The Houston Rockets release their five-game schedule for the 2019-2020 preseason, and, interestingly enough, two of those games won’t be played in North America.
Before we get into the thick of it, I just typed “2020” and a variation of the word “season” in the same sentence without having to refer to when a player’s contract will end or when a person is eligible for the Hall of Fame, etc. In other words, I am talking about THIS season, and it is the “2020” season.
How wild is that?
Existential crisis aside, the Rockets first preseason game is on Sep. 30 against the Shanghai Sharks in Houston, and it is one of only two games played at the Toyota Center this preseason. The last time the Rockets played the Sharks, Jimmer Fredette had 40-some odd points, but more importantly, James Harden went and did this:
This would also start the “Is it a travel?” tour for Harden’s 2019 season.
The following two games, as mentioned, will actually be played overseas as the Toronto Raptors will face the Rockets on Oct. 8 and 10 in the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama City, Japan. These two games will be games 13 and 14 that the NBA plays in Japan.
On Oct. 16, the Rockets resume action in the United States against the San Antonio Spurs back in Houston. The preseason will come to an end for the Rockets on Oct. 18 in Miami when the Rockets take on the now Dwyane Wade-less Heat.
The must-see excitement of the newly added Russell Westbrook aside, (I feel) there isn’t much to look forward to this preseason. Houston doesn’t get one of the first looks at a big-time draft pick, and they don’t necessarily see any big superstars either — no disrespect to any of the competition. Even when they face the current champions, now without Kawhi Leonard, those games won’t show until 6 a.m. eastern time, 7:00 central.
Those are just some complaints about the scheduling in general. The truth is that all five games will be enticing to watch since it will be our first looks at the Westbrook-Harden duo. And if last preseason is any indication (Harden 31.6 MPG, Chris Paul 27.6 MPG), they’ll both be averaging big minutes, so the games will be worth watching.
Get your tickets while you still can.