Preseason Games That Are Getting Us Pumped for Basketball Season
Rockets and Pelicans headline the new season
The 71st NBA Season is upon us, and while we’re doing drills—you know, checking out the rookies, keeping tabs on our most valuable players or new free agent acquisitions, binge-watching our favorite team’s best moments on the internet—the preseason game between the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans are getting us extra warmed up.
The Southwest Division rivals are set to meet for two pre-season matches for the NBA Global Games China 2016 presented by Master Kong on October 9 in Shanghai and October 12 in Beijing. This will be Houston’s fourth appearance in Greater China and New Orleans very first. What makes it really exciting are the new developments from both teams, their shared history and the common goal to get back in winning form.
1. New Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni was the former coach of the Phoenix Suns
2. D’Antoni is best known for his offensive principles—push the pace, move the ball and spread the court
3. Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry used to work as D’Antoni’s trusted assistant
4. Gentry won a championship for the Golden State Warriors in 2015 as the associate head coach of Steve Kerr
5. The Pelicans’ First 2014-15 All-NBA First Team selection Anthony Davis’ injury plus a 1-11 start sidetracked the team from victory in 2015, which led to many offseason changes
6. Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon—two valuable players and offensive talents of the Pelicans—later signed with the Rockets
7. The pair are expected to play a huge role alongside Rocket’s four-time All-Star James Harden, and incumbent starters Patrick Beverley and former Pelican Trevor Ariza
8. New Orleans has since signed Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield with the sixth overall pick of NBA Draft 2016
9. They also signed Langston Galloway, Solomon Hill, E’Twaun Moore, Lance Stephenson and former Rocket Terrence Jones in free agency
10. Also joining the Pelicans are former All-Star Jrue Holiday and ex-Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans
As basketball seasons approaches, we’re looking forward to seeing monumental changes, starting with the preseason games. Just as the Pelicans ended the playoff drought and the Rockets advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since ’97 in 2014. Until then, we’ll get back to our drills, reliving the greatest moments of the game we love.