The Houston Rockets are approaching the regular season slowly but surely. Let’s look at how the schedule against the rivals in the Southwest Division is shaping up.
The Houston Rockets are in the middle of the long part of the offseason. There isn’t much left to accomplish before the 2018-19 season begins for the team, minus a few last minute additions.
A few weeks back, the NBA schedule was finally released to the public. We got to see some of the key matchups for next year and how the Rockets are involved in many big-time games over the course of the season.
Another thing we got to see is the matchups against the Southwest Division. The division is also tightly contested and produces multiple playoff teams year in and year out. Last season, the Rockets went 12-4 against their division on the way to the top record in the Western Conference at 65-17.
Let’s look at when the Rockets will match up with their four other rivals next season:
San Antonio Spurs
November 10 (NBA TV)
November 30 (ESPN)
March 22 (NBA TV)
Three of the four matchups against the San Antonio Spurs will come in this calendar year. Then, we gotta wait until March 22 to see the last matchup against the new-look Spurs.
Manu Ginobili, the Rockets killer of San Antonio, just officially retired. We wish him the best in retirement and selfishly will be happy to not see him in a Spurs jersey next year. San Antonio will march out DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge this season to lead the team. Where do they rank in the West? We’ll find out, but the matchups against Houston are always fun, regardless of record.
The four games against the rival Mavs are spread out fairly well throughout the 2018-19 season. The Houston-Dallas rivalry hasn’t quite been there in recent years, as the Rockets have dominated that matchup.
The younger Mavs picked up DeAndre Jordan in the offseason and drafted overseas superstar Luca Doncic, so the games should be at least fun to watch this year.
The Grizzlies are a tough team to judge. They were really bad last season, finishing 22-60 and having a top-5 pick in the draft. They chose Jaren Jackson Jr., who had a strong Summer League for the team.
The Rockets match up pretty well against the Grizz, so they should expect some success against them this season.
New Orleans Pelicans
October 17 (ESPN)
December 29 (NBA TV)
January 29 (TNT)
The Rockets will open the season against Anthony Davis and the Pelicans on October 17. They then spread out the rest of their matchups in three different months throughout the year.
The Pellies lost All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousin, of course, to the Golden State Warriors this offseason. They also lost Rajon Rondo to the Lakers, someone who was a big part of their playoff run last season.
They did add Julius Randle, though, to compliment Anthony Davis. Will they be able to make the playoffs this year?
The Rockets are in for a great year! Let’s hope they have some continued success against the Southwest Division.