The NBA schedules were announced Tuesday, and the Houston Rockets were given a pretty easy opening night opponent in the Charlotte Bobcats. The Dallas Mavericks and the Utah Jazz are their next two opponents, making a 3-0 start very likely. The Rockets will visit Madison Square Garden November 14 to play the New York Knicks and will get a Christmas Day Game against their in-state rival the San Antonio Spurs. Dwight Howard will go against his former team the Los Angeles Lakers at home in on November 7 and will visit the Staples Center for the first time since leaving on February 19.
As every team does when they get their very first look at the season’s schedule, they check to see when the Miami Heat come to town — that will be on March 4 for the Rockets. Houston will be taking their talents to South Beach to take on the Heat later that month on March 16.
One very tough road trip the Rockets will have to try to endure is from March 11 to March 16. During that time span, they will have three away games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls, and the defending champion Heat.
More pressure will be on the Rockets to succeed right away than usual, that can be credited to the arrival of Howard, and many will be wanting to jump to conclusions about the Rockets a lot earlier than they should. It takes time for teams to gel, regardless of how talented they are. Howard and James Harden haven’t played a second together yet, and it will take time. As we saw when LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Heat, he wasn’t used to playing with another superstar like Dwyane Wade; we all remember their horrific start to their very first season. I’m not saying the Rockets will be a failure this season, but let’s give them some time and not jump to any conclusions right away.
You can follow Reece Helms on Twitter at: @Reece_Helms