2008-09 Game 42: Denver Nuggets at Houston Rockets Game Thread

The Nuggets have a chance to put the somewhat embarrassing loss against the Orlando Magic behind them as they have a special MLK Day matinee in Houston. 

The Rockets are more banged up than the Nuggets are as they will be playing without both Ron Artest and Tracy McGrady and according to the Rockets’ game notes Shane Battier is battling inflammation in his left foot.  The Nuggets cannot take Houston lightly as they still have some jitterbug guards in Rafer Alston and Aaron Brooks who can play the drive and kick game that has frustrated the Nuggets in the past.  They still have good spot up shooters in Shane Battier and former Nugget Von Wafer.

Wafer has been playing very well since being moved into the rotation on January 2nd.  He scored 18 points in only 12 minutes that night and has been averaging 16.3 points per game since then.  Today he will start his eighth straight game which will also be his eighth career start.

The Nuggets are going to have to close off the driving lanes and the big men will have to work on pushing Yao Ming as far away from the basket as they can.  The Rockets have done a good job of slowing the Nuggets running game as Denver has put up only 13 fast break points in each of the first two games against Houston this season.  Obviously, Denver will also have to work to earn good shots and not settle for the easy jumpers. 

Look for Nene to bounce back from his disappointing night against Dwight Howard.  The last time he was held to single digit scoring he put up huge numbers for two straight weeks.

This is the second time this season Denver is playing in an early game.  The first time in New York they did not seem to be bothered by the morning start time although they did not really hit their stride until the second quarter. 

This is a very winnable game for the Nuggets and hopefully they can put forth a good effort.

Denver Nuggets Game Notes

Previous Matchups:  Game 18 – Den 104 Hou 94 | Game 25 – Den 96 Hou 108

Featured Blog:  The Dream Shake

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  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Link to NBA.com/China video feed of the Nuggets/Rockets game.

  • UnarmingMermaid

    Did anybody notice that the Nuggets are on in the middle of the day?

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Rockets draining their threes early on.

  • BeefySwats

    Ugh, I can’t find a good feed. That China link doesn’t work for me either :(

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Nuggets not playing great on offense, but they are moving the ball pretty well.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Nuggets D is not doing very well Alston is getting where ever he wants to on the floor and they are getting beat in transition.

  • Stumbleweed

    I’m just watching the Yahoo GameTrack thing, but who the hell is checking Alston?? How is he 5/5 and 3/3 from deep right now?

  • CCH

    Lovin this ball movement. Not so much the D, wafer cannot drive through 3 Nugget defenders unacceptable.

  • BeefySwats

    Jeremy, where are you watching the game?

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    I am watching on the link I posted on comment 1.

  • CCH

    this is great ball movement. we can’t stop yao though

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Denver is getting absolutely abused in transition.

  • CCH

    Our offense is flowing like the Mississippi. We need to start getting some stops though.

  • Stumbleweed

    Heh, I love the Chinese flair for presentation in the studio show.. two guys and a laptop. I was watching a Chinese PTI-style show after a game a few weeks ago and all of them were wearing Kobe jerseys, which I thought was funny.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Both teams shooting 57% after the first quarter.

  • BeefySwats

    Ugh, I’d really like to watch this game, but the stupid plugin on that link won’t install. Guess I am stuck with the ESPN Gamecast. :(

  • Stumbleweed

    We’re long-overdue for a J.R. explosion. Hope that happens.. he’s heating up.

  • Stumbleweed

    If you’re in Firefox, click ‘Manual install’ when the window comes up and it should work — I’m watching now after some technical difficulties to start.

  • Stumbleweed

    Brent Barry will own the retirement home shooting contests until he’s 90.

  • CCH

    When I don’t have altitude I got justin.tv for streams.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Houston is getting whatever they want on offense. They had 24 paint points in the first quarter and are splashing their threes. Even a quasi competent would be able to remove either their inside or outside game.

  • CCH

    Violet Palmer has to be the worst ref in the NBA, she always seems to stick it to us epecially.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Quote from Koz doing the radio call of the game going to the break after Andersen gets called for the charge, “George Karl is all over Violet Palmer…here on the Altitude Radio Network.”

    I have a feeling that would not be good for ratings.

  • Stumbleweed

    The justin.tv stream is horrible right now.. some big advertisement covering the whole game feed. That Chinese one is good quality if you can get the plug-in to work.

    And yeah, the defense is atrocious right now.. every Houston player seems to be able to get past the first defender (or two) and head right to the rack. It doesn’t help that Alston is looking like Ray Allen, but it’s on Denver right now..

