For the first time in years, the Houston Rockets have a foundational player and some league-wide buzz to boot. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Al Horford and Josh Smith are next on the docket. The Rockets head to Philips Arena to kick off the Hawks’ season and try to keep 82-0 on the table. The Hawks are not going to make that easy.

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in game coverage

The “New Age” Rockets made their debut at the Palace tonight to a wide array of questions after a season of complete roster shakeup. Can the rookies play? Will some break out? How will Asik work full time? Can Lin go Linsane once again?

And the biggest question of all got the biggest answer of all: How will Harden work as the franchise player?

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in game coverage

Game chat – 6:30PM CST

Join us in the chatroom tonight at 6:30PM CST for the start of the James Harden era.  Just because most of us won’t be able to watch the game doesn’t mean we can’t join in the fun.

We’ll be using the new forum software this year to power the chats so that should sidestep many of the limitations from years past.

To participate, go to the forums and click on the chat tab below the banner.  To enter, you’ll need a forum account.  If you haven’t yet created a forum account, you can do that here.  (You can also register via Twitter.)

Thanks.  I’m looking forward to a fun year.  Hopefully this Comcast issue will be resolved soon.

in from the editor

Game Preview: Rockets @ Pistons

All it took was a trade four days ago for James Harden to change the Rockets’ trajectory. After several years of mediocrity the Rockets were finally in the midst of rebuilding by having a young inexperienced team possessing future potential and a slew of draft picks including more than likely two lottery picks in the 2013 draft, but with the addition of Harden, most of those draft picks are gone and in return the Rockets received something they have been coveting since the T-Mac/Yao era: a young star to build around.

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in game coverage

We plan and carefully prepare, but often our lives are shaped by the unexpected.  The surprise job offer, the college admission to the better school, the sudden death of a loved one.  Good or bad, we cope when fate appears and make the most of the hand dealt, even if needing a completely different route.

Saturday’s acquisition of Thunder guard James Harden was an unexpected boon for Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey.  Only time will tell how good they’ll be, but with the trade, Morey’s team now has a distinct shape.  Harden, guard Jeremy Lin, center Omer Asik, and forward Chandler Parsons are all—or in Harden’s case expected to be soon—locked in long term.  To fill the hole at power forward, many expect Morey to make use of the money his team has available below the cap.

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in essays