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Rockets 2013-14 Schedule: Month-by-Month Listings, Predictions and More

HOUSTON - JULY 13:  Houston Rocktes head coach Kevin McHale (L) and Dwight Howard hold up his new jersey during a press conference on July 13, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Alex KayCorrespondent IAugust 6, 2013

The Houston Rockets, one of the most intriguing teams in the NBA, have finally learned how their road back to the playoffs will look. The complete slate of games was released by NBA.com and can be found below.

Houston became one of the hottest tickets in the league almost overnight, as the up-and-coming franchise acquired Dwight Howard in unrestricted free agency early last month.

The big man is now the centerpiece of a legitimate title contender in the loaded Western Conference, as he joins James Harden and the rest of the Rockets’ supporting cast that made an unexpected foray into the postseason last year.

All eyes are going to be on D12 as he attempts to show he is still a franchise-caliber talent that is capable of leading a squad on a deep playoff run—as he did when he took the Orlando Magic to the finals in 2009.

Will he have what it takes to grind out the regular season, stay healthy and nab a top seed in the West, or will injuries and drama follow him to Houston and derail his title dreams?

Keep reading for a prediction on that, along with analysis for a handful of must-watch Rockets games and more.

 

*All times ET

 

2013-14 Houston Rockets Schedule

OctoberOpponentTime
Wed 30vs Charlotte Bobcats8:00 p.m.   

 

NovemberOpponentTime
Fri 1vs Dallas Mavericks8:00 p.m.
Sat 2@ Utah Jazz9:00 p.m.
Mon 4@ L.A. Clippers10:30 p.m.
Tue 5@ Portland Trail Blazers10:00 p.m.
Thu 7vs L.A. Lakers9:30 p.m.
Sat 9vs L.A. Clippers8:00 p.m.
Mon 11vs Toronto Raptors8:00 p.m.
Wed 13@ Philadelphia 76ers7:00 p.m.
Thu 14@ New York Knicks8:00 p.m.
Sat 16vs Denver Nuggets8:00 p.m.
Tue 19vs Boston Celtics8:00 p.m.
Wed 20@ Dallas Mavericks9:30 p.m.
Sat 23vs Minnesota Timberwolves8:00 p.m.
Mon 25@ Memphis Grizzlies8:00 p.m.
Wed 27vs Atlanta Hawks8:00 p.m.
Fri 29vs Brooklyn Nets8:00 p.m.
Sat 30@ San Antonio Spurs8:30 p.m.

 

DecemberOpponentTime
Mon 2@ Utah Jazz9:00 p.m.
Wed 4vs Phoenix Suns8:00 p.m.
Fri 6vs Golden State Warriors8:00 p.m.
Sun 8vs Orlando Magic7:00 p.m.
Thu 12@ Portland Trail Blazers10:30 p.m.
Fri 13@ Golden State Warriors10:30 p.m.
Sun 15@ Sacramento Kings6:00 p.m.
Wed 18vs Chicago Bulls9:30 p.m.
Fri 20@ Indiana Pacers8:00 p.m.
Sat 21@ Detroit Pistons7:30 p.m.
Mon 23vs Dallas Mavericks8:00 p.m.
Wed 25@ San Antonio Spurs8:00 p.m.
Thu 26vs Memphis Grizzlies8:00 p.m.
Sat 28vs New Orleans Pelicans8:00 p.m.
Sun 29@ Oklahoma City Thunder7:00 p.m.
Tue 31vs Sacramento Kings7:00 p.m.

 

JanuaryOpponentTime
Fri 3vs New York Knicks8:00 p.m.
Wed 8vs L.A. Lakers9:30 p.m.
Fri 10@ Atlanta Hawks7:30 p.m.
Sat 11@ Washington Wizards7:00 p.m.
Mon 13@ Boston Celtics7:30 p.m.
Wed 15@ New Orleans Pelicans8:00 p.m.
Thu 16vs Oklahoma City Thunder9:30 p.m.
Sat 18vs Milwaukee Bucks8:00 p.m.
Mon 20vs Portland Trail Blazers8:00 p.m.
Wed 22vs Sacramento Kings8:00 p.m.
Fri 24vs Memphis Grizzlies8:00 p.m.
Sat 25@ Memphis Grizzlies8:00 p.m.
Tue 28vs San Antonio Spurs8:00 p.m.
Wed 29@ Dallas Mavericks8:30 p.m.

