The NBA is coming back July 30 and not a moment too soon for basketball fans who have been deprived a proper conclusion to the 2019-20 season since Rudy Gobert’s positive coronavirus test March 11 that set off the worldwide cascade of sports league cancellations. Now, the NBA will look to finish what it started with a 22-team “bubble” at the Disney Resorts in Orlando, an eight-game finish to the regular season and four best-of-7 playoff rounds to determine a champion. We take a look at each of the teams involved as we move closer to the official return and today we’ll look at the Houston Rockets team in our Sports Intel preview:
Houston Rockets Team Preview 2019-2020 Re-Boot
(40-24, 6th in West, 4 games behind No. 2)
Where we left off: Rockets GM Daryl Morey didn’t do much to foster great international relations between the US and China last year, but that hasn’t done much to sink the team. Houston got off to a solid start and showed continuous power on both offense and defense as it secured one win after another. Things slowed down just ahead of the break, though, and the team only won one of its last five contests. That win, however, was in the very last game before the season suspension, and should have been enough to restart the team’s motivation for a season championship.
Remaining schedule: July 31, Dallas Mavericks; Aug. 2, Milawaukee Bucks; Aug. 4, Portland Trail Blazers; Aug. 6, LA Lakers; Aug. 9, Sacramento Kings; Aug. 11, San Antonio Spurs; Aug. 12, Indiana Pacers; Aug. 14, Philadelphia 76ers.
Projected starting lineup: C: P.J. Tucker, PF: Robert Covington, SF: Danuel House Jr., PG: Russell Westbrook, SG: James Harden
Key injuries, absentees: F Thabo Sefolosha (opt-out), G Austin Rivers (questionable)
Odds to Win Title: 12-1
Can they win it all? A week ago, it would have looked like the Rockets were in bad shape to go all the way this year. James Harden was only then joining the team, as of July 14, and Russell Westbrook was still absent – forced into quarantine because of a positive COVID-19 test. He joined the rest of the gang this past Monday and, according to the show he’s been putting on, appears to be in good health. He may not be ready for the first game on July 31, but his presence will be definitely felt in the series. As long as everyone can stay healthy, the Rockets, already with a guaranteed playoff spot, have the talent to capture the season.
That concludes our team preview of the Houston Rockets ahead of the re-boot of the 2019-2020 NBA season in Orlando. If the team can stay healthy then they are in with a chance.