Nuggets at Rockets: It will be "Harden" for the Nuggets to win tonight

It will be harden to stop James Harden...geti it?? - Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

The Nuggets, coming off a win last night against the Detroit Pistons, travel to Houston to take on the Rockets and their newly acquired shooting guard James Harden. Will the Nuggets make it "harden" on themselves and struggle tonight? Or will the Nuggets prevail to extend their winning streak?

Loading Scores
2012/2013 NBA Regular Season: Game 5
vs
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2-1

1-3
November 7th, 2012, 6:00 PM (MT)
Toyota Center - Houston, Texas
TV Altitude 2 / 950 AM / 104.3 FM The Fan
Probable Starters
Jeremy Lin
PG Ty Lawson
James Harden
SG Andre Iguodala
Chandler Parsons
SF Danilo Gallinari
Patrick Patterson
PF Kenneth Faried
Omer Asik C Kosta Koufos
Notes
The Dream Shake Blogs You're here!
(none) Injuries Timofey Mozgov (day-to-day) Julyan Stone (out)
James Harden is good, yo - leading the NBA in scoring with 35.3 ppg.
Stat Nuggets looking for first win on the road.

Hey guess what guys ... the Rockets no longer play at The Summit! Or is it? No ... no it isn't.

So that James Harden is a good player. It will be Harden for the Nuggets to win tonight coming after a good win over the Detroit Pistons at home last night. Second back to back set of the year, folks. Thank you NBA schedule makers. Anyway, after Harden was traded to the Rockets, just before the season began, there were questions about his transition to "the man" and whether it will be Harden for him to adjust. He seems to have adjusted fine, as he is the NBA's leading scorer with an impressive 35.3 points per game (in three games).

I'm not too concerned about Harden, mainly because he was never the issue when the Nuggets played the Thunder. It was always Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka that gave the Nuggets headaches. He will be a handful, no doubt, and it will be interesting to see how Andre Iguodala plays him as the primary defender. This will be our first look at Iguodala as a "defensive stopper". Looking forward to seeing it.

I don't want to draw any hard-en fast conclusions after three games, but it looks like Jeremy Lin will be a productive point guard for the Rockets. The key, one supposes, is to extrapolate how Lin will do over the course of an entire season. That is all that remains to be seen. This will be, I believe, the first time that Ty Lawson has played Lin head to head. Another intriguing match-up.

Chandler Parsons is back, hopefully his foot will be nowhere near Danilo Gallinari's. As I wrote about a couple months ago, it was Gallo stepping on Parsons' foot (thereby severely spraining it) that derailed his promising season last year. Stay away from his foot and we should be fine. Luckily for Gallo, Parsons is not the toughest defender in the world; so this could be a night where he breaks out of his shooting slump.

Outside of that we have Patrick Patterson and Omer Asik on the front line. Not much to say about them other than Asik signed what is probably one of the more absurd contracts of last season's free agency period. He is there to clog the middle and nothing more. Patterson is a serviceable power forward, but not as "big" as Glen Davis or last night's opponent Jason Maxiell, so this should be a slightly easier time for Kenneth Faried on the defensive end.

Nuggets of Wisdom

Now that the Nuggets have got the monkey of their backs, it shouldn't be Harden for them to go on a winning streak. Even though the NBA has once again put the Nuggets behind the eight ball with their second back to back in five games, it's early enough in the season where dead-legs shouldn't set it.

Gallo seriously needs to find his shooting touch. You could see glimpses of it in the first half last night, but clearly the game plan was for Iguodala and Lawson to take over. Gallo shot less (although it was still 3-11) and was primarily used to pass and space the floor. Tonight I anticipate the Nuggets using him more to score.

Great to see Manimal and JaVale McGee finally showing some pizzazz to their game. Particularly Faried who seems to be finding his role on the floor more and more. McGee clearly comes to life when paired with Andre Miller. The two have a good connection and you can see why George Karl has them paired for as many minutes as possible together. In order for the Nuggets to win tonight they need to exploit the matchups inside. McGee and Faried playing well will help that cause along.

Time to root the Nuggets on to another win. The last two games they have played MUCH better. Hopefully they will continue that trend and get another win tonight against the Rockets.

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