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The Rockets couldn't possibly top their 45-point beatdown of the Utah Jazz, but they'll try tonight against the Nuggets in Denver.
We just played the Nuggets recently so the preview will be a bit short today.
This is a tricky game for the Rockets. After the shellacking of Utah, it might have been better to play the following day instead of having a day to let everything marinate and let the red-hot shooters cool down.
Still, the signs of the offense returning are encouraging. Even better is that the defense has had a hand in the most recent victories. Against the Hornets they swarmed and ran New Orleans off the three point line. Against the Nets they dared Brooklyn to beat them with the three, and if the Nets hadn't hit an incredible amount of theirs, the Rockets would have won by even more points.
Against the Jazz they did exactly what you do when a team has no playmakers: pack the paint and force them to make you respect their shooters. The Jazz couldn't do that, nor could they stop the drive.
It should be noted that the Nuggets take more shots at the rim than any other team at 35.6. Number 2 is the Rockets, a whole five FGA behind at 30.6. So just like always, Omer Asik's ability to stay in the game and be a presence on defense is paramount to the Rockets' chances of winning this game.
Finally, tonight marks the last game of January for the Rockets. And even though it was rough, including a 7-game winning streak, it was all worth it just to beat the Jazz by 45 points.
Tip off is at 8pm CST.