By JULIE TAKAHASHI, SportsRadio 610
(Photo Credit: Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

Houston (CBS Houston)- The 2013-14 NBA season is finally here for the city of Houston as the Rockets host the Charlotte Bobcats at the Toyota Center Wednesday night.

Dwight Howard, the teams big acquisition during the offseason, began his media session Tuesday doing a great lounge singer impression ‘singing’ and ‘scatting’ for the press.

“We got to start this season tomorrow. We got a game against the Charlotte Bobcats. We trying to win the game and make them cry, cause we want to beat them cats.”

Howard explained that he was fortunate to avoid a serious injury when he had to leave Monday’s practice after being poked in the eye.

“The contact kinda saved me. So I was glad I had my contact in,” Howard said. “The other piece of it came out this morning and it was in a lot of pieces all in my eye. Luckily the contact was the one that got scratched and not my eye.”

The Rockets center joked that he doesn’t wear ‘protective goggles’ for a few specific reasons.

“Well I tried to wear goggles before but my teammates couldn’t stop laughing,” Howard joked. “It just didn’t sit well on my face and I didn’t have a deal with Oakley so I just decided not to wear goggles.”

The starting roster also was announced Tuesday not by head coach Kevin McHale but instead forward Chandler Parsons who said Patrick Beverley would start instead of Jeremy Lin. Howard is impressed with Beverley’s progress and work ethic.

“There was a struggle for him to get here but he never stopped working,” Howard said. “He’s still working today. He wants that ring bad and he wants people to know who he is. So every time he steps out on the floor he wants to prove himself.”

The Rockets starting lineup: Beverley, Parsons, Howard, James Harden and Omer Asik.

Howard was asked about Asik and how the Rockets can create matchup problems for other teams.

“I don’t mind starting with Asik. I think it’s great,” Howard said. “There will be times where we can play big and there’s time where we can play small with the lineups. With the guys that we have on this team, either way we go we’ll be fine.”

This season might just be what this city needs, hope and fun. And the new Rocket is ready to check the past at the door and have a great 2013-14 season.

“That was behind me once I got here. I’m ready to go, we’re excited,” Howard said. “You know we’ve had some great practices, all our guys are working extremely hard and we’re ready to go. I think it’s going to be a really great season for our team.”

Follow Julie Takahashi on Twitter: @Julie_Takahashi



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