WinView Games Playbook: Pelicans vs. Rockets

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Even though he's mostly come off the bench in his two seasons with the Rockets, Mike D'Antoni has referred to Eric Gordon as the Rockets sixth starter. That being said, Rondo was a surprisingly good fit in New Orleans last season, and if there is any drop off from Rondo to Payton, the Pelicans' offensive efficiency will likely suffer. The Rockets are his fifth team in six National Basketball Association seasons and his fourth team in the last four.

After the game, Melo described coming off the bench as "challenging mentally". On the wing, reigning NBA MVP James Harden has proven his elite ability to distribute the ball as well, finishing as a top-three player in assists over the past two seasons.

Clint Capela vs. Anthony Davis is always a fun matchup. Chris Paul has made a name for himself by putting his teammates in position to succeed. 1054 regular season games played, 1054 regular season games started.

Anthony Davis had a 26.6 percent usage rate last season.

Watch Here " Kushner: Biggest takeaway from Pelicans' big win vs. Rockets? Elfrid Payton, the former John Ehret star, recorded his first New Orleans triple double with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. D'Antoni said he is confident his team will be able to build on last season where the Rockets allowed the seventh-fewest points in the league. Julius Randle wasn't far behind, at 25.0 percent. He still doesn't want to talk about the possibility of a reserve role in Houston, but he seems to have made peace with playing with the second team if it means he might finally get a ring in his 16th season. That's not quite enough to make me say Yes, though it is close enough that if you need to chase points late, I don't hate it. They led 35-29 at the end of the first quarter and 71-64 at halftime.

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Anthony said he thinks he's a "natural fit" in Houston.

NO. Harden averaged 10.1 free throw attempts per game last season, there there is no reason to believe he will average significantly more than that this season.

Everybody thought the Pelicans' 2017-18 season was done when Cousins went down in mid-season with an Achilles injury.

Not only that, but behind Davis' superb play, New Orleans swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round before falling in five games to the eventual champions, the Golden State Warriors.

As for the opponent, it is an early test for the Pelicans.

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