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Rockets at Nuggets game thread: Overcoming the schedule

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If the Rockets win tonight against Denver, is it just as impressive as last night?

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports


I'm still basking in the afterglow of last night's victory. You should read Eric's post-buzzer recap and Darren's great piece contextualizing the win if you want to have even more feels. Also, if you're like me, you'll want to re-watch Montrezl Harrell posterize James Michael McAdoo about 70 more times this weekend.

The game ended at 1:05 a.m. CT. The Rockets tip in Denver — elevation 5,280 feet — at 9:30 p.m. CT tonight. James Harden played 45 minutes last night, Ryan Anderson played 44, Trevor Ariza played 42 and Eric Gordon played 38. That's a lot of minutes to turn around and play 20 hours later, but it's what the Rockets must do.

The Nuggest have a built-in home court advantage because breathing that high in the mountains is hard. They didn't play last night, the Rockets did. As AK wrote this morning, this is basically the archetypal schedule loss (never change, NBA schedulers who hate the Rockets!). However...

James Harden is a basketball God. He played 82 games under mentally exhausting circumstances last year, and put up 29-7-6 despite all that. This year, he's in better shape, and who's going to guard him tonight? Gary Harris? Jamal Murray? He should be fine.

Ariza and Gordon are bigger concerns, but K.J. McDaniels is sitting right there, waiting for a chance to spell these dudes. Nene's big body is a much better matchup against Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic, and he didn't play a minute last night. I'm not ready to concede this loss. I think the Rockets will win. It's just one of those years.