Daily Nugget: How Denver shut down Rockets’ high-powered offense

by Alex Labidou
Nuggets.com Staff Writer
@LabidouA

The Rockets came into their game against the Nuggets averaging a league-leading 119.5 points per game. On Wednesday night at Pepsi Center, they were held to 95 points. It was a masterfully setup plan that was perfectly executed by Denver as it slowed down the league’s most difficult player to defend in James Harden. 

After the game, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone discussed how the defense will determine just how far his team will go this season. 

“I think our guys most importantly understand for us to win, the defense has to be the constant,” Malone said. “The offense will come and go…but defense is your anchor, it’s your calling card. You’re going to be able to win some games when your offense is not with you. In our losses this year, we haven’t defended anybody, and I think our guys understand that.”

In order to slow down Houston, the Nuggets plan was simple. Stay on your feet, don’t bite on pump fakes and clog the lane. The team excelled in all three areas Wednesday as they scored 32 points on 21 turnovers. The Nuggets also collected a season-high 13 steals. The video below showcases the Nuggets’ defensive scheme against the Rockets and how they were able to use it to get blocks and turnovers: 

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