The Rockets get their first taste of NBA competition tonight, hosting the New York Knicks at the Toyota Center at 7 p.m. local time on ROOT Sports and ESPN.
Derrick Rose is starting for the Knicks on the same day his gang rape trial begins. Patrick Beverley — always Legal with Eagle, bro — is out with knee soreness, and Joakim Noah is out with a hamstring pull.
The Rockets walloped the Shanghai Sharks in their first game in the Harden-D'Antoni era, always nice. But the prerogative for games moving forward is first to stay healthy, and second to get all the new pieces, like Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Nene and Sam Dekker, for all intents and purposes, working together. But first, stay healthy. An injury-riddled preseason was the harbinger of last year's horribleness.
A close third is watching more of K.J. McDaniels, who makes my heart soar every time he does. He had three awesome alley-oops against the Sharks, two of which were on pretty passes from James Harden in penetration/creator mode. MORE PLEASE. MORE KJ FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
This is the last Rockets preseason contest until Oct. 9, so savor whatever form of basketball of this before a five-day withdrawal. I missed it so bad.