The Houston Rockets are looking to bounce back after their tough start to the season. They will do so against the new-look Lakers in their home opener.
The Houston Rockets came out of the gate slow for the 2018-19 season, to say the least. They took a blowout loss to the Pelicans but will look to get back on track against the Lakers tonight.
It will also be the first home game (non-preseason, that is) for the Lakers and their newest star, LeBron James. The Rockets will look to spoil LeBron’s home opener in front of a sold-out Staples Center on national television.
The game will be tonight at 9:30 CT on ESPN. It should be quite the battle as both teams will be looking to get their first win of the year after disappointing beginnings.
Let’s look at the two lineups before we get into what to watch for in tonight’s game!
What to Watch for
LeBron James isn’t the only new player for the Lakers. Three out of the five starters for the team were not apart of last year’s squad. They have some serious 3-point shooting problems, though, so I’d like to see the Rockets focus on protecting the paint more.
Clint Capela will have a much more favorable matchup than last game with JaVale McGee. He will need to take advantage of this matchup as he had a pretty poor first game. Expect more lobs and better finishes around the paint from the Swiss big man.
The defense of the Lakers is much worse than the defense of the Pellies. The Rockets still managed to drop 112 points last game despite the troubles, but it should come a bit easier this time around.
James Ennis will get his first big test tonight as he (and P.J. Tucker) will likely be tasked with guarding LeBron James. LeBron will be extra-motivated to get a win in his first home game with LA, so let’s hope that Ennis can make that difficult to achieve.
The Lakers are a fairly deep team, with the likes of Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball and Lance Stephenson coming off the bench. Eric Gordon and Carmelo Anthony will need to come ready to play tonight, for sure.
Let’s hope the Rockets can get their first win of the year tonight and, in the process, spoil LeBron’s home opener. Be sure to tune in at 9:30!