Well that was a sucky homestand, wasn't it? 0-2 against the two teams we needed wins against, and now the backs are to the wall.
The Rockets gave themselves a cushion by going 4-0 on that road swing, but these last two losses have been gut punches. And it's been the middle quarters that have given the Rockets trouble. In years past that was when the good guys would work hard and stay in the game, only to have it all come unraveled in the fourth quarter.
Denver isn't really one of the teams you want to go home-and-home with. The altitude changes are miserable. However, it's not as if the Nuggets aren't playing in the same altitude, and the Rockets did win in Denver earlier this year. Granted, Denver was missing everyone and I even played 15 minutes for them in that game, but nevertheless it's a game the Rockets can win, even though it isn't really expected.
As an aside, it's Green Week or Green Month or something in the NBA. To show our support (or just for the heck of it), we're going to make the comments section green too with recs. Obviously don't recommend a comment if it is just a score prediction or doesn't make a real point, but I'm going to rec anything that adds to discussion and I hope you do too. It could be fun.
I'll through up a mini-preview for Sunday's leg in Houston. For now, I'll leave it at that.
Other games in the NBA tonight that matter to the Rockets:
Miami at New York
Dallas at Los Angeles Lakers
Memphis vs. New Orleans
Tip is at 7pm CST.
Matchups after the jump.
PG: Goran Dragic vs. Ty Lawson:
Is Lawson the most improved player this year? It seems like he should be in the discussion. Of course, the NBA will try to give it to Jeremy Lin or some player on the Hornets or maybe throw it to Michael Jordan in Charlotte. Who knows?
But I do know that this matchup is going to be awesome. If you like basketball, you'll love watching these two go at it.
Inner voice: AK, of course they like basketball. They are on a basketball blog.
Me: Yeah, but it just sounds better that way.
IV: No, it sounds like fluff. Like you didn't know what you wanted to say so you just said something generic. Like, JVG on ESPN. "If I'm a player, I'm looking to score." Or some other situation where he says, "If I'm ____, I'm looking/trying/finding a way to ___________." No one is fooled AK. They know you sound stupid.
Me: Oh yeah, well...I know all your embarrassing moments!
IV: Wanna play that game? Here in front of everyone?
Inner Voice Even
SG: Courtney Lee vs. Arron Afflalo:
Hey Courtney, that was terrible against the Suns. We all know you are better than that. Afflalo is pretty good too, so beware!
You look like you need to be inspired. So here you go:
Relive #7 Texas Tech Upset #1 Texas on Nov 1, 2008 (via bigtextech)
SF: Chandler Parsons vs. Danilo Gallinari:
Chandler Parsons is still in awe of that video above. Can't blame him.
PF: Luis Scola vs. Kenneth Faried/Al Harrington:
These guys will both get time tonight. Faried is the classic banger, and is having one heck of a rookie season. He's been absolutely phenomenal.
Harrington won't play much defense but he will take shots and if he's on it can mean very bad things. He also isn't a great rebounder, but he's grabbed 22 total in the two games against the Rockets. Just something to look out for.
C: Marcus Camby vs. JaVale McGee:
Koufos started the last game, but McGee is the real center for the Nuggets. We've seen him twice this year, and we know he can absolutely be a force when he wants to be. He has slowly integrated into this Nuggets lineup and hit 7 of 9 shots against the Lakers and grabbed 10 boards off the bench.
Camby's been impressive but it's got to stop sometime, right?
Wow, five evens. That's never happened before.
Nuggets: Kosta Koufos, Andre Miller, Corey Brewer, Timofey Mozgov,
Rockets: K-Mart out
Prediction: Nuggets 100-95
Make sure you get in on TCWHRO (we have to figure out another way to say that)'s fantasy basketball game. Details here. Just make your predictions in the comments, and maybe explain how you came to that conclusion so we have something to talk about.
Rockets vs Nuggets coverage