Before we begin, I think I can speak for all of us at The Dream Shake and say that we wish you a happy new year. Hopefully 2020 brings more success to the Rockets but more importantly to each of you. Normally this is a Rockets blog, but if you’d like to brag about something you did in 2019 or something you have planned for 2020, go ahead and throw that in the comments for some free recs and support. We’re all rooting for each other here.
It’s hard to call a game on December 31 a must-win, but this is about as close as it gets. The Denver Nuggets are a team that the Rockets are chasing for a top seed in the Western Conference and the Nuggets already lead the season series 1-0. Denver is 23-9 and are 9-1 over their last ten games. A win tonight would see them go three games ahead of Houston in the loss column and guarantee the Nuggets a season series tie.
You already know Denver’s lineup, but since the teams last met, Michael Porter Jr. has started to get minutes and even started on Sunday. He rewarded the decision by dropped 19 points on 8-10 shooting. His combination of shooting and athleticism gives them another dimension and could be scary if he’s a full rotation piece in April and May.
According to Jonathan Feigen, both James Harden (toe) and Clint Capela (heel) are questionable for tonight’s matchup. If they both play, Houston could be at full strength for the first time since early in the season now that Eric Gordon is back from his knee surgery. Again, it’s a big game and if Houston is missing the two players that make Jokic seem mortal, it’s going to be a long night for the Rockets.
Tip-off is at 6pm CT on NBA TV