Anthony Davis Swats Harden’s Rockets Aside With 32-Point Opener

It was Payton's 11th career triple-double. 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. He had a career-best 2.3 assists per game a year ago, and his season-high was seven dimes back in November 2017. Inefficient shooting, a decreased ability to draw fouls and a constantly regressing effort on defense led to the worst season of his career a year ago. But he is expected to come off the bench when the team opens the regular season Wednesday against the Pelicans.

The Pelicans led the league in pace in the preseason, and while I would be inclined to write that off as an aberration, they led the league in pace last season as well. It helps that New Orleans' bigs are all capable of grabbing the ball off the rim and taking off the other way.

"I know it's not the ideal situation for [Anthony], because he's a Hall of Famer and all that", D'Antoni said before Wednesday's game.

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. He also made 8 assists.

Anthony Davis had a 26.6 percent usage rate last season. If this proves the same this season, then Nikola Mirotic or Julius Randle must look to be aggressive on offense down low.

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The Rockets are losing through one quarter against the Pelicans, but Anthony doesn't appear to have any issues coming off the bench. Tucker found himself playing the power forward position last season for the Rockets. (3.7x yes/1.8x no) NO.

"We moved the basketball and we made shots, but we put our hats on and defended", Davis said. New Orleans led 71-54 at the break and led by as much as 29 points in the second half.

NO. Davis has an terrible lot of competition, though it does help that Chris Paul usually gets an early hook in the first quarter.

But when asked what it meant to outscore Harden, Davis was rather modest. Before the 2017-18 season, the big man averaged 1.7 assists per game. Pelicans' opponents averaged 14.5 turnovers per game compared to 14.5 for the Rockets. I expect all of those numbers to increase slightly due to the roster changes for both teams, but not enough to make Yes profitable.

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. "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".

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