NBA preseason schedule: Rockets to go big against Mavericks

Stephen Dunn

Dwight Howard and Omer Asik will start together for the Rockets against the Mavs.

The Houston Rockets will host the Dallas Mavericks in NBA preseason action on Monday night, and with center Omer Asik finally healthy, the plan for the Rockets is to go big. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Rockets coach Kevin McHale is set to start both Asik and Dwight Howard in the frontcourt against Dallas.

Howard and Asik are both natural centers, but the Rockets have expressed interest in playing the two together because of their defensive potential. McHale wants to test his big men and see how well they can defend a stretch 4 like Dirk Nowitzki.

There are three other games on Monday night, with two games tipping off the night at 7 p.m. ET. Andrea Bargnani is slated to make another return to Toronto with the New York Knicks, but the big man is questionable to play Monday due to a stiff back. Bargnani had 10 points and four rebounds two weeks ago in his first return to Toronto as a member of the Knicks.

Elsewhere, the Philadelphia 76ers will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls will face a division rival in the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bulls will be without Joakim Noah due to a groin injury, and they may also not have the services of Jimmy Butler and Kirk Hinrich.

Here's the full schedule for Monday:

Game Time (ET) TV
New York Knicks at Toronto Raptors 7 p.m. NBA TV Canada, MSG
Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers 7 p.m. FSOhio
Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls 8 p.m. WGN
Dallas Mavericks at Houston Rockets 9 p.m. KTXA, CSN Houston

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