Houston Rockets: Five eye-catching moments of the 2019-20 schedule

Houston Rockets guards Russell Westbrook and James Harden (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets guards Russell Westbrook and James Harden (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The NBA has released their schedules and the Houston Rockets have a schedule that will allow them to excel. Here are five eye-catching moments of 2019-20.

Houston Rockets fans — it’s about that time as the NBA has released their schedules for the 2019-20 season.  We can now plan where we’re going to be and what we’re going to do with each of the opponents that our team will face this season.

The pieces have been put together with Russell Westbrook being the headliner to a dynamite offseason that sent Chris Paul packing to OKC.  The team also made solid re-signs of Austin Rivers, Gerald Green and Danuel House.

They were also able to nab the services of 36-year-old Tyson Chandler, who still has quite a bit left in the tank, to help back up Clint Capela.  With that move, unless something crazy happens, Nene Hilario‘s tenure with this team has likely come to an end.

Nene opted out of his $3.8 million option for 2019-20 to become a free agent, likely at the pressure of the Houston Rockets‘ brass not knowing what the final depiction of what this team would look like after the dust settles.

But luckily, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker and Capela will be back to complement James Harden and Westbrook and this is going to be one of the more talented starting lineups in the NBA this season.

So enough of the flattery of my beloved team, let’s get to the guts of schedule.

Here are five bullet points that caught my eye when viewing the nuances:

  • Houston Rockets open up at home this season — it feels as if it has been a while — against the Milwaukee Bucks Oct. 24, facing one of the league’s strongest contenders this season.
  • The Houston Rockets will be on national television 38 times (NBA TV: 12, ESPN: 11, TNT: 10, ABC: 5)
  • The Rox face the Los Angeles Lakers once at Toyota Center this season and that will be Jan. 18.
  • The team will have a four-game homestand — it will include the Lakers in that stretch — from Jan. 15 to Jan. 22.
  • The Houston Rockets will take on the Golden State Warriors this Christmas Day (Dec. 25) with a tip-off at 4 p.m. on ABC.

It’s clearly obvious that the NBA wants more of the Houston Rockets on the national stage.  This is quite a bit more of games that they’re getting than last season and this team typically performs well when the bright lights are on.

Harden lives for those moments and I’m positive that Westbrook’s mantra is the same as well.

Facing the Bucks right out of the gate is a great test to how this backcourt will respond to their powerful combination of George Hill and Eric Bledsoe.  The Toronto Raptors figured out the blueprint on how to defeat the Bucks so it will be interesting to see if the Rox do the same with Giannis Antetokounmpo, the reigning NBA MVP.

Even with the Lakers being the Western Conference, Houston Rockets will only get a small taste of what could be a magical season for their opponent with their addition of Anthony Davis coupled with LeBron James.  They only will be in H-Town Jan. 18 and you can bet your bottom dollar that will be the hottest sports ticket of the week when it’s all said and done.

Wait a minute, a FOUR-GAME homestand?  That’s almost unheard of these days and the Rockets will be able to take advantage of that stretch (Jan. 15 vs. the Portland Trail Blazers, Jan. 18 vs. Lakers, Jan. 20 vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder, Jan. 22 vs. the Denver Nuggets).

Although there’s a home-court advantage — and Houston Rockets‘ fans dream — it’s not an easy

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schedule by any means.  All these teams are expected to be leaders in the West so the team’s mettle will truly be tested in this stretch.

Because the Thunder is a completely different team now, I don’t think CP3 actually plays a game for them, it won’t have the same luster as it should.  We’ll have to see about that though.

It’s cool the Houston Rockets are playing on Christmas Day, I habitually watch NBA basketball for most of the day anyway, so it will be terrific to see my home team as one of the headliners.

All in all, there’s no reason why the Houston Rockets can’t excel with this schedule.  I project that they’ll still be able to win 50+ games this season and finish 4th in the Western Conference.

You heard it here first folks!

Next. Rockets: Russell Westbrook's thoughts on Mike D'Antoni's system. dark

But before we step too far forward without a dribble of a basketball, a whistle being blown or seconds ticking off a scoreboard, let’s enjoy the notion of how Daryl Morey seized this offseason like none other.

I can’t thank him enough for always going for it and making team absolutely fun to watch.

They certainly will be…

Let’s do this — go Houston Rockets!