After posting a win against the conference leading Oklahoma City Thunder at home, the Denver Nuggets (25-18) are set to take on the Houston Rockets (22-21) in Houston.
The Nuggets played a solid four quarters of basketball on Sunday night to get the victory over the Thunder. The Nuggets have a good push of momentum coming off of their previous win and a couple of days to rest up a little in between. The Nuggets stars, Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried, have been playing solid but not out of this world lately. What has really been lifting the Nuggets is the consistency of center Kosta Koufos and the Nuggets bench. Corey Brewer scored 26 points off the bench in Sunday’s win. The 26 points is 1 shy of his career high. Wilson Chandler is also providing a nice push off the bench. With Denver’s starters playing consistent and their bench playing hard, Denver is a scary team all around.
It hasn’t been pretty for the Rockets as of late. Houston just ended a 7-game losing streak with a win against Charlotte on Monday. The biggest thing for the Rockets lately, has been their rebounding. Teams are getting after them under the boards. With Denver, one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA, coming into town, Houston is hoping to get back on track. James Harden has been the biggest bright spot for Houston since coming over from OKC. He’s averaging 24.5 points per game in his last 10. Another guy to look at is Jeremy Lin. Linsanity has cooled down just a little bit from last season but he is still playing pretty consistent. He’s averaging a little over 12 points per game in his last 10. While some may argue he isn’t a true point guard, he’s been trying to spread the ball around more and become a better floor general.
Stat to Watch: Rebounding
Houston doesn’t really have anyone who gets after the boards like the Nuggets do. Faried an Koufos quietly dominate the glass and pull them down from both sides of the floor. When Houston loses, they struggle on the glass. Denver likes to grab defensive boards and kick it out for a fastbreak or pound the offensive glass and get second chance shots. If Houston can get inside and pull some rebounds in, the game might get interesting. Both teams can score and play defense so one statistic is going to take over and sway the game one way or the other. I predict rebounds.
Tipoff is set for 8:00 p.m. ET (6:00 MST) at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX.