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Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs game preview

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets held open practice on Monday, hoping to stir up excitement about the upcoming season. The team even lucked out a bit in that the Astros were out of town and it was an off day for the local nine. The day should have ended upbeat with nary a word about the current crisis in the NBA.

Of course, then LeBron James spoke so everything is back to China.

Luckily, there’s actual basketball tonight as the Rockets take on their in-state rival, the San Antonio Spurs. Gregg Popovich’s outfit is expected by certain corners of NBA fandom to miss the playoffs for the first time in (checks calendar) 273 years, but here at The Dream Shake we know better. The Spurs will absolutely be a playoff team, and they will be a tough out for anyone.

Last season, Dejounte Murray tore his ACL in the Spurs-Rockets preseason game, and I bring this up because I want to use my reverse jinx powers as much as possible here. Not only do I think Murray is a great young player, but injuries always suck. And preseason injuries mega suck.

Case in point: Gerald Green may be done for the season and that’s terrible. Green is a Houstonian through and through and the fact that he’s signed back-to-back veteran minimum deals to stay in this city and play in Mike D’Antoni’s system tells you all you need to know about his commitment to the team. This is a big loss for Houston as Green figured heavily into their “wing” rotation. This will be the first test of the post-Hong Kong incident for Daryl Morey as he tries to bring in other players that can fit the system. Will agents steer their clients away from Morey? Will teams be willing to trade with Houston?

Tip-off is at 7pm CT