For the Houston Rockets, one big question entering the 2021-22 season is who becomes the fifth starter surrounding bigs Christian Wood and Daniel Theis and a young backcourt of Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green.
Eric Gordon, Danuel House Jr., and Jae’Sean Tate all spent time with the first unit during training camp. Gordon got the start in Houston’s preseason opener, which resulted in a win, but he missed Thursday’s game due to a sore left ankle and is doubtful for Monday in Toronto.
Tate came off the bench in the opener, and like Gordon, he missed Thursday’s game altogether due to back tightness. That gave a role in the starting lineup to House, who did not take advantage — scoring 0 points on 0-of-7 shooting in 21 minutes during a loss to Miami.
Now, with Tate upgraded to probable for Monday, all indications are that it will be his chance to play with the starters and make an impression on head coach Stephen Silas. Here’s when you should tune in to see the game, which the Rockets will stream via the team’s official website.
Date: Monday, Oct. 11
Time: 6 p.m. Central
TV Channel: NBA League Pass
Live stream: Free at Rockets.com
Probable starting lineups
Houston Rockets (1-1 in preseason)
Guard: Kevin Porter Jr.
Guard: Jalen Green
Forward: Jae’Sean Tate
Forward: Christian Wood
Center: Daniel Theis
Toronto Raptors (1-2 in preseason)
Guard: Goran Dragic
Guard: Fred VanVleet
Forward: Scottie Barnes
Forward: OG Anunoby
Center: Precious Achiuwa
Pascal Siakam (left shoulder surgery), Chris Boucher (left middle finger dislocation), and Yuta Watanabe (left calf strain) are all listed as out for the Raptors. Thus, the probable lineups are based on each team’s official game notes while accounting for those expected absences.
Both the Rockets (17-55) and Raptors (27-45) struggled more than expected last season, with each team suffering from widespread injuries. The upshot, though, is that each franchise received one of the top rookies in the 2021 NBA draft for their troubles — Green for Houston, and Barnes for Toronto. On Monday, they will face off against one another while continuing to build chemistry with their new teammates, which leaves both teams hopeful of better results in the 2021-22 campaign.