New era in Red Nation begins

New era in Red Nation begins
October 31, 2012, 10:30 am
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Rockets new era about to begin

(Derick Hingle - US Presswire)

Video: Lin's dunk at practice

It's a new age for Houston Rocket basketball. Wednesday will give fans a first glimpse of this team, a team that is different than they've seen all preseason.

Houston travels to Auburn Hills to play the Pistons, who, like the Rockets, are considered a young team.

Of course, on Houston's side, the acquisition of James Harden has taken center stage, even somewhat overshadowing Jeremy Lin's debut. The reason for this is Harden becomes the Rockets' top scoring option and brings the most championship experience at the highest level. This will be his first game action (he didn't play in any preseason games with the Rockets) with the team.

Lin excited for the season, not worried about his knee

Lin still remains a big storyline. His face, after all, adorns Rockets billboards everywhere. Ever since his departure from the Knicks, he has been doubted on a national scale. It didn't help that he struggled somewhat in most of his preseason games as he worked himself back from a knee injury. However, Lin's most recent game was his best. His jump shot was working. He didn't turn the ball over. And he keyed the deciding run.

Harden and Lin may grab the headlines, but Chandler Parsons has a new leadership role in only his second season. Omer Asik impressed during the preseason, statistically with his rebounding, overall with his effort.

The Rockets gave up a lot to get the players that they did from the Thunder, but the trade transformed them. More depth now exists. The team, as it appears on paper, seems to have a better shot to win sooner rather than later.

Detroit, according to Bovada, is tied for the second longest odds to win the NBA title. A reason for this is their youth. Rodney Stuckey and Tayshaun Prince are veterans. Greg Monroe had his coming-out party a year ago. The Monroe-Asik matchup should be one of several interesting ones to watch during the game.

But what'll be watched the most, is how Harden and the Rockets mesh with each other to usher in the 2012-13 season.

Video: Steve Francis talks Harden, Rockets