Rockets News

Preseason opener preview: Houston Rockets vs. OKC Thunder

HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 26: James Harden
HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 26: James Harden
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The Rockets begin their preseason tonight vs. a familiar foe in the OKC Thunder.

Today is the day, Houston Rockets fans. The team returns to play their first preseason game of the year against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The game will take place at the Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa.

What will tonight’s game hold? Let’s take a look:

Projected Starting Lineups

Rockets

Chris Paul/James Harden/Trevor Ariza/Ryan Anderson/Clint Capela

Thunder

Raymond Felton/Andre Roberson/Paul George/Carmelo Anthony/Steven Adams

Analysis

While starting lineups do not really matter in the preseason, it is still nice to see what the teams may look like in the regular season. No Russell Westbrook tonight for the Thunder, but we will get into that more with the injury report.

This is the first official time that James Harden and Chris Paul will play for the Rockets together in a game. It will definitely be interesting to see how they play in the first half. Will they have some chemistry from working together this summer? We shall see soon.

Carmelo Anthony will also play against the Rockets for the first time since almost being traded to the team. It’s about to get awkward up in here.

Injury Report

Russell Westbrook is being held out of today’s game for the Thunder as he is dealing with a minor knee injury. Pattrick Patterson and Alex Abrines are also going to sit out the game for OKC.

For the Rockets, Nene and Tarik Black are both out with non-serious injuries. Clint Capela will get a decent amount of the workload tonight along with Chinanu Onuaku and Zhou Qi. Cameron Oliver, unfortunately, suffered a fractured hand and will be out 4-6 weeks (at least). Good luck in your recovery, Cam!

Prediction

While preseason games are almost impossible to predict, we’re going to try to do just that. Look for the Rockets to take control during the first half and drop close to 60 points. By the end of the game, we are predicting a 115-105 win for Houston.

With Russ out, Paul George and Melo will get more shots than normal, so they may be able to get into a groove. If so, the Rockets will need to contain them if they want to walk out with a win in their first preseason game.

In the end, these games do not really matter too much. Still, it will be fun to watch the young players try to prove their worth in the second half of the game. It should be a good one!

Next: Ryan Anderson wants to improve his defense

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