Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets: Watch Live NBA Stream For Free; Preview
The Thunder stars Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka are all expected to play, but each will have their minutes capped to 20. The other two starters, Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins, will sit out to rest their various ailments. Cole Aldrich will be starting in place of Perkins and Daequan Cook is likely to start for Sefolosha although that has not been officially announced yet.
On the Rockets side, it was rumored that Jeremy Lin may sit out the game, but the reports are coming now that Linsanity will indeed play. So this will be a great preview of what's to come for Lin -- the global phenomenon this past February -- in his new role as the go-to guy on the Houston Rockets.
The Rockets let their best players from last season go this summer, including Kyle Lowry, Luis Scola, and Goran Dragic, so the team is in somewhat of a rebuild mode right now.
Lin has said he still isn't 100% from his meniscus tear last March, so he may play limited time.
For the young Thunder, this is a big year for them. James Harden is due for a contract extension soon and it is unsure whether or not Thunder's GM, Sam Presti, plans to re-sign the shooting guard. They love Harden and his talent, of course, but the team is already tied to long term max contracts to three players (Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka). Although this team is young, this could be their final season to win it all, as one of the big four may be gone after this season.
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