The Houston Rockets took a beating on Wednesday night at the hands of the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets raced out to a 44-24 first-quarter lead and never looked back, winning 120-100. Rockets' head coach Stephen Silas was not pleased with how his team started the game, saying, "You can't just ease into these games. You've got to come in with a defensive mindset, a hard-playing mindset, a together mindset. I was disappointed how we began the game...if you start like that, it's hard to win."
Jalen Green agrees with Nikola Jokic
After Monday's game, Nikola Jokic was asked about Alperen Sengun. The back-to-back MVP had strong praise for the Rockets' young center but also offered some advice to the Rockets. Jokic said he felt that the Rockets' offense was more challenging to defend and less stagnant when run through Sengun, and Jalen Green agrees.
Green, according to Slam magazine, said, “I agree with what he is saying,” adding, “I feel we will get a lot more open three’s running the offense from Alperen. It’s a lot of inside-outside game, and I think it opens up the middle of the floor for him.”
James Harden to return to Houston
James Harden has missed the last month with a foot injury suffered on November 2. However, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Harden is eyeing a return on Monday, December 5. The same day Harden's Philadelphia 76ers play the Rockets in Houston.
Harden, in eight full seasons with the Rockets, guided the franchise to their single-season regular season wins record and two Conference Finals while earning eight All-Star selections, making seven All-NBA teams, of which six were first team, winning three scoring titles, and securing one MVP, before being traded on January 13, 2021, to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster deal.
Harden, by being in the Eastern Conference, has played in Houston twice since being traded and only once in front of a full arena. Hopefully, he'll return to action on Monday in Houston, and he should receive a warm welcome.
James Harden isn't the only big name player set to return to action soon. Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks is expected to make his season debut potentially as soon as Friday against the Lakers.
The Mavericks have signed Kemba Walker. The 32-year-old four-time All-Star has had his career ravaged by knee injuries and was unsigned six weeks into the season before the Mavericks scooped him up. To make room on the roster, the Mavericks waived Facundo Campazzo.
The Boston Celtics have signed Al Horford to a two-year $20 million extension. The contract is fully guaranteed and includes a trade kicker. The 36-year-old Horford is now tied to the Celtics through the 2024-25 season.
Be sure to check out our Houston Rockets quarter season report card!