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"Rockets guard Eric Gordon finished the preseason as the top-rated offensive player in the NBA. The Rockets believe it will be a sign of things to come as Gordon takes on a role even greater than they expected when he was one of their most important offseason additions. The offense has given me instant ability to knock down shots, hit wide-open shots, and also get in the paint and make layups. With the changes in the backcourt, coach Mike D'Antoni said guard Tyler Ennis will likely get playing time to start the season. Starting guard Pat Beverley is out after Tuesday's arthroscopic knee surgery. The Rockets' season opener in Los Angeles will make them the first opponent in the Lakers' post-Kobe Bryant era, a change that the Rockets said seems as strange for them as it must be for the Lakers. The Rockets believe the rebuilding Lakers will offer a strong test, citing their youth and pace of play. What will help us out is taking really good shots so we're", www.houstonchronicle.com
"Rockets guard James Harden insisted that he did not mind the criticism. With a brutally difficult schedule to start the season - seven of their first eight games and 14 of 20 are on the road, including games against the Warriors, Cavaliers, Spurs (twice) and Thunder - the Rockets will get their chance to demand attention. [...] the Rockets did not return to presumed contender status that easily. Even if that is a much more exclusive club this season, with the Warriors and Cavaliers heavy favorites to become the first teams to meet in The Finals in three-consecutive seasons, players will use any perceived slight as motivation. For the Rockets, a team of players either part of last season's fall or doubted because of previous struggles, it is easy to look at the start of the season as a chance to prove a point. Either they've been beat up in the media for a reason or people think they've been hurt; they can't be back to what they were. After the Rockets 41-41", www.houstonchronicle.com