banner

NBA

more stats

NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, October 30th (All times Eastern)

Charlotte Bobcats (0-0) at Houston Rockets (0-0), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dwight Howard era in Houston opens Wednesday night, when the Rockets entertain the Charlotte Bobcats at the Toyota Center.

Howard was the biggest prize on the free agent market and the Rockets were fortunate enough to acquire his services. The seven-time All-Star and three- time Defensive Player of the Year opted to take his talents to Space City instead of Los Angeles (Lakers) and Golden State.

"This is very special. Words really can't explain how I feel about being here," Howard said. "It is a fresh start, a clean slate. I am looking forward to doing it in Houston with these beautiful fans behind me. I think it is going to be great. I am looking forward to embracing this city and giving them everything I got."

Howard's one season with the Lakers was not glamorous. The Lakers played well below expectations, squeaked into the playoffs and disbanded, due in large part to Howard's departure.

Through the disappointment of the 2012-13 campaign, Howard's numbers dipped, but were still extraordinary. He averaged 17.1 ppg (down almost 3.0 ppg from the previous season), but led the NBA in rebounding with 12.4 per game and finished fifth in the league in blocked shots at 2.45 a contest.

Howard will team up with fellow star James Harden, whose bruised knee shouldn't prevent him from playing Wednesday. Houston made the postseason with relative ease thanks to Harden and even took a few games from the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Rockets were the NBA's second-highest scoring team and one of the most storied 3-point shooting teams in history. Defensively, Houston finished 28th in a 30-team league in opponents' scoring under head coach Kevin McHale, who was a defensive stalwart in his playing days.

McHale already made one tough decision. He announced that Patrick Beverley will start at point guard over Jeremy Lin.

Overall, the Rockets should finish in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference and could even host a playoff series.

Charlotte is not expected to do much this season and that's par for the course with this franchise. The Bobcats went 21-61 last season and two seasons ago had the worst winning percentage in league history. If not for a labor- shortened season, Charlotte could have enjoyed the worst record ever.

The Bobcats suffered through an 18-game losing streak that spanned into a 1-15 December. They made an effort to improve by signing big man Al Jefferson to a three-year deal and he'll contribute immediately. Jefferson has averaged 18.9 ppg and 10.1 rpg over the last seven seasons, all the while staying relatively healthy.

"The Charlotte Bobcats did a great job coming at me (in free agency) and made me feel like they were a team that really respected my game and made me feel like a part of the family," Jefferson said.

He injured his ankle at the end of training camp and his availability for Wednesday night is in question.

Charlotte has a new man in charge in head coach Steve Clifford, formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff. He will be the sixth different Bobcats coach in the last 10 years.

"I think the culture starts around the head coach and the team leaders," Clifford said at his introductory press conference. "They're going to set the tone every day in practice and set the tone for the intensity every night you play."

Jefferson, Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Gerald Henderson, Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions hope to make Clifford's first season a smooth one.

The Bobcats lost both meetings with the Rockets last season and are winless in the last five games in this series. Charlotte has lost eight in a row in Space City.

10/30 10:12:55 ET

Other Stories

  • NASL: RailHawks at Jacksonville

    Tonight at 7:30 on WRAL-2

  • PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Syracuse

    Tonight at 6:20 on Buzz Sports Radio

  • MLB: Detroit at LA Angels

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
6:35pm Tonight
SYR
DUR
 
8:00pm Tonight
NCSTATE
TCU
 
Final
TOR 2
MIN 3
7th
COL 4
PHI 1
 
5th
TAM 3
BAL 0
 
3rd
ARI 4
MIL 2
 
4th
CWS 0
HOU 0
 
4th
MIA 5
NYM 1
 
4th
WAS 1
CIN 2
 
7:15pm Tonight
BOS
TEX
7:15pm Tonight
KAN
CHC
7:15pm Tonight
LOS
STL
10:05pm Tonight
ATL
SFG
10:05pm Tonight
DET
ANA
10:05pm Tonight
NYY
OAK
10:10pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
10:10pm Tonight
PIT
SDP
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
ANA
Final
BRADLEY 9
MOREHEADST 4
 
12:00pm Today
DALLASBAPT 0
TEXAS 0
 
Final
MERCER 0
AUBURN 1
 
Final
CANISIUS 1
SWMISSOURI 14
 
Final
CCAROLINA 4
TSOUTHERN 1
 
Final
ECAROLINA 0
FIU 2
 
Final
FAU 8
FLAAM 1
 
Final
STJOHNS 10
ORALROBRTS 4
 
3rd
WRIGHTST 5
OHIO 2
 
4th
RICE 1
HSTNBAPT 0
 
2nd
SACREDHART 0
STONYBROOK 5
 
2nd
LEHIGH 3
TULANE 1
 
2nd
LOUISVILLE 0
MICHIGAN 0
 
3rd
RADFORD 0
LIPSCOMB 2
 
1st
OREGON 0
CANISIUS 0
 
6:00pm Tonight
CHARLESTON
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Tonight
USC
CSANTABAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
ARKANSAS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Tonight
FLORIDA
SFLORIDA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAFLA
COLUMBIA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MISS
CSBAKER
 
7:00pm Tonight
OREGONST 0
VCU 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
PEPPERDINE
CLEMSON
 
7:00pm Tonight
TEXASAM
CALIFORNIA
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOUSTON
ULLAFAYETE
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLINOIS
NOTREDAME
 
8:00pm Tonight
NCSTATE
TCU
 
8:00pm Tonight
VANDERBILT
INDIANA
 
9:00pm Tonight
IOWA
SWMISSOURI
 
9:00pm Tonight
LSU
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Tonight
SANDIEGOST
VIRGINIA
 
11:00pm Tonight
ARIZONAST
FULLERTON
 
11:00pm Tonight
UCLA
MARYLAND
 
6:35pm Tonight
SYR
DUR