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    The nice thing about the Chinese feed is in a socialist economy there is no need for advertisements.

  • CCH

    Jeremy, what station is Nuggets radio on? also can you listen online?

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Kleiza is such a horrible passer.

  • BeefySwats

    Kleiza turnovers!!! :argh:

  • CCH

    *#($&( VIOLET PALMER GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Mile High Sports Radio 1510 AM in Denver. No online stream.

  • Stumbleweed

    Haha yeah, they actually played every basket that Yi made in a game a few weeks ago as s substitute for a commercial break — awesome. They do play NBA-related commercials, normally just the “Where Amazing Happens” ads, but I just saw a Shane Battier/Jason Kidd commercial — the hell?

    Looks like we’re getting another 8-man rotation game unless Nene/Bird get into foul trouble. I really think George has gotta start going a little deeper with Melo out… we don’t need K-Mart or Nene getting hurt because they’re playing 40 MPG and trying to shoulder more of the offensive load on top of it..

  • BeefySwats

    Violet Palmer is the worst

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Rockets have gone cold and it seems like Denver has closed down the lane a little bit.

  • Stumbleweed

    Wow, AC found his jumper. I LOVE when JR gets into that drive and dish game (and when he’s the ball-handler on the pick and roll).. he could be so good if he did that consistently without turning the ball over trying to be too fancy. He’s such a threat from outside that they almost have to give him the drive.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    I was wrong. Mile High Sports radio does have a live stream, but I do not think they broadcast the Nuggets. Right now it is just silent.

  • BeefySwats

    HOW IS THAT NOT A TRAVEL ON YAO

  • CCH

    beautiful passing tonight.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Nene has definitely responded after his sorry game against Orlando.

  • CCH

    errr today not tonight. this is weird.

  • BeefySwats

    Goddamnit Nene, you cannot let Luis Scola outrebound you.

  • CCH

    Nene and kmart workin it on offense.

  • CCH

    swiss cheese transition D though.

  • Stumbleweed

    Turnovers are killing us, because we should be leading by 10 with the way we’re shooting the ball. Nice drive by Dahntay and a good finish by Bird for the and-1.

    This passing and ball movement will get us out of the first round… seriously, that’s been the biggest sticking point for the Nuggets. If they can play like this and add some defense, watch the hell out.

  • BeefySwats

    Turnovers always kill us.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Halftime Stats:
    Pace – 99.9
    Defensive Efficiency – 130.1
    Offensive Efficiency – 136.1

    Denver is shooting 65.8%! They have only attempted five threes, which I like, even though they have made four of them.

  • BeefySwats

    As good as Nene’s 15 footer has gotten, it still makes me cringe to watch him fall away from 15 feet.

  • BeefySwats

    Man, Kenyon got abused by Yao.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    If you are going to have Kenyon guard Yao, you have to double.

  • BeefySwats

    12 turnovers. Take care of the ball, Denver!

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Yea, these turnovers are making me nuts.

  • Stumbleweed

    Good lord, Von Wafer ELEVATES on that jumper. Pretty stroke.

    I like that Nene’s the focus of the offense — better than Chauncey shooting a bunch like the last few games.

    And yeah, turnovers… AGH.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Nuggets looking a little more spry on D.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    You are right on Stumbleweed. I the barrage of threes is nowhere near as effective as pounding the ball inside.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    I am heading home to watch the rest of the game in comfort and style. Keep the conversation going everyone.

  • Stumbleweed

    Haha, LK totally eats it and it’s Nuggets ball. I hate those really long outlet passes though… seems like they complete one out of every three. Just hold onto the ball.

  • CCH

    wow violet made a good call.

  • Stumbleweed

    God dammit Chauncey.

  • UnarmingMermaid

    Wow…what a horrible way to end the quarter.

  • CCH

    Chauncey just blew the last 5 minutes of the third for us. He switched from being playmaker to jack every shot up WTF

  • Stumbleweed

    Am I the only one who wants JR taking EVERY SINGLE last-second three? I hate when he passes out of those shots.

  • Stumbleweed

    JR made a three to start the quarter… the Chinese feed was late but I noticed it on the Yahoo gametrack.

    Chauncey kills me with his shot selection… he’s almost worse than AI in that regard honestly.. at least AI would get fouled 95% of the time he was out of control going to the hoop… Chauncey turns into a bricklayer quick. Ah well, as long as he gets back to playmaking in the 4th, we should be okay.

