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Preseason Game Preview: Spurs at Rockets

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The last five times these teams played each other the Rockets have won. I've read a number of Rockets fans comments that proclaim that Chandler Parsons has owned Kawhi Leonard in their matchups, so the Spurs should really watch out.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs @ Houston Rockets

Toyota Center, Houston, TX

October 24, 2014, 7:00 PM Spurs Time

TV: NBATV    RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI


I'm sure you've heard that Darryl Morey decided to get cute with the last year of Chandler Parsons' contract and the Rockets ended up losing him to Mark Cuban's Mavericks in the offseason. Morey decided that paying Parsons a little less than a million dollars to retain the forward for another year wasn't as appealing as letting him enter restricted free-agency. Cuban kind of trolled the Rockets with a 3-year $46 million offer and the Rockets let him go. The Rockets also lost Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, but brought in Trevor Ariza, Jason Terry and Kostas Papanikolaou.

I won't go as far as Michael Erler in predicting that the Rockets miss the playoffs entirely, but even with Kevin Durant out for a month or so of the season, I don't see the Rockets hosting a playoff series in 2015.  Ariza is a nice player and Papanikolaou is intriguing, but Terry's been done for a couple of years and they'll miss Lin and Asik.

The Rockets are 5-2 so far in the preseason with losses to Orlando and New Orleans while the Spurs are 2-4. I'm not too concerned with the Spurs' performance so far as they're missing a couple of starters as well as Patty Mills. Tiago Splitter might be back for the season opener against Dallas on Tuesday, but Kawhi Leonard will probably miss that one and Mills will be out for the first couple of months of the season.

Once the regular season rolls around (just four more days!) the Spurs will hopefully tighten up. It'll be a little tough for them as long as Whi is out and Mills' absence could cost them a game or two, but this team has been together for so long that the effect should be minimized. After all, including Pop, the Spurs are bringing back 89 seasons of Spurs experience. If you remove Kyle Anderson, who probably wont get much time with the varsity team this season, and Austin Daye, the Spurs' 13-man roster with Gregg Popovich has an average of 6.3 seasons with the team. The average length of an NBA career is 4.8 years.


Before we get to really see where the Spurs are following their championship run, we have to sit through one more preseason contest. The NBA is being nice enough to broadcast this one on television so that we can check the team out after not being able to view the last four preseason games. That said, we're unlikely to see anything that resembles the Spurs' rotation in this one. I'd be surprised to see Tim "Stone Buddha" Duncan or Tony Parker play much,  if at all, but Manu Ginobili is still trying to find his way to playing condition and he may get some run against the Spurs' I-10 rivals.

JaMychal Green will get one more shot to force the Spurs to cut one of their players on a guaranteed contract, Jeff Ayres and Austin Daye are the likely candidates in that situation, but it's pretty unlikely that the Spurs will enter the season with anyone on their roster that wasn't there last year besides Kyle Anderson, who will almost certainly spend the majority of his time in Austin developing his game with the Austin Spurs.

I'm relatively excited about Anderson and it remains to be seen how much of him we'll see this year, but this could be one of the last times to see him get some run outside of garbage time while Mills and Leonard are out. There's little of interest to see in this game, but Anderson and Gino might reward the fan that gives up their Friday night to catch the contest.

Preseason Game 7

@

San Antonio Spurs

Houston Rockets

October 24, 2014

Toyota Center, Houston, Texas

7:00 PM CDT

TV: NBATV

Radio: WOAI 1200AM

Starters

Cory Joseph

PG

Patrick Beverley

Danny Green

SG

James Harden?

Kyle Anderson

SF

Trevor Ariza

Boris Diaw

PF

Terrence Jones

Aron Baynes

C

Dwight Howard?

Game prediction: Rockets by 4.

As always, Tony must dominate Fisher.