When it comes to winning, the preseason predictably did not go well. The Rockets needed a fourth-quarter rally with the benches cleared to top the Wizards and then trailed by 21, 24 and 28 points in losses to the Heat, Raptors and Spurs. They ranked 25th in the NBA in net rating. Though results of games that don’t count can be meaningless — the Lakers ranked 28th in net rating — a team with five teenagers and just one starter back from last season-opener cannot know if it is ready to start the season until it does.
When/where: 7 p.m. Wednesday; Target Center, Minneapolis
TV: AT&T SportsNet Southwest
Radio: 740 AM, 1010 AM (Spanish)
Preseason records: Rockets 1-3, Timberwolves 3-1
Rockets injury/status report: Forward Danuel House Jr. (personal reasons) is questionable. Guards Garrison Matthews (not with team) and John Wall are out.
Timberwolves: Guard Patrick Beverley (league suspension) is out. Guards Jordan McLaughlin and Jaylen Nowell (back spasms) are questionable.
2. What can the Rockets expect from Jalen Green?
Green, the second pick in this year's draft, struggled with his shot in the preseason, making just 34 percent of his attempts and 23.1 percent of his 3-pointers. But previous games might not indicate much about what will come next. He can be expected to have ups and downs with teams likely to game plan to defend him even more than in the preseason but with his ability to get his shots anyway. Green will not have to search for reminders of the learning curve he faces. Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards, the first pick of the 2020 draft and Rookie of the Year runner-up, made 37.1 percent of his shots, 30.2 percent of his 3s to average 14.9 points in the first half of last season, and then 45.4 percent and 34.9 percent while averaging 23.8 points the rest of the way.
3. Who will start and how does that impact the rotation?
The Rockets have had four starting lineups in four preseason games, a rate that exceeds even last season’s collection of 43 starting lineups, the 72-game equivalent of the Warriors’ NBA record. The options for the starting small forward spot — Jae’Sean Tate, Eric Gordon and Danuel House Jr. — all missed at least one game.
4. Can the Rockets slow the Timberwolves?
The Timberwolves led the NBA in fast-break scoring, averaging 23.2 points on the break in the preseason. The Rockets ranked 25th in fast-break points allowed and were especially vulnerable in allowing early offense, areas they will have to improve against Minnesota.
5. Will Wood produce and slow Towns?
Christian Wood averaged 24 points and 13.5 rebounds, making 56.3 percent of his shots and 36.4 percent of his 3s against the Timberwolves last season. But Karl-Anthony Towns averaged 29 points and 12.7 rebounds against the Rockets. Wood improved through the preseason, getting 19 points and 19 rebounds Friday in San Antonio. He made 48.8 percent of his shots in the preseason, but just 25 percent of his 3-pointers and 36 percent of his free throws.
Source : https://www.houstonchronicle.com/texas-sports-nation/rockets/article/Rockets-Timberwolves-five-things-to-watch-opener-16546548.php846