Dwight Howard returns to the STAPLES Center as the Houston Rockets visit Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Rockets won 54 games last season before having an early exit in the first round of the playoffs against the Trail Blazers. Their offseason has been equally disappointing, as they couldn’t retain Chandler Parsons, who signed with the Mavericks or take Chris Bosh away from the Heat. New additions Trevor Ariza and Jason Terry are expected to provide experience and leadership but depth could be an issue for the Rockets, who also lost Jeremy Lin to the Lakers.
Last season was a disaster for the Lakers to say the least. They were decimated by injuries and won just 27 games and their players missed 319 games. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash combined to play in only 21 games and the team never found an identity.
It was a busy offseason trying to fix their mess. First they replaced head coach Mike D’Antoni with a familiar face, former Laker Byron Scott, someone who understands the culture of the franchise.
The Lakers added some interesting players in Carlos Boozer, Jeremy Lin and Ed Davis and they drafted Julius Randle with the 7th overall selection but they lost Pau Gasol in free agency to the Bulls and weren’t able to land a star player like Carmelo Anthony to take some pressure off Kobe Bryant. To make matters worse Steve Nash suffered a season-ending back injury last week but if Kobe Bryant stays healthy and returns to form the Lakers have a chance to make the playoffs.
In the other 2 games today the champions open their season at home against Mavericks,and Magic play at Pelicans in New Orleans.