Rockets to Play Raptors, Grizzlies, Celtics in NBA Restart Scrimmages

Michael Shapiro

The 2019-20 season will officially resume on July 30, but the 22 teams appearing in Orlando will get to take the floor for live competition one week earlier.

The NBA announced on Saturday its schedule for a week of scrimmages in the lead-up to the season's resumption, with exhibition games running from July 22 through July 28. The Rockets will have a trio of exhibition games before they begin the final portion of the regular season on July 31.

Houston will begin its slate of scrimmages on Friday, July 24 as James Harden and Co. face the Raptors at 6:30 p.m. CT. The Rockets will then face the Grizzlies on Sunday, July 26 before one final scrimmage against the Celtics on Tuesday, July 28. The contests against Memphis and Boston are both set to begin at 7 p.m. CT. 

It has not been announced whether the scrimmages will be televised. 

The Rockets enter the season's resumption No. 6 in the Western Conference at 40–24. Houston has already secured a spot in the playoffs, though its seed could fluctuate in the eight games before the postseason. The Rockets are currently tied with the Thunder for the No. 5 seed, and they sit one game back of the Jazz for the No. 4 spot. 

Houston will fight for playoff seeding in the final eight games of the regular season, though its finish in the West may not be of utmost importance to Mike D'Antoni. The Rockets head coach said on Wednesday he expects to expand his rotation in the lead-up to the playoffs, allowing him to further evaluate his roster after a slew of midseason moves. Houston added forwards Robert Covington, Jeff Green and DeMarre Carroll in February, and it recently signed Luc Mbah a Moute to replace Thabo Sefolosha. 

The Rockets will resume the regular season on July 31 as they face the Mavericks. They enter the 2020 playoffs seeking their first Finals appearance since 1995.