Surreal Moment First preseason game in Chicago was more than just a game for the Rockets.
Photo Credit/Houston Rockets
A new era of Houston Rockets basketball was ushered in on Friday night as new head coach Stephen Silas made his coaching debut against the Chicago Bulls. Houston played its first preseason game in Chicago and left coach Silas with a smile on his face as they defeated the Bulls 125-104.
“As the national anthem started. I took a moment to look around and it was almost a surreal feeling that I am the head coach of the Houston Rockets,” said coach Silas who replaced former head coach Mike D’Antoni this past off season. “And then it was time to get to work.”
Work was something that the Rockets did to the Bulls from the opening tip as newly acquired players such as point guard John Wall and center DeMarcus Cousins made their presence known in the opening quarter. Wall was seeing his first action since missing almost two years of action due to a heel and Achilles tendon injury and Cousins returned to the court after a torn ACL kept him out last year.
“The first play of the game I drove and made a layup. That’s how I knew I was back,” said Wall. “I knew how much hard work I have put in the last two years. It was a surreal moment for me even though it was preseason I have been through so much in the last two years of not knowing if I would ever play basketball again, losing my mom, having another son. It’s just so much adversity that I have been through that I feel God gives his toughest battle to his strongest people.”
Photo Credit/University of Kentucky
The former Kentucky Wildcat teammates had some college flashbacks on the court as they combined for 11 of the first 14 points scored by the Rockets which set the pace and tempo of how the game would go as well as the system coach Silas is trying to implement.
“I kind of had flashbacks to being back in college where I would get caught up kind of watching the show of John,” Cousins said in his postgame interview. “I had a few moments tonight just trying to wait and see what he had up his sleeve next to do. It's a really cool feeling. I'm glad I'm able to share the floor with a guy I consider my brother. This was a perfect night for me."
Even though Rockets fans were excited to see what the new players were going to bring to the court. A couple of veterans reminded them that they are ready for action this season as well. Guard Eric Gordon looked in regular season form as he slashed his way to 16 points and forward Gerald Green who was also returning back to the court after suffering a fractured foot last season also had 16 points.
“Eric was awesome in the first half attacking gaps that were available,” said coach Silas.
The Rockets will be back in action against the Chicago Bulls in their second preseason game on Sunday.