McGrady and Yao get the Rockets’ season underway when the Sacramento Kings, coming off an ugly performance in their season opener, visit the Toyota Center.
The Rockets went 51-31 last season before getting eliminated in seven games by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the postseason.
McGrady thrived offensively in his first season with Houston, leading the team with 25.7 points per game. The 7-foot-6 Yao averaged a career-high 18.3 points per contest and a team-high 8.4 rebounds.
The Rockets are expecting big things from Yao this season after signing him to a five-year contract extension worth $75 million in September.
Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander called the agreement “as important as anything I’ve done as an owner.”
“I think he could become one of greatest players in the history of the game,” Alexander said. “To have the next great big man tied up for a long time is very, very important for this team and I believe it will give us a chance to compete for the championship for many years to come.”
Houston had a busy offseason, signing free agents Stromile Swift and Derek Anderson and resigning Dikembe Mutombo, Ryan Bowen and Jon Barry. The Rockets also strengthened the point guard position with the acquisition of Rafer Alston in a trade with Toronto.
Yao’s excited about his new teammates, especially Swift.
“If you want to survive in the West you have to have a very strong inside players and be strong in the paint,” he said. “He will bring energy.”
The Kings hope to bring some more energy to the court Wednesday after suffering a disappointing 93-67 loss to the New Orleans Hornets in their season opener on Tuesday in Oklahoma City.
The Hornets, 18-64 last season, beat a Sacramento team many expect to be among the top teams in the Western Conference.
“We knew they were going to come out and attack us,” Kings coach Rick Adelman said. “It was the first game here. The crowd was into it.”
Adelman said the Kings got out of synch offensively in the second quarter, when they scored only 12 points as the Hornets pulled away.
Sacramento’s lowest point total last season came in a 103-73 loss to San Antonio on Jan. 23.