There will be plenty of time to discuss the immediate futures of these squads (spoiler alert: they both want to lose a bunch of games), but preseason is more about seeing development from the previous year and getting an understanding of how the coaching staff views the current roster. Who’s getting minutes? What position are they playing? Are they getting the ball on offense or are they there to do the little things?
For Houston, the biggest draws are their pair of top-3 picks: Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr. The Rockets will want to see the same Green they got in the second half of last season, and everyone wants to see how Smith Jr. fits with the current crop of Rockets. His Summer League performance left a lot to be desired, and now we’ll see how he fills in with the big team.
Coaches generally give veterans lighter workloads in the preseason, so don’t be surprised to see little or no Eric Gordon. Ditto for the newly-acquired players from the Oklahoma City trade.
The last piece of the puzzle is who will start for the team. Stephen Silas will have a tough choice there. Last season, the 5 most common starters were Kevin Porter Jr., Jalen Green, Gordon, Jae’Sean Tate, and Christian Wood. Now that Wood is off to Dallas, Alperen Sengun should fill in those minutes. But will the Rockets bring Jabari off the bench? Or does he force Gordon or Tate to the bench? An interesting dilemma.
Tip-off is at 6pm CT on Rockets.com