Houston loses 105-85 in home opener
This is certainly a disappointing loss to start the season. Houston was a double digit favorite to beat the Denver Nuggets in their home opener. Denver got out to a quick 10-1 lead and never really looked back, maintaining their lead for the entire game. Houston got it within a few possession several times but Denver always pulled back ahead.
It’s kind of hard to pin down specifically what Denver did or Houston didn’t do that resulted in this upset. It would be one thing if we could just explain the loss with an uncharactaristically good shooting night for a few of the Nuggets, or some of the shots not finding the rim. But the simple fact is the Rockets actually got outplayed in multiple aspects of the game by Denver.
A few notes:
-It would be easy to blame the lack of an energy level due to it being the 1st game of the season. But Houston actually came out with some energy (at least after they initially went down 10-1).
-We didn’t shoot the ball well. Some of it was us missing shots or layups that we should’ve made, but I think some credit should go to the Nuggets. They didn’t give up too many wide open 3s, and they didn’t give up too many points from Harden and Lawson getting to the rim. It’s hard to say whether it was bad offense or good defense because no matter how good you scheme against Harden/Lawson, it’s still hard to limit those two with the defensive personell that Denver has. Houston should’ve shot better than 36% from the field.
-We weren’t great on the defensive end either. I’m actually not that surprised by a few aspects of our bad defense. Dwight was serving a one game suspension for picking up too many flagrant fouls in the playoffs. With him not in the game, you do expect the rim to be a little more open than usual. I’m not surprised by Faried’s effecient night (8-10 for 18 points), defending those types of bigs has sometimes been difficult for us. I am surprised that pretty much everyone else shot around 50% though. And again… it wasn’t like they were killing us on the fast break.
-I found myself keeping an eye on turnovers as the game went on. We’ve been bad at taking care of the ball the past couple of years. Lawson having a good assist to turnover ratio potentially could help with that. We started the first half only committing 6 turnovers. Then in the 3rd we had 10 out of nowhere, finishing the game with 17 total.