Sunday, November 30, 2008
Game 18: Rockets @ Nuggets
(Boulder-CO) Tonight's game between the Rockets and Nuggets is going to be more mental than physical. Both teams played, won, and traveled last night, but it's the Rockets who will have to find a way to yet again to compensate for the loss of a star, Tracy McGrady, who will not play in his third straight game.
Advantage - Nuggets.
I'm not sure the Rockets can beat a team of the caliber of the Nuggets without their third prong of the trident. Or, should I say, at least not without a complete team effort like last night's win over the Spurs when seven Rockets scored in double-figures.
However, the recurrence of that is unlikely given the way Coach George Karl was afforded the luxury of resting his starting five and more potent reserves in last night's laugher against the Timberwolves. In fact, only Carmelo Anthony (37) and Nene (34) played more than 28 minutes with notable Nugget reserves J.R Smith, Renaldo Balkman, and Chris Andersen all playing 16 minutes or less.
With both team's recent history laid out there is one area of this game that I feel will be the true storyline in tonight's game: Total points scored. The Rockets are allowing a very stingy 90.2 points per game this season whereas the Nuggets are enjoying the success of scoring 100 points with seven of their eight games hitting the century mark resulting in W's. If the Nuggets can put a 100 points on the board expect a win because Houston has only emerged victorious once this season when a team scores 100 points. But, if Denver struggles to score... Well, we'll just deal with that if it happens.