Davis shines as Pelicans rout Rockets, Kawhi debuts in Toronto

Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs

Houston finished with the sixth-best defensive rating in the National Basketball Association during the 2017-18 season - Anthony finished 287th in defensive win shares among eligible players. The Rockets kick off their season tonight at home against the New Orleans Pelicans.

The 2018 National Basketball Association offseason was uncharted territory for Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony. The veteran scorer shot only 40.4 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc. Inefficient shooting, a decreased ability to draw fouls and a constantly regressing effort on defense led to the worst season of his career previous year. We can probably expect at least a modest dip after Luc Mbah a Moute and Trevor Ariza left via free agency.

So far, Carmelo Anthony seems to be buying into his bench role, but let's see if that's the case all season. It's just the way the team works better this way.

Anthony Davis also had a lot of help from his supporting cast.

At first glance there is a correlation between Houston and Oklahoma City that makes the upcoming season intriguing. With that experience under their belts, they're eager to do even more this season.

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Mirotic was instrumental in New Orleans' run to the second round of the playoffs and picked up right where he left off Wednesday, sinking 6-of-8 threes for 30 points on 20 shots.

Heading into the regular season opener against the Houston Rockets, the consensus opinion was that New Orleans would be at a severe disadvantage going against a star-studded backcourt that almost led Houston to the NBA Finals last season. The storylines as the new season begins are running wild as the Rockets look to improve from a season ago when they were just one win (one half, really) away from an NBA Finals appearance. Now, with the opportunity to play with one of his closest friends, Paul believes that "Carmelo brings the hunger" necessary to take the Rockets to a new level. Julius Randle took 69 percent of his shots at the rim.

"I know it's tough", D'Antoni said of Anthony coming off the bench. The Rockets had no answer for him (or anyone else on the Pelicans for that matter). "I think (Anthony) realizes that, Chris realizes that, James realizes that - they all do".

It seems that he has softened that stance a little this year after posting the worst season of his National Basketball Association career last season.

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