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Rockets vs. Mavericks Preview: CP3 will miss home opener

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 27: Dirk Nowitzki
DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 27: Dirk Nowitzki

The Houston Rockets gear up for their home opener against the Dallas Mavericks without Chris Paul.

Coming off back-to-back victories at Golden State and Sacramento, the Houston Rockets now shift their focus to the home opener on Saturday. The Dallas Mavericks will come to town with franchise icon Dirk Nowitzki and Harrison Barnes.

While the buzz in Houston is high after a 2-0 start, there is growing concern about Chris Paul’s health. With the same knee still giving him fits, CP3 will sit out the home opener and possibly for an extended period of time. Eric Gordon had another spectacular night off the bench against the Kings with 25 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Meanwhile, Clint Capela also had a great game with 22 points and 17 rebounds. James Harden had his usual 27 points and 9 assists while Nene also debuted with 9 points and 4 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Mavs are coming off road losses to the Hawks and Kings. In their first game, Dennis Smith Jr. debuted with a double-double that included 16 points and 10 assists. Unfortunately, Smith Jr. was a late scratch in Sacramento with swelling in his left knee. In all likelihood, he will be ruled out of Saturday’s match also. Therefore, look for J.J Barea and Seth Curry to pick up the slack with Yogi Ferrell in the backcourt. Don’t forget about sharpshooting veteran Wesley Matthews, who can get hot in an instant from the perimeter.

Relatively speaking, this should be a win for the Rockets. However, this is the NBA and anything can happen on any given night. The Mavs are a rival and, as expected, they should prove to be pesky for some parts of the game. Ultimately, this game is a great opportunity for the home fans to see Mike D’Antoni’s crazy experiment and to see the likes of Luc Mbah a Moute and P.J. Tucker in their home debut. With two days rest under the team’s belt, the Houston Rockets have a great chance to start 3-0.

Most of all, expect Harden and company to bring effort and toughness to what should be an exciting night in H-Town!

Where to watch

The game will start at 8:00 PM Eastern or 7:00 PM Central and will be available through League Pass. As always, the game is available on AT&T Sportsnet Southwest for people in the Houston area. You can also follow the game with the Houston Rockets app for Android or IOS.

Red Nation! It’s time to welcome the Rockets back home!

Next: Three things we learned on opening night