Game 56 Preview: Denver Nuggets vs. Houston Rockets

Much thanks to Patrick for the Dallas preview. My ISP has shut off our Internet access because someone has been downloading illegally in our building. Could it be the same guys who did it earlier this year in the apartment above us? No, of course not. Just shut down the whole complex. By the way, never get Suddenlink. Never ever ever.

It seems like we just played the Nuggets, because we did. Of course, Nene was out with the flu and Chauncey got hurt in the first quarter, so that should have meant an automatic win. But no one informed Mr. Anthony of that.

Carmelo scored 50 points and was flat-out amazing. He couldn't miss and carried the Nuggets through the fourth quarter during their comeback. He was just so impressive that he led the episode of Sportscenter that night, as everyone in the country got to see how Carmelo single-handedly killed the Rockets and brought the Nuggets back from a 73-point fourth quarter deficit, doing this in the middle of a blizzard and efficiently using timeouts to save lives and perform CPR when necessary. And when he hit that game-winning shot at the buzzer, the crowd erupted and Carmelo was no longer an enemy in Denver, but a hero and would remain a happy Nugget for the rest of eternity.

At least, that's what ESPN would have had us believe.

The Rockets actually won 108-103, and the excuses for commentators on the Altitude Network were stunned. How could Kevin Martin score so many points on them? It's common fact that he sucks. He only knows how to shoot free throws, and he flops worse than Manu and Kirilenko combined. Of course, they forgot to mention that Carmelo attempted six more free throws than K-Mart and finished with a gaudy 0 assists to Kevin's 7 dimes. Plus, Martin had the best post-game quote of the night.

"We played a great game as a team," he said. "Outside of Carmelo, didn't nobody really do anything."

No, Kevin, they didn't do absolutely no thing that didn't matter, nor did they not do something or not never did they?

Oh, and the Free T-Willy Committee will meet up in the game thread for this game. On the docket: matching hooded sweatshirts and generally bemoaning T-Will's situation.

Finally, for those of you into music, here's a good one. If I had told you that either the Rockets would make the playoffs or Arcade Fire would win Best Artist at the Grammys, which would you think was more possible? And does this mean Daft Punk should be ready to take the crown next year?

Matchups...

Matchups:

PG: Kyle Lowry vs. Chauncey Billups

Chauncey tweaked his knee last time, but Ty Lawson picked up the slack pretty well and scored 19 points and got to the rim at will. Stop me if you've heard this one before. 

I like Lowry here, but he was terrible last time in Denver. He shot 1-9, continuing his sudden slumping. He did go old school K-Low and got to the line 10 times. He was out-assisted by Ish Smith and Kevin Martin. The Bulldog is better than that. Oh yeah, then he was poppin' against the Mavs. Yes, I just said "poppin'". My roommate used it, and I'm gonna try it out. Don't judge.

Advantage: Rockets

SG: Kevin Martin vs. Arron Afflalo

Last time, I used a shot of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes to describe Kevin Martin, and not only did the Rockets win, but K-Mart went bonkers in the second half.

Well, he's back. And this time he's brought a friend. 

Evilcalvinhobbes_medium

via 4.bp.blogspot.com

And I really like Arron Afflalo, by the way. I don't like trying to spell his name, though. And even though Carmelo had 42 and Chauncey had 30 against the Mavs, it was Arron Afflalo that won that game for the Nuggets. Sure, he hit the game-winner at the buzzer, but he also scored 19 points in the fourth quarter and was basically unconscious.

Advantage: Rockets

SF: Shane Battier vs. Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo is probably going to score 40. Come on, you know it's true. He did it last time, almost.

I said that last time, and he scored 50. So...

Carmelo is probably going to score 60. Come on, you know it's true. He did it last time, almost. Especially if looking at him is a foul. The NBA can't have its prized free agent/trade bait getting injured, now can they?

Advantage: Nuggets

PF: Luis Scola vs. Kenyon Martin

Kenyon Martin is a punk.

Advantage: Rockets

C: Chuck Hayes vs. Nene:

Plain and simple, I like Nene here. Sorry Chuck. If we can get the former Mr. Hilario in foul trouble we will have a good chance. Outside of him and the Birdman, the Nuggets defense is pretty bad.

Advantage: Nuggets

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Bench:

Nuggets: J.R. Smith, Ty Lawson, Chris Andersen, Al Harrington, Gary Forbes, Anthony Carter

Rockets: Aaron Brooks, Courtney Lee, Chase Buddinger, Brad Miller, Patrick Patterson, Jordan Hill, Terrence Williams (HAHA!)

Advantage: Even

Injuries:

Nuggets: None

Rockets: Yao out

Prediction: Nuggets win handily, by 15 or so

Nuggets vs Rockets coverage

Denver Stiffs (one of my favorite SB Nation blogs)

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