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Houston Rockets vs. Denver Nuggets game preview

NBA: Houston Rockets at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the third game in four nights for the Houston Rockets, so of course the Denver Nuggets have been off for two days. Remember, the schedule-makers always hate your team and no one else’s.

The Nuggets have dealt with injuries, illness, and an inconsistent bench, yet are second in the West (as of this writing) at 12-7. Portland and Utah got off to fast starts, but Denver now sits atop the Northwest Division.

To no one’s surprise, Nikola Jokic is having another MVP-caliber season so far. Yes, I can hear you saying, “But AK, his points and rebounds are down!” To which I reply “Who cares?” He’s shooting at a better percentage and averaging a career high in assists. Of course, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.’s returns have helped, but the team is also integrating Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bruce Brown. And they haven’t missed a beat because Jokic is so awesome at running an offense. Could the three-point shooting improve? Sure. But Jokic brings so much to the table that complaining about the few subpar aspects of his game seems unfair.

The Rockets are hoping to build on their first winning streak of the season. The young players and brimming with confidence, but this veteran Denver team seems primed to ruin the fun.

Tip-off is at 8pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest