Mo.

Technically the Rockets have all the power because the Lithuanian is a restricted free agent. There is the possibility when teams finalize their rosters they’ll earmark the need for a versatile, combo power forward – center.  Still, the Rockets would be able to match any offer.

Currently there are 13 of the 15 roster spots solidified, 14 if the Rockets retain rookie Chinanu Onuaku on the varsity team. It’s likely he’ll be assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers team. What isn’t clear is if the Rockets will sign him to a D-League contract. If they do they’ll be an opening with the varsity team.

More from Space City Scoop

This choice is significant as it will provide hints on the Motiejunas contract resolution potential. Besides Motiejunas, there is the question of training camp invites. Kyle Wiltjer has been impressive with his sweet stroke. D’Antoni doled out the most minutes to Wiltjer in Dallas.  If the above scenario with Onuaku plays out (or if the Rockets decide to let Motiejunas go) Wiltjer seems destined to make the team.

As for the other training camp invites, it’s likely decisions over their futures will be decided in the next few days.

Next: Red Nation's Fantasy Summit

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Houston Rockets regular season opener takes place in Los Angeles next Wednesday, October 26 at 10:30 EST vs the Lakers.

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