Led By Harden And Howard, Rockets Seek To Take Next Step In ’15-’16 Campaign


Dwight Howard came to the Houston Rockets in 2013 in search of an NBA championship and during the 2014-15 NBA season, he almost found one.

Thanks to an epic comeback against the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round of the playoffs, Houston was able to make it to their first Western Conference Finals since the 1996-97 season. Howard and fellow superstar James Harden did most of the heavy lifting during their postseason run, but unfortunately, it was just not enough, as the team was also banged up, with crucial injuries to Patrick Beverley and Donatas Motiejunas that had them in street clothes even before the regular season reached its conclusion.

Now at full strength and with the addition of stellar point guard Ty Lawson, whom they acquired in a trade with the Denver Nuggets, the Rockets head into the 2015-16 NBA season looking to pick up right where they left off. That will naturally be easier said than done for a team that operates in the ultra-competitive Western Conference, and in the process, the schedule doesn’t look to give Houston any breaks this year. Not only do the Rockets rank inside the top-10 this season for most miles traveled (48,566) according to NBAsavant.com, but they also have to deal with arguably the toughest division in basketball, featuring the Spurs, Grizzlies, Mavericks and Pelicans. Impressively, all five teams within the division reached the playoffs last season.

It may not be a cruise to a potential berth in the Finals, but Houston at least has a very good chance at making another deep playoff run and fans also get to enjoy solid value along the way. Houston Rockets tickets are only set to be around $220 on average for the year, while fans get a bit of a discount to start the season, as well as during the holidays. With the 2015-16 NBA schedule now out for all to see, let’s take a look at that value by breaking down Houston’s home opener, as well as their Christmas Day game this season:

10/28/2015 VS. Denver Nuggets at Toyota Center | Avg: $172.42 | Get-in: $19

Houston opens up their season at home on October 28, where a tantalizing battle with the Denver Nuggets awaits. Despite this being a fun, up-tempo affair and the Rockets’ season/home opener, Rockets tickets are still about $50 less than this year’s average ticket price. That’s a bargain for fans to catch Harden and Howard in game one, while the Nuggets also bring some star power to the table with rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay — Lawson’s replacement — as well as the likes of Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler. The best part? Fans can hit the cheap seats for under $20 and help the Rockets kick off the new season.

Out-of-town fans looking to take advantage of these great ticket deals and catch the Rockets in their season debut can book cheap Houston flights through Hipmunk.com. In addition, for those looking to turn it into a basketball getaway to kick off the new campaign, Hipmunk also features affordable Houston hotel listings, with rooms starting at $69.

12/25/2015 VS. San Antonio Spurs at Toyota Center | Avg: $286.91 | Get-in: $109

The Christmas Day game is one to cherish, as not every team gets one and it’s a fun way to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. This date with the Spurs is a bit hefty, as Rockets tickets climb up an additional $66 for this one, but it should be worth it to see Tim Duncan and LaMarcus Aldridge take on Howard down low. Kawhi Leonard will do his best to slow down James Harden, too, while fans get to enjoy one of several intense showdowns between these Southwest divisional foes. San Antonio won three of four a year ago, so the Rockets will naturally be looking to take out the Spurs on such a big stage.

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