Preview: Houston Rockets vs. Denver Nuggets

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets will take on the 4-4 Denver Nuggets tonight in Houston’s Toyota Center at 7:00 p.m. CST.  You can catch the game on Comcast Sports Net Houston or on whatever illegal online stream that won’t give your computer a virus for those of you unlucky enough to not have that channel.

The Rockets are a team that’s learning as they go with all of their new pieces being put into play and learning their strengths and weaknesses.  James Harden, Jeremy Lin, and Chandler Parsons are all coming off of a big game against the New York Knicks in which the trio combined for 79 points in their 109-106 victory and we will need those kinds of numbers against the Nuggets who are emerging as a team gaining quite a bit of chemistry and momentum.

Dwight Howard will need to keep up the pace of his defensive play in order to prevail over the Nuggets who have exploded offensively in their last four games.  D12 is averaging 14.9 rebounds a game and doesn’t look to be slowing down.

And speaking of a team that’s learning as they go, the Denver Nuggets are having to overcome a lot of personnel changes themselves.  They lost their head coach, their best player and their general manager this past off season.  Ty Lawson has come out swinging for the Denver organization offensively and, according to NBA.com is the only player other than LeBron James and Chris Paul averaging over 20 points, 7 assist and 4.5 rebounds per game.  Lawson suffered an eye injury in last week’s game but is probably against Houston

The key to winning this game is going to be defense for the Houston Rockets.  Now that the Omer Asik “Twin Towers” experiment is over and done with, the Rockets can go back to putting up the offensive numbers that they’re looking for while also still utilizing Dwight Howard to protect the paint; a task he’s more than capable of handling alone.

Asik has been demanding a trade since preseason, but was quieted when he was named the starter alongside Howard in the first of the season.  Now that he’s been benched, the demands have started again.  The Rockets had been in talks with several teams, but they will need to make sure they get good value for Asik and that will likely not happen until a bit further into the season when teams are done experimenting with their lineups and are making pushes towards the playoffs.  The trade demands have clearly upset some of the other players such as Chandler Parsons, who stated,

“… he is going to play a lot of minutes so I don’t know what he is so upset about.  He has to come out here, perform and be a professional about it.”

Both Parsons and Howard have come out in support of Asik, but are obviously a little befuddled by how adamant he’s being about being traded.  In any case, Asik is a part of the team until further notice.  Here’s hoping the frustration for him about playing behind Dwight Howard (lol?) doesn’t affect his play.

Turnovers continue to be a big problem for the Rockets and – I know I sound like a broken record – they will have to keep those to a minimum in order to come away with the win tonight.  The Rockets look to end the Nuggets four game winning streak tonight.  I think they’ll take care of business if they can take care of the ball.

 

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Topics: Houston Rockets

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