Houston Rockets vs Denver Nuggets: Match Preview and Predictions - 26th January 2020
- This could be a preview of the first round of the playoffs as Denver is fourth and Houston is tied with Dallas for fifth in the West.
Fixture: Houston Rockets vs Denver Nuggets
Date & Time: Sunday, 26 January 2020, 3:30 PM ET.
Venue: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Last game results
Houston Rockets (28-16): 131-124 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves (Friday, 24 January 2020)
Denver Nuggets (31-14): 113-106 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans (Friday, 24 January 2020)
Houston Rockets Preview
The Houston Rockets have the 6th best record (tied with the Dallas Mavericks) in the tough Western Conference at 28-16. If the playoffs began today, they would not have homecourt advantage throughout the 2020 playoff season.
Head coach Mike D'Antoni's job of leading the Rockets to an NBA title is more difficult. After failing to secure a contract extension in the off-season, he may need a job for 2020/21.
Friday night the Rockets did beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 131-124 thanks to Russell Westbrook's double-double of 45 points and 10 rebounds. Eric Gordon chipped in with 27 points.
Key Player – James Harden
James Harden had an off-game Friday night in the victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He shot 3-13 from the field and was 0-6 from behind the three-point arc. Except for such occasional slip-ups, Harden is once again am MVP candidate in 2020. This season, Harden is averaging 36.1 points, 7.3 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per game.
Rockets predicted lineup
James Harden, Russell Westbrook, P.J. Tucker, Ben McLemore, Clint Capela,
Denver Nuggets Preview
The Denver Nuggets are two spots lower in the standings than they were when last season finished. With a record of 31-14, the Nuggets are fourth overall in the Western Conference. As their contest Sunday against the Rockets is a home and conference matchup, the Nuggets are 19-7 vs Western Conference foes and 17-6 when playing at home.
Friday night Denver beat the New Orleans Pelicans 113-106 on the strength of a balanced attack. The Nuggets had seven players score in double-figures led by 27 points from Nikola Jokic and three players produced double-double stats including Jokic.
Key Player – Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic has been brilliant this season for the Nuggets. He has amassed 31 double-double performances in 45 games and leads Denver in scoring at 19.6 points per game. He has a very strong all-around skill set and even leads Denver in assists with 6.4 per game from his center position.
Nuggets predicted lineup
Garry Harris, Will Barton, Nikola Jokic, Jerami Grant, Torrey Craig
Rockets vs Nuggets Match Prediction
This contest could be a preview of the first round of the 2020 playoffs as Denver is fourth and Houston is tied with Dallas for fifth in the Western Conference. Both of these teams were in the 2019 playoffs but both failed to get by the 2nd round.
Denver, as they showed Friday night, have depth up and down their roster. However, Houston head coach Mike D'Antoni has been leaning heavily on his starters and just three rotation players Danuel House, Austin Rivers, and Ben McLemore most games.
Houston appears to be the healthier team but stamina could be a factor as James Harden had an off-game Friday night with just 12 points.
These two teams met in Houston Wednesday night with the Rockets securing a 16-point, 121-105 victory, so the Nuggets may be out for revenge Sunday.
Even though Denver has a solid home record the Rockets are 13-9 on the road but are not a deep team. The Nuggets should win Sunday playing at home.
Where to watch Rockets vs Nuggets?
You can stream the game live online with NBA League Pass. The game can be watched on TV on NBA TV and Altitude 2.