Game Day Preview: Houston Rockets vs. Pelicans, Mar 2

Jan 25, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) looses the ball as he drives to the basket against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 25, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) looses the ball as he drives to the basket against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pelicans are so decimated by injury they resemble the walking dead, but given how inconsistent the Houston Rockets have been no win is a given. Game Day Preview breaks it down.

Sure the Rockets lead the series 2-1 and enter the contest with close to a full compliment of healthy bodies, including Donatas Motiejunas who says his lawyers will be talking to Stan Van Gundy’s Pistons over the lies regarding a failed medical exam. What DeMo needs to do along with the rest of the Pelicans is to put all the drama behind them and focus solely on the game, one play at a time.

That includes forgetting the fact Ty Lawson was waived despite the fact he was suppose to be the saving grace for the back court and in spite of the fact he cost the Rockets their first round pick and 4 players.

That includes putting behind them the fact the team tried to trade away Dwight Howard and he’s confirmed the Bucks were the team in talks with Houston.

And more than anything, that includes all the players especially Howard and Harden continually doing and saying things that only make matters worse.

You make millions of dollars gentlemen, to play a game you love and are better than anyone else at. So, go out and play ball like it’s your last game ever!

The Details

Venue:  Toyota Center, Houston

Game Time: 8:00 PM EST – 7:00 PM CT

TV: NBA TV – Nationally televised, ROOT in Houston, FSNOLA in New Orleans

Radio: 790 AM in Houston and WRNO 99.5 FM in New Orleans

Recent History:

The teams split the season series last year and though both teams suffered multiple injuries oddly most of their core players were available each time they faced one another. This season the Rockets hold a 2-1 edge of the Pels and are in desperate need of win this their final game vs the Pels of the regular schedule.

January 25 HOU 112 – 111 NOP

December 26 HOU 108 – 110 NOP

December 2: NOP 101 – 108 HOU

April 12:  NOP 114 – 121 HOU

Walking Wounded:


  • Anthony Davis toe – game time decision
  • Omer Asik  ankle – targeting March 7
  • Bryce Dejean Jones – wrist surgery, gone for season

  • Tyreke Evans right knee surgery, gone for season
  • Quincy Pondexter – left knee, gone for season


    Projected Starters:

    Pelicans: Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Alonzo GeeRyan Anderson, Alexis Ajinca,

    Rockets: Patrick Beverley,  James HardenTrevor Ariza, Josh Smith, Dwight Howard


    Pelicans: Norris Cole,  Dante Cunningham

    Rockets: Marcus Thornton, Corey BrewerTy Lawson,  Jason Terry, K.J. McDaniels

    Pels at Rockets
    Pels at Rockets /

    Keys To Winning:

    • Be Aggressive – Use Offensive Prowess: As per the above chart the only offensive area the Pelicans best the Rockets in is less turnovers, so the moral of this story is control the turnovers and utilize your offensive assets. With so many key players out for the Pelicans, the best strategy will be to force the play in an effort to get the Pelicans in foul trouble and to wear them out.
    • Capitalize on Defensive Intangibles: The Rockets hold a fairly significant edge in blocks and steals categories which speaks to the energy Houston bring to the court. They’ll need to utilize that today to build an early edge and take the Pelicans out of the game early.
    • Build one game at a time: More than anything the Rockets need to prove to their fan base, the media, their coaching staff, ownership, the Association and most importantly to themselves that they have turned the corner. A win today will hold them in eighth whether Utah wins or not. There is no time like the present, and opportunities are becoming fewer with several back to backs, road games and top .500 teams in store.


    More from Space City Scoop

    The odds makers give the Rockets by 6.0 points with an over – under of 220.5 points.

    With so many players out injured for the Pelicans this should be a walk in the park. Then again, stranger things have happened this season. Normally I’d call for a double digit victory but Houston lives off being inconsistent, so let’s see if the team recognizes they are one game away from reaching the point of no return and getting blown this summer. Rockets by 5

    For more exciting news and stories on the New Orleans Pelicans visit our affiliate FanSided site: Pelican Debrief   Plus check our our Preseason Team Preview of the Pelicans :

    Next: The BROW-Era Team Preview

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