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Houston Rockets: What to watch for in the first preseason game

By Michael Knight
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 22: James Harden #13 and Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets look on during Game Four of the Western Conference Finals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs on May 20, 2018 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 22: James Harden #13 and Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets look on during Game Four of the Western Conference Finals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs on May 20, 2018 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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It’s gameday, Rockets fans! Well…kinda. The Houston Rockets are at home to face the Memphis Grizzlies in the first preseason game of the year.

The season is fast approaching and part of the transition to the new year is the preseason. The Houston Rockets kick that off tonight and will look to get off on the right track!

The Rockets as a whole are a team that takes the preseason pretty seriously. They use it as a dress rehearsal and D’Antoni always talks about how it can start good habits for when the games start counting.

Related Story. Rockets starters should play 20-30 minutes

The team will start their preseason at their home in the Toyota Center against the division-rival Grizzlies. There are many things to watch for, but first, let’s get into the injury report and projected lineup.

Injury Report

The Rockets will be without starting power forward P.J. Tucker tonight as he is dealing with a sore back. Nene is out as well with a tight calf. Two young players, Zhou Qi and Isaiah Hartenstein, are questionable. They all should be fine for the regular season and this should be just a cautionary measure. Brandon Knight should also be out as he recently had knee surgery.

P.J. Tucker (sore back) is out.Zhou Qi sprained ankle) and Isaiah Hartenstein upgraded to questionable. Nene out with a tight calf.

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) October 1, 2018

Projected Starting 5

Chris Paul/James Harden/Eric Gordon/Carmelo Anthony/Clint Capela

Melo likely will join the starters as Tucker is out, but we will have to see what D’Antoni has in store for us tonight.

What to watch

Carmelo Anthony begins his Rockets career tonight and will be able to do so in front of his new home crowd. Let’s hope he can get out to a great beginning, especially since he should be in the starting lineup.

Eric Gordon also should show off his new starting role. He is expected by many to join the starters this season as that small ball lineup for the Rockets was deadly last season. We’ll see how he can adjust!

There are several other new players that should get some run. James Ennis and Marquese Chriss are two, in particular, that should be fun to watch. Michael Carter-Williams should also get some run at backup point guard.

Gerald Green is always a reason to watch games. He will bring the passion that is infectious and it will be exciting to see what he has in store in a full season with the Houston Rockets. He should have a pretty decent role this year.

Young players trying to prove themselves will also be interesting to see. We wrote about that more specifically the other day, so check it out!

Young players to watch in the preseason. Next

The team as a whole should be really fun to watch tonight. It’s been a while since we last saw them and it’ll be great to get back in the swing of things. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, as we will be live-tweeting every game this season!

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