The first game of the season between the Houston Rockets and Miami Heat is a memorable one for Rockets fans, as it featured a hamstring injury that kept Chris Paul off the court for almost two months.
Tonight marks Dwyane Wade’s final game in Houston (unless something really crazy happens in the playoffs). Wade is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and he hit his fifth career buzzer beater last night to knock off the Golden State Warriors.
So you can expect the Heat to get the “Warriors win bump” that most teams enjoy after beating the defending champions. The first time these teams met, it was a defensive slugfest with both teams shooting solidly below 40% from the field. With how poorly Houston has been defending of late, the guess is that the game will feature a few more fireworks than the 101-99 matchup provided.
Goran Dragic has been coming off the bench for the Heat since his return from injury, and he dropped 27 points against the Warriors. He’s probably not long for the bench as the Heat gear up for a playoff push. Another player looking to have a big night is Houston native Justise Winslow.
Hassan Whiteside and James Johnson are day-to-day for the Heat. For Houston, Nene is day-to-day, and Kenneth Faried and Iman Shumpert are dealing with minor issues that might hold them out.
This is a game that Houston should be favored to win. More than anything, I would like to see the Rockets get a double-digit lead and then proceed to not give it away immediately.
Tip-off is at 7pm CT