Houston Rockets-Denver Nuggets Preview: A Test for Houston

By Richard Huang

This Wednesday, on 8:10 pm, January 23rd, 2013, the Houston Rockets will face off against the Denver Nuggets for a second time.

Oct 21, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Andre Iguodala (9) attempts a shot while being defended by Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden (13) during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets faced off against the Denver Nuggets was not pretty; on November 7th, 2012, Andre Iguodala was all over James Harden right after his dominant career high games against the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks.

However, this time will be different. Houston only had one offensive option back then; now you have multiple: Chandler Parsons, Carlos Delfino, Marcus Morris, and heck even Jeremy Lin in one of his better months. Last time, none of the players really wanted to shoot other than Harden.

Feb 14, 2011; Houston, TX, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson (3) drives to the basket against the Houston Rockets in the second quarter at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

However, do not underestimate the Denver Nuggets. They have improved a lot too. They just came from a playoff caliber game against Oklahoma City Thunder. Ty Lawson will disrupt the Houston defense, so they better prepare to block the paint. Danilo Gallinari and Corey Brewer can actually shoot, so do not expect down time in the third quarter. They scored 121 points, albeit that was aided by a Russell Westbrook willed Overtime. Imagine JaVale McGee guarding a James Harden driving to the paint?

Kenneth Farried may not be as dominant on the boards as he was in the beginning of the year, but he has been improving, especially against Oklahoma City. Houston’s intensity and work ethic when it comes to rebounds has been slipping recently. The Rockets had a field goal problem facing the Nuggets last time as well, and the rebounding may solve that problem (if you can get past Farried that is.)