The toughest game in the NBA is the back-to-back in Denver. Whether the Nuggets are great or terrible, this game is always miserable for teams.
The last time the Rockets won a back-to-back in Denver was in 2009. Since then, they have lost four of that sort of game 4 times. It's the best homecourt advantage in the NBA, and it shows.
Coincidentally, the Rockets already have a win in Denver this season. It was a back-and-forth affair that saw James Harden hit a late 3 to put Houston up by 2. After a steal on the other end, he missed the second free throw, allowing Arron Afflalo to send the game to overtime. But in OT, it was all Beard.
Yes, Bill Worrell was pushing the "Harden For MVP" bandwagon all the way back in December.
I want to talk a little bit about Terrence Jones in this space. Jones has been an absolute monster for Houston since returning and it was great to see him bounce back from his hip strain last night. His excellent play is going to make life difficult for Kevin McHale when Dwight Howard returns. Who should start next to Dwight: D-Mo or Jones? Both have had success starting with Howard, but Jones is playing so well right now that he has to be the frontrunner. I don't want to get into D-Mo's recent struggles until next week so for now I'll say that I think Jones has won that starting job back.
Remember when everyone wanted to trade Terrence Jones because he was hurt and people forgot how good he had played last season? Remember when we thought he might be the odd man out of the big rotation since D-Mo and Josh Smith were playing so well? Remember when people said that Jones and a lottery pick wasn't enough for a Dragic rental and that Houston might have to throw in another player? Oh man we've had some dumb moments on TDS (myself included).
Think about this: since the week before Christmas, the Rockets have "added" Corey Brewer, Josh Smith, and Terrence Jones (obviously not through an acquisition). In return, the Rockets have given up Troy Daniels, Francisco Garcia, and Tarik Black.
Anyway, tonight seems like the kind of night where Houston should win, but gives up a ton of easy baskets and turns the ball over a lot. Denver played last night in San Antonio so I expect an ugly game, though Denver has been playing much better since Melvin Hunt took over for Brian Shaw as interim coach. The Nuggets are 2-1 in that period with the loss coming last night to the suddenly charging Spurs.
Tip-off is at 8pm CST.