  • Stumbleweed

    Okay, JR is 7/8 from the field and 3/3 from deep — I think it’s safe to say that his little slump is over.

  • CCH

    JR AC and kleiza are ballin now.

  • Stumbleweed

    4/4 from deep! Here comes that explosion I was talking about.

    I will worship at the Altar of JR until the end of my days… my favorite player in the whole league. Karl finally giving him the playing time he deserves. I guess it takes a near-perfect game and Melo being out for that to happen.

  • CCH

    YEAH BIRD

  • Stumbleweed

    YAO ANRGY!!!

  • CCH

    Chauncey comes back in for AC and the offense is stale again. WTF

  • Stumbleweed

    Another turnover Chauncey? Really? 5 and counting…

  • Stumbleweed

    6! I never thought I’d say this: “Where’s AC?!?!?”

  • BeefySwats

    Fucking shit JR, MAKE YOUR FREE THROWS.

  • BeefySwats

    We can still win this game if we stop taking stupid, stupid shots.

  • Stumbleweed

    Another HORRIBLE jumper by Chauncey. Dude, you’re 3/12 — the rest of the starters are all shooting over 60%. WTF?

    Then naturally, Kenyon with a tech… really bad timing on that one.

  • BeefySwats

    Great turnover, Denver!

  • Kay

    Whats with the super early game….ugh Yao

  • Kay

    If they call Yao the “Great Wall” one more time I will blow my brains out

  • BeefySwats

    Done.

  • Stumbleweed

    Nene and Yao are eating eachother alive — neither one can play defense on the other.

  • Stumbleweed

    J mothereffin R!

  • BeefySwats

    ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • Kay

    Please Lord don’t let JR do something dumb

  • Stumbleweed

    Agh, I hate these 1-point advantage last shot situations. Cross your fingers!

  • CCH

    JR’s been the best player arguably tonight kay?

  • BeefySwats

    welp, here we go, I bet chauncey gets the last shot.

  • UnarmingMermaid

    What a bullshit fucking call!!

  • BeefySwats

    CCH – that may be true, but JR is most definitely not clutch. Too young, too nervous, lives too much in the moment.

    Chauncey has ice in his veins.

  • Kay

    He has but he tends to do “dumb” things late in the game……….really, an offensive foul. Wow.

  • BeefySwats

    Game ends on a fucking bullshit offensive foul. Awesome.

  • Stumbleweed

    That miss got us the final shot to win the game though. And without the previous 3 he made, we’d still be down 4! Lay off JR, he’s had a great game.

    Kleiza blows the game for us on a stupid offensive foul… wow.

  • UnarmingMermaid

    well? I guess the questionable call to end the game finally goes against us.

    Still have a chance here though.

    C’mon Nugs!

  • Stumbleweed

    Not all LK’s fault, but MAN that hurts… Nene already dunked the ball.

  • Kay

    *blank stare* Calm down, I like JR.

  • BeefySwats

    Okay, maybe not, but the Nuggets got very lucky there and now need a miracle.

  • UnarmingMermaid

    man…that could have been a 3-point play if Kmart makes it.

  • Stumbleweed

    Wow, can’t believe we got a look at the hoop. Come on big man… hit those free throws.

  • BeefySwats

    noooooooooooooooooooooo kmart

  • Stumbleweed

    NOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • BeefySwats

    If Denver shot even 10% better from the line, and turned the ball over an average of just twice fewer per game…….

    *blows his brains out*

  • BeefySwats

    asdlkjfhalksdhfioasuyriwq7tr8w77yrassednf.k,sdjhflkjsdd;f

  • CCH

    we had the rebound too but they fought eachother for it.Shitty loss

  • Kay

    *mops up Beefy’s brain*

  • Stumbleweed

    What a tough loss… we blew probably the best shooting night we’ve had all season. I pin this one on Chauncey’s horrible game (12 assists don’t mean SHIT when everyone else was uber-hot and he also had 6 TOs) and all those turnovers. Unbelievable.

  • BeefySwats

    Too many turnovers and too few clutch free throws down the stretch.

    What happened to the greatly improved FT shooting and defense we showed early in the season? We’ve completely collapsed from that.

    We missed 3 FTs in the last 3 minutes of the game and turned the ball over twice.

    I’m really pissed right now. This was a winnable game and Denver absolutely let Houston slide. This team right now is not mentally tough to make the playoffs, much less escape the first round.

    Time for Karl to have a come to jesus talk with the team. That was inexcusable.

  • BeefySwats

    58.3% FT shooting for KMart.

    Atrocious.