The Houston Rockets had a dress rehersal for the regular season on Friday night against the Miami Heat and came out with a passing grade and a 110-104 victory to finish the preseason with a 4-1 record.
The Heat started their varsity squad, and although they did play limited minutes, this was still a good win for the Rockets, who got a great game from Fred VanVleet. He put up 20 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals on 7-for-10 shooting and looked in control. Man, what a difference a real point guard makes.
Jalen Green also had 20 points, and though he wasn’t incredibly efficient at just 6-for-15 shooting, he looked healthy and ready to go. Again, having a real point guard should allow Green to do what he does best this season, and I’m excited to see how he develops in his third year.
Amen Thompson had perhaps his best game thus far, going for 19 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals, showing off his versatile game. He was 6-for-9 from the floor.
Alperen Sengun, who has looked a little off this preseason, also had probably his best game of the year so far, finishing with 16 points, 12 boards, 3 assists and 4 big blocks. He had one heck of a nifty behind-the-back pass to Thompson for a bucket as well.
Houston’s starters all played around 27-28 minutes and they look about as ready for next week as I think they could. It’s worth noting that Tari Eason missed the game but will be ready for the season opener. Jeff Green picked up 16 minutes of action in his stead and put up 7 points and 4 rebounds.
The Rockets will open up the regular season next Wednesday, October 25 by heading to Orlando to take on the Magic. The home opener is Sunday, October 29 against the Golden State Warriors.