The Rockets have an early test, and that’s an understatement, in the first game of the season.
The Houston Rockets will visit the defending champion Warriors tonight in the first game of the regular season. It is finally here, people!
The Warriors will hold their ring ceremony tonight and the Rockets will look to spoil it. Can Houston upset the champs in game 1 on national television?
Location: Oracle Arena in Oakland, California
How to Watch: TNT or the Watch TNT app
Last meeting: Warriors beat the Rockets 107-98 in Oakland, March 31, 2017.
Both teams are pretty healthy coming into the first game of the season. Ryan Anderson along with Chris Paul and Tarik Black dealt with some minor injuries in the preseason, but all of them should be good to go tonight.
The Warriors should also all be healthy and ready. We will update this post with any injury reports throughout the day.
*edit 4:45 p.m., Andre Iguodala is out with a back injury.
Projected Starting 5s
Chris Paul/James Harden/Trevor Ariza/Ryan Anderson/Clint Capela
Steph Curry/Klay Thompson/Kevin Durant/Draymond Green/Zaza Pachulia
Rockets keys to the game
Win the bench battle
The bench of the Rockets needs to outplay that of the Warriors. The Rockets have one of best benches in the league on paper and tonight we will get to see it on the court for the first time in the regular season. New additions Luc Mbah a Moute and P.J. Tucker should have an immediate impact next to Eric Gordon and Nene. The Warriors have quite a good bench as well, adding Nick Young and Omri Casspi to it. They will also run Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala and JaVale McGee.
Limit the 3s
This is an impossible task when facing the Warriors. However, if the Rockets can at least limit the perimeter shots some, it will give them more of an opportunity to take advantage of their own 3-point shooting. Trevor Ariza will have more help with Durant this year with the additions of Tucker and Mbah a Moute. That should help limit the 3s, at least a little bit.
The weakest part of the Warriors is the center position. Clint Capela is going to need to outplay Pachulia and McGee whenever they are on the court.
In a small-ball situation, if Clint is out there he needs to take advantage of playing against Green.
The NBA scheduled an incredible two-game opening night for the season with the Warriors vs. Rockets and Celtics vs. Cavaliers. It should be a fun night of basketball, be sure to tune in!