The Denver Nuggets are winless after two games at home, and the Houston Rockets are also in search of their first win of the season when they take on Jamal Murray and company this Tuesday.
Catch this game live on Tuesday, December 29, at 10 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Denver Nuggets (0-2, 0-2 at home)
Something is not right with the Nuggets. They entered the season with high expectations after a surprisingly deep run in the playoffs in the Orlando bubble, but are now 0-2 to start the 2020-21 campaign.
After losing the opener to the Sacramento Kings (124-122 OT), the Nuggets fell prey to the LA Clippers, 121-108, last Saturday, with both games in Denver. There’s no need for Denver to push the panic button, but the team has to learn how to play with Michael Porter Jr. operating with a bigger role than he used to.
Porter scored 24 points in the Kings game then only had 10 in the loss to the Clippers. Once the Nuggets find the right mix of shot distribution between Porter, Jamal Murray, and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets should be able to take off. Despite the Nuggets still figuring that out, they have managed to average 115.0 points over their first two games of the season.
Against the Rockets, Denver will be boasting of a deeper rotation, with the Rockets still expected to miss the likes of John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Eric Gordon due to the NBA’s COVID-19-related quarantine protocols.
The Nuggets have seen the total hit the over in all of their last four games, dating back to the last season.
ROAD TEAM: Houston Rockets (0-1, 0-0 on the road)
James Harden is not going to let his issues with the Rockets — and his protruding belly — from putting on a show in Houston’s season opener.
In dropping 44 points on 14-of-16 shooting, albeit in Houston’s 128-126 road loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, Harden allayed any concerns on his interest in playing his best for Houston. Harden got plenty of help from newcomer Christian Wood, who put up a double-double of 31 points and 13 rebounds in his debut in Rockets threats.
Wood is going to be an integral part of Houston at least for this season. Harden and Wood will have to carry the Rockets’ depleted roster against Denver, and the two could have big games again on Tuesday, considering that the Nuggets have allowed an average of 122.5 points in their last two games.
The Rockets may have also discovered a new weapon on the bench in rookie Jae’Sean Tate, who had 13 points and four rebounds against Portland.
The Rockets are 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 meetings with Denver.
Even though they have played just one game so far, fatigue could be a factor for the Rockets in this game against the Nuggets. Houston comes to Mile High City with a short rotation and tired legs with five players playing at least 37 minutes in the Portland game. The Nuggets win this game, 127-1120.