Once again I am sad to say that I as I write this I have little hope for a Nuggets victory tonight. This is the fourth game in the past seven where I feel like the Nuggets are likely to lose. Of course, they won one of those four games (against the Lakers), but now they have lost two of the three games that were thought to be nearly sure things (at Indiana and at Sacramento). The Nuggets are 4-7 after the All-Star break and tonight is their fourth game in five nights.
Of course the Houston Rockets have not been sitting at home on the couch as it is their third game in four nights. The Rockets have been hot winning nine of their previous 11 games, but looking at the schedule they have had a very heavy dosage of home games. They have played 18 of their previous 26 games at home and in the eight road contests during that stretch they are only 2-6.
Maybe the Nuggets have a chance after all.
The Nuggets have always struggled to cover Yao as do most teams thanks to the shortage of mobile 7’6” athletes in the NBA. Poor Chris Andersen probably had to sit in an ice bath for 24 hours after the beating he took from Yao’s shoulders the last time these two matched up.
The other Rockets to look our for include Shane Battier who has only hit one of his 20 three point attempts in March so you know he is going to drain at least three tonight. He loves shooting in Denver for some reason. The Rockets other Nugget killer, Tracy McGrady, is out for the season and I believe Ron Artest is much easier to defend than McGrady. However the Rockets’ winning streak coincided with McGrady’s departure from the lineup. The other player that scares me is Aaron Brooks who seems to shoot well against the Nuggets and his quickness makes it impossible for Chauncey to contain him.
The Nuggets were clearly down after their loss last night in Sacramento and aparently at a loss for answers. It will be interesting to see how they respond.
Both Kenyon Martin and Anthony Carter are still listed as questionable and I would not expect either one to play.
I am not going to say this game is unwinnable for Denver, but pulling out a victory will be a tall task.
Take this with you: The Nuggets confidence is shattered, but even in the midst of their second half collapse they have won three straight at home. Hopefully a return to the Pepsi Center is what they need to get back on track.