All Systems Go: The Rockets Are Young, Focused and Ready to Compete

Fun-loving, but hyper-competitive on the court, the Rockets are ready to deliver a new age in Houston basketball. Fans are ready for that, too.

Key Game/Stretch: At L.A. for the return of Dwight Howard the first game following the All-Star break on national TV.

If there's a time for the Rockets to feast on the weak, it's the month of February. Despite playing seven of their ten games on the road, they face only two projected playoff teams and two others that likely will be on the bubble. Dwight Howard returns to L.A. for the first time on February 19 (the start of the longest road trip of the season — eight games), but the pivotal game may come a day later in Oakland against Golden State.

Projected Record: 8-2

Surrounded by players he really likes, Howard is all smiles in his Rockets uniform.
Photos by Jeff Balke
Surrounded by players he really likes, Howard is all smiles in his Rockets uniform.
Dwight Howard laughs it up during a commercial promo shoot on Rockets Media Day.
Photos by Jeff Balke
Dwight Howard laughs it up during a commercial promo shoot on Rockets Media Day.

March

Home Games: 8

Away Games: 5

Back to Backs: 2

National TV: vs. Pacers (ESPN), at Chicago (TNT), at Miami (ABC), vs. Clippers (NBATV)

Key Game/Stretch: At Miami on ABC for their first and only network game of the year.

March offers a glimpse of what might be to come as the battle for playoff seeding heats up. Even though there are only five road games, three are at OKC, Chicago and Miami, all of whom should be the cream of the crop in the NBA again this season. The Rockets play the Clippers at home later in the month and the world champs for the second time as Miami brings the LeBron James circus to Toyota Center. The Miami games may be hopeful Finals wishcasting, but the Thunder and Clippers could be actual playoff previews.

Projected Record: 9-5

April

Home Games: 4

Away Games: 6

Back to Backs: 3

National TV: at Brooklyn (TNT), vs. Thunder (ESPN), at Los Angeles Lakers (TNT), vs. Spurs (NBATV)

Key Game/Stretch: On the road for back-to-back games at the Lakers and at Denver.

No one knows what Denver will be like after their team was dismantled last year and George Karl was removed as head coach, so playing them twice in four days could be a blessing or a curse. But with games at Brooklyn and home for OKC and San Antonio, Denver will be the least of the Rockets' worries. If they're healthy, they could be rolling toward the playoffs or could still be struggling to find themselves. My money is on the former.

Projected Record: 6-4

Projected Season Record: 54-28

Vegas Rockets Wins Over/Under: 54.5

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
1 comments
Puller58
Puller58 topcommenter

The NBA is still mostly a crapshoot.  Injuries, interpersonal fueds, etc can derail even the most talented team.

 
Loading...