How will the Pelicans defend Houston's James Harden, Chris Paul?

NEW ORLEANS LA- JANUARY 26 De Marcus Cousins #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans lies down on the ground after injuring his ankle during the second half of a NBA game against the Houston Rockets at the Smoothie King Center

On Friday, he'll look to get back on track against the New Orleans Pelicans.

James "The Beard" Harden isn't very happy on how the All-Star voting went down in regards to his teammate Chris Paul. Houston has won five straight, including a 107-91 victory in October at the Toyota Center, and 11 of the last 14 regular-season meetings.

The Houston Rockets aren't the type of team to rest on their laurels. Jrue Holiday had a season-high 37 points, while E'Twaun Moore posted career highs with 36 points and six of the team's franchise-record 18 three-pointers. The Pelicans are looking to get back to the postseason after missing back to back seasons. Smith is among rookie leaders in points, assists and steals. The Pelicans third highest scorer is Jrue Holiday, as he is scoring almost 19 points per game. The streak started with a four-game sweep last season. The Houston Rockets have split their last eight road games.

Harden and Paul are two of the best pick-and-roll guards the National Basketball Association has to offer and Pelicans' big men Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins will have to make sure they are fully engaged on the defensive end. That trio has spearheaded the second-highest scoring offense in the National Basketball Association (114.1 points per game).

Paul, in his 13th year in the league, will likely play with some added fire. Davis and DeMarcus Cousins found out Thursday that they will be frontcourt starters on the same team in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game on February 18 in Los Angeles. James Harden and the Rockets are also making 15.8 of their league-leading 43.3 three-point attempts, which accounts for their 47.4 points per game.

Capela, a 6-10 center, did the most damage against the Pelicans in the December meeting.


The Rockets has eviscerated teams with their Paul-led second units, and New Orleans will have to prevent him from taking over the game once its starters go to the bench.

Paul had his streak of nine consecutive All-Star appearances snapped past year, his final season with the LA Clippers.

The Rockets aren't exactly pleased about the Paul part. He swung the game back towards the Rockets, scoring eight points in the final 94 seconds in the third quarter to cut the Pels' lead from 13 to six going into the fourth period.

It's no secret that the Rockets' primary offensive weapon is the three-pointer. Three of their recent victories came in overtime.

"Right now, I'm just focused on trying to make sure our team is playing the right way, build, try to make sure we've got a championship mindset going forward", Paul said.

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