With the return of the Houston Rockets just around the corner, this is your one-stop-shop for player previews, predictions, schedule information, and more.
By the time the Houston Rockets take the court on Friday to face the Toronto Raptors in Orlando, it will have been four and a half months –137 days to be exact, since their last official game. Like all 21 other teams invited to the NBA’s resumption, they will have three games to get back into the swing of things before the seeding games begin.
There are still several burning questions the Rockets must begin addressing right away in their scrimmage matchups and as the regular season resumes. Not only that, but the team is still awaiting the arrival of one of its superstars, Russell Westbrook, as well as its newest signing, Luc Mbah a Moute.
The unpredictability of the Houston Rockets’ bold micro ball approach to the game has media expectations of them ranging from a first-round exit to hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy this summer.
Only Coach Mike D’Antoni and his group of 6-8 and under guys will be able to give an answer to the months-long question: What exactly is Houston capable of?
To help get you set up for the Rockets’ restart, first I’ll start with a recap of the 64 games so far, written by Anthony Duckett four months ago. In his in-depth recap, Anthony dives into the various trades and mid-season moves made by GM Daryl Morey, as well as how the team fared against varying levels of competition.
At the time of that recap, the Rockets had not signed Luc Mbah a Moute yet, but Anthony also had that angle covered months before the move with four reasons the Rockets should sign him.
From that, we also discussed several of the Rockets’ key rotation players and how they performed until the NBA’s suspension.
Grading the Houston Rockets before the shutdown
Russell Westbrook (A-) Overall, the Westbrook experiment in H-Town has been a success this season. He’s carrying the team often, rebounding at a strong rate and competing harder than anyone on the court at all times. Full article here
P.J. Tucker (B+) P.J. does a little bit of everything well. Offensively, he’s efficient and chooses his spots well while also knowing his limitations. Defensively, he has been a lockdown defender in crucial situations and communicates well to keep the team’s overall defense in line. Full article here
Eric Gordon (C+) Knee injuries are always delicate and tough to deal with, but time away from the game almost certainly will help Gordon shift back into the sniper everyone is used to him being. Full article here
Ben McLemore (B) Even though he still isn’t living up to the hype in what was a fairly weak draft class, McLemore has found a home in Clutch City as a member of the Houston Rockets and looks primed to continue making an important impact. Full article here
Danuel House (B) Overall, House is making progress surely but slowly. Unfortunately, after he shot 46.8 percent from the field last season including 41.6 from three, both of those numbers have dropped this season to 42.7 and 36.3 percent, respectively. Full article here
Robert Covington (B+) Covington’s ability to shoot threes off of screens, spot-ups, or pull-ups makes him a threat from everywhere behind the arc, which is a great weapon to have if you are Harden and Westbrook. Full article here
James Harden (B-) While it’s easy to go strictly off of statistics and say Harden was having another great year, sometimes it just comes down to actually watching the games. In observing Harden’s play this year, it is easy to determine his season wasn’t very Harden-like. Full article here
The Remaining games for the Houston Rockets
While the expectation is that all scrimmage games will air on television, a broadcast schedule has yet to be released. Nonetheless, we will have comprehensive pre- and postgame coverage of every remaining game for the Rockets here at Space City Scoop.
The remaining games are as follows:
7/24 @ 7:30 pm ET – Toronto Raptors (scrimmage)
7/26 @ 8 pm ET – Memphis Grizzlies (scrimmage)
7/28 @ 8 pm ET – Boston Celtics (scrimmage)
7/31 @ 9 pm ET – Dallas Mavericks (ESPN)
8/2 @ 8:30 pm ET – Milwaukee Bucks (ABC)
8/4 @ 9 pm ET – Portland Trail Blazers (TNT)
8/6 @ 9 pm ET – Los Angeles Lakers (TNT)
8/9 @ 8 pm ET – Sacramento Kings
8/11 @ 2 pm ET – San Antonio Spurs (NBATV)
8/12 @ 4 pm ET – Indiana Pacers (NBATV)
8/14 Time TBD – Philadelphia 76ers
We have a preview guide for all of the remaining games available here that breaks down each matchup for H-Town as they look to secure a higher seed for the NBA playoffs.
Brace yourselves — Rockets basketball is officially less than one week away.