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Tonight's game means a little more to the Rockets

While this game only counts as one, it has the makings of so much more.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Whether or not Friday's matchup with the defending champs was circled on your calendar, this is a game, as a player/fan/reporter/broadcaster/scalper, you get up for.

"If you have to get fired up, you shouldn't be playing basketball," Ty Lawson said of Friday's matchup with the defending champs.

Last season the Rockets lost to Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, and they went on become are the champs.

But it's a new season, so there are plenty of reasons to be excited. The Rockets are fairly healthy and now they have a shiny new toy in Ty Lawson just for games like this.

"They left a sour taste in our mouth from last year," Lawson said of Friday night's and while he wasn't a Rocket he understands just what Friday means, "they want a little bit of revenge we all want revenue from last year, I feel like there will be extra fire for this game,"

A win over the Warriors would mean a lot of things for the Rockets. The taste of the Nuggets loss will be quickly forgotten. Plus the team will have confidence that they now can actually go out and beat the Warriors who seemed almost unbeatable last year.

Out of the gate, both teams are coming from opposite directions. The Warriors off a home beatdown of the Pelicans. The Rockets off a home humiliating loss to the Nuggets.

No doubt both games on both sides have been forgotten in preparation for such a big matchup. Friday, the Warriors are fighting to prove there is no letdown and the Rockets are fighting for respect around the league.

The Rockets made it the conference finals, but nowadays the NBA sure doesn't remember they made it that far.

Hell, at times in the offseason it feels like the Clippers had lost to the Warriors instead of the Rockets, who made a historic comeback to beat L.A.'s second team.

A win tonight could start giving the Rockets the respect they deserve.