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Houston Rockets vs. New Orleans Pelicans game preview

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The Rockets welcome Anthony Davis, Omer Asik, and the Pelicans to Houston on a back-to-back after an OT win in Denver.

Omer Asik once dunked on four Cavs while LeBron admired from a distance to avoid getting on the poster.
Omer Asik once dunked on four Cavs while LeBron admired from a distance to avoid getting on the poster.
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't even a West Coast game, but it started at 9:30pm local time and OT sent the game well into the early morning hours. Houston starters played an average of 44 minutes and Houston relied heavily on Tarik Black and Nick Johnson off the bench due to Propeller Plane being in Dallas and Isaiah Canaan not being able to shake the rust off. Really, it felt like a game from last week when everyone was still hurt.

The Rockets now have to turn around and face a Pelicans team that didn't play last night and certainly didn't play overtime minutes. I joke that Houston is welcoming the Pelicans to Houston when in reality the Pelicans were assuredly in Houston hours before the Rockets returned home from Denver.

New Orleans has this Anthony Davis guy. Maybe you've heard of him? He's okay. Scored 31 points on 80% shooting in their last game. Yes, 80%. That's not a typo. Who does Houston have that can guard him? I realize that most teams don't have someone that can guard him, but I mean who do you think McHale sticks on him?

Ryan Anderson was going through a dry spell but has found his stroke of late. He went 6-10 in their last game from 3.

Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans can score and get assists in bunches. Austin Rivers suddenly isn't a punchline.

So this is a pretty good New Orleans team. I would say their easily the best team post-CP3 that New Orleans has had.

Oh, and there's the matter of the Omer Asik revenge game. Dwight Howard mentioned it on the Root Sports post-game interview, so it's obvious the team (or at least Howard) had this game circled on the calendar. You can bet that Asik has.

I'll always remember Asik fondly. He gave Houston a rim protector after years of Chuck Hayes and Luis Scola (guys I also love). He did the dirty work for Houston every night and though the separation was acrimonious I'll appreciate that he changed the culture in Houston back to winning just as much as James Harden did.

Anyway, tonight I'm worried that Houston won't have the gas to get through this game after needing 53 minutes last night to win for the first time in Denver in 37 years (all stats approximate).

Prediction: Rockets fall behind and can't catch up, Pelicans win 108-91 in a schedule loss/Omer Asik revenge massacre.

Tip-off is at 7:30pm CST.

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The Bird Writes