After beating the team with the best record in the NBA, the Denver Nuggets will try and improve on their bad (9-15) away record as they arrive to play the Houston Rockets, hoping that their latest win means their recent troubles aren’t coming back pretty soon.
The Rockets fell with 7 straight defeats until a 100-94 win against the Charlotte Bobcats. Despite their head coach saying it was a lot of bad luck, the ability of their biggest star, James Harden, seems to be the main reason why the Rockets have been slipping down the standings in the West. Harden, averaging 25.9 points per game, but his form recently has been awful, if not worse.
He’s been making only 25% of his field goal attempts over the last four games (1-3 for the Rockets), shooting a terrible 4-27 from beyond the arc. Harden’s streak of shooting so bad is something that hasn’t happened in the NBA in over 25 years (four consecutive games of under 30% from the field while taking at least 18 shots).
The Denver Nuggets playing the Houston Rockets means a lot of points. Both teams are in the top 4 of the NBA when it comes to scoring, and in the bottom six when it comes to defense and points allowed, but the Nuggets are a better rebounding team, especially on the offensive glass, leading the NBA with 14 rebounds per game. They beat the Rockets in Houston last times these two teams met in an untypical 93-87 scoreline. Kenneth Faried had 16 rebounds, 9 of them on the offensive glass, against the Rockets.
Prediction – A lot of the problems for Houston begin with their defense, and Omer Asik not providing the adequate shot blocking presence they require, although it does come down, a lot of times, to effort in stopping the other guys. Getting going by not forcing jumpers for Harden and Lin can provide the right kind of energy for the Rockets to play good defense, and win a second consecutive game.