Friday, 22 February, 2019

The Red94 Houston Rockets Podcast: Beatdown in the opener

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Kristopher Love | 21 October, 2018, 03:59

James Harden isn't overly concerned with the clubbing his Houston Rockets suffered Wednesday at home against the New Orleans Pelicans. 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.

They made some pretty big changes in the offseason, choosing to not re-sign defensive specialists Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute.

Chris Paul/James Harden/James Ennis/P.J. Expect this to be the starting 5 for the majority of the season.

How does potential Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony have a plus-minus of -20 in only 27 minutes on the court, you might ask?

Coming off the bench for Houston with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter, Rockets off-season pickup Carmelo Anthony received a standing ovation when he entered the game wearing his trademark headband and the No. 7.

DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 28 points in his San Antonio debut, and four of his teammates scored in double figures as the host Spurs held off the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-108 Wednesday in one of 11 of the night's season openers. "We might need you to do that tonight", I have a clearer understanding of what my role is.

Capela has steadily improved in each of his four National Basketball Association seasons and finished with career-bests in points (13.9), rebounds (10.8) and blocks (1.9) while starting a career-high 74 games a year ago.

Harden led the league by averaging a career-best 30.4 points last season to become Houston's first MVP since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994.

The Rockets leading scorer was Eric Gordon with 21 points on 50% shooting, however, Gordon was only 2-9 shooting from three point range.

"We kind of let go of the rope at the end of the first half". This time around, he's completely healthy and ready to roll. "I can only see what's in front of me right's about right now and what I need to do to be the best player for the Raptors".

All parties appear content with the arrangement now, but the stress of an 82-game season will test Anthony's commitment, either strengthening his resolve or chipping away at his patience. However, they have an out of this world talent on their team which is something that not many other teams have. Randle hit his second 3 to give the Pelicans a 44-34 lead midway through the second quarter.

"Throughout the playoffs we started clicking more, finding little plays that teams that have been together a while already had that synergy", Paul said. "Those teams are very good teams but I think everybody is going to have some adjustments they have to make and obviously playing in the West is not easy, but playing in the East is not easy either if you look at the teams there, too".