Houston Rockets Season Opener Recap

The Houston Rockets Season Opener should leave Rockets fans hopeful for what’s to come. Despite the heart-wrenching overtime defeat to the Portland Trailblazers, this team has a lot to look forward to. I’ll go into further detail as I recap the Houston Rockets season opener.

The Houston Rockets Season Opener had the Rockets missing 7 players for the season opener. Most notably the absences of John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Eric Gordon, and Ben McLemore.

James Harden

James Harden has been swirling in and out of headlines all offseason. Be it the superstar’s inability to follow COVID-19 protocols days before the season opener or his reluctance to be traded to another contender.

With critics doubting Harden’s motivation to play in Houston and his leadership abilities, Harden surely silenced the haters after his monstrous debut.

  • 44 Points
  • 17 Assist
  • 4 Rebounds
  • 4 Turnovers
  • 54.5 FG%
  • 46.2 3PT%

In case Harden’s ability to perform at the highest level or his ability to lead a team is ever in doubt, here’s some ridiculous stats to showcase his generational talents.

Via: statmuse on Twitter
Via:TheNBACentral on Twitter
Via: MarkBermanFox26 on Twitter

This fully-healthy Houston Rockets team has the potential to be one of the best teams Harden has had the chance to compete with. Although his eyes are set on competing elsewhere, Harden would be ridiculous not to give this team a chance.

Christian Woods

Although his performance was slightly overshadowed by Harden’s, Christian Wood had a spectacular Rockets debut.

The future “Most Improved Player of the Year” demonstrated how great of a fit he is alongside Harden. The two were executing pick and roll plays as if they had been teammates for years.

  • 31 Points
  • 13 Rebounds
  • 3 Assist
  • 63.6 FG%
  • 75.0 FT%

Although his post defense can be improved, Wood has shown he is an excellent fit in Houston. To add to the “Wood” excitement, he hasn’t even had the opportunity to play alongside John Wall or Demarcus Cousins.

One thing for certain, Rafael Stone is an absolute genius and deserves to be praised for acquiring Christian Wood.

The Rockets Bench is Deep

With the absence of key players such as John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Eric Gordon, and Ben McLemore we needed some players to step up. Guys like Jae’Sean Tate, David Nwaba, and Sterling Brown did just that.

Jae’Sean Tate, a rookie from overseas, was quite honestly game-changing. His energy on the court matches that of an NBA veteran.

Tate’s numbers off the bench:

  • 13 Points
  • 4 Rebounds
  • 2 Assist
  • 1 Steal
  • 55.6 FG%

David Nwaba, on the other hand, was a difference-maker on the other end of the floor. Despite shooting 0/3 from three for the game, Nwaba’s defensive presence was huge, making key defensive stops throughout the course of the game.

Nwaba’s numbers:

  • 10 Points
  • 2 Rebounds
  • 1 Steal

Sterling Brown gave the bench a much needed offensive spark. Brown came in and dropped a quick and efficient 8 points in the first quarter.

Brown’s numbers:

  • 10 Points
  • 1 Rebounds
  • 80 FG%
  • 66.7 3PT%

Conclusion

Although the Rockets fell short in overtime to the Blazers, the Rockets outperformed their expectations. Realistically, no one thought the Rockets would come close to defeating the Trailblazers, a team fresh off a great offseason, especially missing 7 key players.

When this Rockets team is together, they’re real contenders.

For more Houston Rockets related articles follow me on twitter @houstanhoops.

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