Oklahoma City added some nice pieces, and is hoping for some addition by subtraction after parting ways with Carmelo Anthony.
Houston was led by Eric Gordon with 21 points, while PJ Tucker and Chris Paul each had 19.
"We took the rebounds when they came", the MVP contender explained.
Anthony Davis could not help but notice James Harden's freshly minted MVP trophy sitting at midcourt before a ceremony during warmups on Wednesday night. "It is only game one".
"We know that we are one of the top offensive teams, but we want to mirror that with our defense", Anthony said.
Anthony Davis starts with season with a near triple-double. "We appreciate what he's doing for us trying to win a championship".
Rockets: PG Michael Carter-Williams (left knee soreness) played on a minutes restriction as a precaution, with D'Antoni setting the cap around 15 minutes. He said he'd do anything for the team. He looked every bit of the player we thought he might be when he originally came over from Spain four years ago.
"It was a good win for us, but to be honest, we feel like if we play at the level we're supposed to - we're not surprised", Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said.
James Harden isn't overly concerned with the clubbing his Houston Rockets suffered Wednesday at home against the New Orleans Pelicans. "I can only see what's in front of me right now.it's about right now and what I need to do to be the best player for the Raptors". But he's eager to see him try.
If the Rockets are going to be as good as last season, they probably need Carmelo Anthony to fit in better than he did with the Thunder last season. "That's a hunger that comes from within and no coach could give him that". "Just bringing this whole thing together".
"We've got plenty of guys to choose from", D'Antoni said. "We are playing with a lot of chemistry right now".
Clint Capela signed a five-year, $90 million contract to stay with the Rockets and his teammates were quick to tell him they expect the 24-year-old center to play like a seasoned veteran this year.
After eliciting some laughs with that comment, Paul continued. "That's real conversations that we have".
The Bayou Bash Brothers dominated the game from the opening tip and combined to account for an astonishing 87 points and 34 rebounds between the three of them. But their personality was set midway through last season when DeMarcus Cousins was lost to injury, Nikola Mirotic arrived via trade one week later and the Pelicans led the league in pace over the final 31 games at 102.9 possessions per 48 minutes.
"For sure", Harden said. It might not be best later - we don't know - but having him is something that we didn't have a year ago.
Nichols: You did say in Oklahoma City a year ago, publicly, at a press conference, "I do not want to come off the bench".