Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
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Rockets Enter 2018-19 Season With Questions

Rockets Enter 2018-19 Season With Questions

Chris Paul and PJ Tucker had 19 points each for the Rockets, who are trying to replace outgoing defensive specialists Trevor Ariza and Mbah a Moute with aging veteran Carmelo Anthony and journeyman James Ennis.

Pelicans guard Nikola Mirotic recaps his performance during tonight's regular season opener against the Houston Rockets. This was Game 5 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals that saw the Golden State Warriors put an end to the New Orleans Pelicans season, thus sending the Pels into an off-season of uncertainty. The Rockets are his fifth team in six National Basketball Association seasons and his fourth team in the last four.

Anthony balked at the suggestion he would come off the bench for the Thunder had he stayed.

The Pelicans actually shot a better percentage than the Rockets in their head-to-head match ups last season, besting them shooting 38 percent to 36 percent respectively.

"When it was sitting there before the game, I glanced at it, and then I had to lock back in for the game", Davis said.

Davis had recorded seven assists in a game two other times in his National Basketball Association career, including once in January 2016 and once in March 2015. He assisted on 44.9 percent of his teammates' made shots. Watching intently from the sideline was Anthony Davis. Harden finished with 18 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, but the reigning NBA MVP and his team failed miserably on defense.

Jahlil Okafor (Day To Day - Ankle): The Pelicans have listed Okafor as questionable for Wednesday's game (Oct. 17) against the Rockets.

Last season, the Rockets allowed 105.6 points per 100 possessions, 7th best in the National Basketball Association, nearly a 3-point improvement on the season before when they were 18th, but this season's team is missing three huge cogs: Trevor Ariza, Luc Mbah a Moute, and Jeff Bzdelik. He's a 25 percent shooter from deep over his career, and that number has gone down over the years. The Pelicans have made the playoffs only twice with him, getting swept in the first round in 2015 and falling in the second round last 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.

The Pelicans led 71-54 at half. Those numbers are not almost high enough to justify saying Yes, even if I think Houston takes a slightly higher percentage of twos with Mbah a Moute and Ariza gone. Four free throw attempts in one quarter is high, even for Harden. Pelicans' opponents averaged 14.5 turnovers per game compared to 14.5 for the Rockets. The Toronto Raptors traded away their best player and somehow got better.

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