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Houston Rockets vs. Denver Nuggets game preview

Houston and Denver suit up for an In-Season Tournament contest

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Houston Rockets Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight should be the last time that the Houston Rockets play a home game with that In-Season Tournament court. Houston is 1-1 in the IST, and would need to win their next two games (Denver tonight and Dallas on Tuesday) to have a chance at advancing.

The Rockets are on a 7-game home winning streak. The Denver Nuggets are coming off a loss in Orlando. Jamal Murray is still out.

Before I make this next point, a caveat. Alperen Sengun is not Nikola Jokic. The comparison is more about running an offense through a big man and surrounding him with spacers and slashers. So when I say that the Rockets should be looking to replicate Denver’s model around Jokic, I’d like for Nuggets fans to put away their pitchforks and chill. The Nuggets have a superstar that can handle the ball from the top of the key and from the post. Then (when healthy) they have a guard who can carry the offense when the change in style becomes necessary (i.e. Jokic goes to the bench). Houston feels like they have their focal point in Sengun, but they don’t have a guard like Murray. Not many teams do.

Could that player be Jalen Green? Well, that’s the hope. His second half against Memphis was quite Murray-esque. Now it’s about consistency, something that Green has struggled with since his entry into the league. Can he turn the corner?

Tip-off

7pm CT

How to Watch

Space City Home Network

Injuries/Other

Rockets

Amen Thompson-OUT (ankle)

Nuggets

Jamal Murray-OUT (hamstring)

Looking ahead because we can

Tuesday at Dallas