Rockets Add Pieced to Close Ground in Western Conference
The New Orleans Pelicans and the Houston Rockets will on Wednesday at Toyota Center. The Pelicans will look to start the year strong, but the Rockets hope the addition of a future Hall of Famer is what they need to keep up in the West.
Many experts believe the NBA team capable of putting an early end to the Golden State Warriors’ dynasty, is the Houston Rockets. The Rockets finished with the best record in the NBA during the 2017-18 season.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, FS New Orleans, AT&T Sportsnet Southwest (Houston)
Odds: Houston is an 8-point favorite. The total is currently at 232.
The Rockets also took the Warriors to seven games in the Western Conference finals. Houston added Carmelo Anthony to the All-Star duo of James Harden and Chris Paul over the offseason. They are hoping the former star thrives in a reduced role.
The Pelicans lost to the Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals last season. They are looking to take their own step forward behind star Anthony Davis. Davis is easily one of the top few players in the league.
Pelicans Have to Find Offensive Help for Davis
The Pelicans finished 48-34 last season. New Orleans’ annual challenge is finding enough support offensively and defensively for Davis. He shouldered a big load while averaging 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks.
The star also show 53.4 percent from the floor last season.
The Pelicans added some defense and rebounding punch. They signed power forward Julius Randle to a two-year, $18 million deal. New Orleans is also expecting to take a step forward with Nikola Mirotic.
He averaged 14.6 points and 8.2 rebounds in 30 games with the team after being acquired from the Chicago Bulls last season.
Rockets Have to Contend
Houston was 65-17 last season. The Rockets also added small forward James Ennis, point guard Michael Carter-Williams and forward Marquese Chriss. The biggest move the team made in the offseason was signing center Clint Capela to a five-year, $90 million extension.
Capela averaged 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while shooting 65.2 percent from the floor last season. He served as the team’s defensive anchor. Ennis is expected to move into the starting small forward spot vacated by Trevor Ariza.
Ariza signed a one-year, $15 million deal with the Phoenix Suns over the summer.
PREDICTION: Rockets 123, Pelicans 106
NBA Betting Odds & Trends
|New Orleans Pelicans|
|Pelicans are 12-2 ATS in its last 14 games|
|New Orleans is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games|
|Pelicans are 1-4 SU in its last 5 games|
|New Orleans is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games on the road|
|Pelicans are 12-6 SU in its last 18 games on the road|
|The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New Orleans’s last 6 games on the road|
|New Orleans is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Houston|
|New Orleans is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Houston|
|The total has gone UNDER in 16 of New Orleans’s last 23 games when playing Houston|
|New Orleans is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Houston|
|New Orleans is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Houston|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New Orleans’s last 6 games when playing on the road against Houston|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston’s last 5 games|
|Houston is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games at home|
|Houston is 21-4 SU in its last 25 games at home|
|The total has gone UNDER in 17 of Houston’s last 24 games at home|
|Houston is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing New Orleans|
|Houston is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing New Orleans|
|The total has gone UNDER in 16 of Houston’s last 23 games when playing New Orleans|
|Houston is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against New Orleans|
|Houston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against New Orleans|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston’s last 6 games when playing at home against New Orleans|
New Orleans home to Sacramento Friday, October 19
Houston at Los Angeles Saturday, October 20
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