Let the slew of injuries begin... But in all seriousness, there's no need to play Harden or Howard every preseason game. I mean, it's not like there are five other players competing for the last roster spot.
If you love advanced statistics as much as I do, then you'll love this preview of the Rockets by FiveThirtyEight using their new player projection system, CARMELO (only 52 wins? Really?). Ed. Note: I asked about this on Twitter and the response I got: statistical projections tend to be a little more conservative.)
Yeah, yeah we know Dwight Howard is the most hated player in the NBA and James Harden doesn't play basketball the right way, blah, blah, blah. However, Sports Illustrated attempts to rationalize the lack of attention on the Rockets, and why they seem to be lost in the shuffle of possible title contenders.
Clint Capela has looked like
the second coming of Hakeem Olajuwon he has taken a major step forward this preseason. It seems he has Kevin McHale's trust now, which means we'll be able to see the Swiss dunk machine play a feature role for the Rockets this season, something I (and everyone else should be) am extremely excited about.
Sam Dekker has looked like a deer in headlights for most of the preseason. However tentative and shaky he has looked so far is just part of the transition to the NBA, as Calvin Watkins writes about here.