 

FebruaryOpponentTime
Sat 1vs Cleveland Cavaliers8:00 p.m.
Wed 5vs Phoenix Suns8:00 p.m.
Sat 8@ Milwaukee Bucks8:30 p.m.
Mon 10@ Minnesota Timberwolves8:00 p.m.
Wed 12vs Washington Wizards8:00 p.m.
Wed 19@ L.A. Lakers10:30 p.m.
Thu 20@ Golden State Warriors10:30 p.m.
Sun 23@ Phoenix Suns8:00 p.m.
Tue 25@ Sacramento Kings10:00 p.m.
Wed 26@ L.A. Clippers10:30 p.m.

 

MarchOpponentTime
Sat 1vs Detroit Pistons8:00 p.m.
Tue 4vs Miami Heat8:00 p.m.
Wed 5@ Orlando Magic7:00 p.m.
Fri 7vs Indiana Pacers9:30 p.m.
Sun 9vs Portland Trail Blazers7:00 p.m.
Tue 11@ Oklahoma City Thunder8:00 p.m.
Thu 13@ Chicago Bulls7:00 p.m.
Sun 16@ Miami Heat3:30 p.m.
Mon 17vs Utah Jazz8:00 p.m.
Thu 20vs Minnesota Timberwolves8:00 p.m.
Sat 22@ Cleveland Cavaliers7:30 p.m.
Mon 24@ Charlotte Hornets7:00 p.m.
Thu 27vs Philadelphia 76ers8:00 p.m.
Sat 29vs L.A. Clippers8:00 p.m.

 

AprilOpponentTime
Tue 1@ Brooklyn Nets8:00 p.m.
Wed 2@ Toronto Raptors7:00 p.m.
Fri 4vs Oklahoma City Thunder9:30 p.m.
Sun 6vs Denver Nuggets7:00 p.m.
Tue 8@ L.A. Lakers10:30 p.m.
Wed 9@ Denver Nuggets9:00 p.m.
Fri 11@ Minnesota Timberwolves8:00 p.m.
Sat 12vs New Orleans Pelicans8:00 p.m.
Mon 14vs San Antonio Spurs8:00 p.m.
Wed 16@ New Orleans Pelicans8:00 p.m.

 

Most Intriguing Matchups

Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers

When: Thursday, November 7

This is going to be one of the most bitter and hard-fought games of the season, as L.A. will be looking to get its revenge on Howard after he spurned it in free agency.

Kobe Bryant should be back in action after suffering a season-ending Achilles injury last year. He will be joined by veteran teammates Pau Gasol and Steve Nash, who are hoping to improve upon their wildly disappointing performances in the 2012-13 campaign.

While the Lakers look to be outgunned on paper, the Black Mamba has plenty of motivation and enough pride to will his Purple and Gold side to a victory.

It’ll be interesting to see if Howard can step up and show that he made the right decision to leave an extra year and $30 million on the table when he decided to sign with Houston.

If the Rockets can’t find a way to pull this one out, it’s only going to add more fuel to the smouldering fire that has surrounded Howard and his highly publicized journey from L.A. to Houston.

 

Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder

When: Sunday, December 29

The Rockets were ultimately eliminated by the Thunder in the 2013 playoffs, but not before they could deliver a mortal blow to OKC’s title chances.

In Game 2 of the heated first-round series, Patrick Beverley lunged at Russell Westbrook for a steal as the Thunder point guard attempted to call a timeout.

Westbrook tore his meniscus in the resulting collision and was sidelined for the remainder of Oklahoma City’s short playoff run.

The Thunder would win that series but lose in five games to the Memphis Grizzlies in the conference semifinals without their second-best player.

Prior to the injury, the Thunder were in prime position to advance back to the NBA Finals and will not soon forget Beverley’s controversial actions.

Add in the bad blood lingering from the Harden trade last year, and this is a recipe for a classic contest.

This should be a chippy battle from the opening tip to the final whistle.

 

Predicted 2013-14 Record for Houston Rockets: 58-24

The Rockets have a number of new pieces and just one player over the age of 30—Francisco Garcia—but that inexperience and unfamiliarity should quickly fade.

While it may take this emerging club a few games to jell and get going, Houston should ultimately transform into one of the marquee teams in the entire league in short order.

Howard, Harden and a supporting cast that includes great talents such as Beverley, Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik, Aaron Brooks, Donatas Motiejunas and others are more than skilled enough to beat any opponent in the Association.

It may fall short of the best record, but Houston is a lock for a top-four seed and is primed to make serious noise in the postseason.

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