The Houston Rockets tip-off their season Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the long wait to put the 2020-21 season behind the franchise is finally over.
After a season of doom and despair, the upcoming campaign is the pallet cleanser the franchise needs to re-emerge as a championship contender. The shock of going from championship contender and perennial playoff team to being the worst team in the league would paralyze even the most feverish fanbase. The beauty of professional sports is the clean slate and hope that a new season brings.
The Houston Rockets have been reborn out of the ashes and it all starts with their new starting lineup. Last season, the Rockets opened the season with James Harden, Danuel House, David Nwaba, PJ Tucker, and Christian Wood as their starting five. Both Harden and Tucker were traded last season and Danuel House and David Nwaba spent most of last season as bench options.
Rockets'While Christian Wood, health permitting, is a lock for the Rockets starting lineup, the other four Rockets in his orbit are set for a refresh. Who the Rockets start on opening night is not the same thing as who should be starting.
The difficultly for rebuilding teams is that the best starting five to win right now is rarely the best starting five to win years down the line. Stephen Silas is in the unenviable position of having to coach for this season and the 2023-24 season.
This is who the Rockets will start on opening night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, compared to who they should start if they want to win as many games this season.