In only 23 minutes played, second-year Rockets center Alperen Sengun led Houston in points (18) and rebounds (7) in Monday’s loss at Denver. Superstar Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic, who predictably had a game-high 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists, said in postgame comments that he believes Sengun — who looks up to Jokic, a fellow European center, as an idol — is capable of even more.
“I think they need to play a little bit more through him,” Jokic, a back-to-back NBA MVP, said of Sengun and the Rockets. “Sometimes they look a little bit more stagnant… with all their 3s. This guy has the talent. He can pass the ball, He can post up, he has the touch around the rim. You can see some different moves that he’s made.”
Will head coach Stephen Silas take the unsolicited advice in Wednesday’s rematch between the teams? We’ll soon find out.
One reason Sengun’s minutes were reduced is because Houston sat most of its starters in the fourth quarter, once the game appeared out of reach. After playing competitively for a half, the Rockets appeared to run out of steam in the second half on what was their third game in four nights and the first this season at Denver’s high altitude.
On Wednesday, Houston’s young team should be more rested, and perhaps more acclimated to the altitude factors, as well.
When and How to Watch
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 30
Time: 8:00 p.m. Central
TV Channel: AT&T SportsNet Southwest, NBA League Pass
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free in Houston markets)
Probable starting lineups
Houston Rockets (5-15)
Guard: Kevin Porter Jr.
Guard: Jalen Green
Forward: Eric Gordon
Forward: Jabari Smith Jr.
Center: Alperen Sengun
Denver Nuggets (13-7)
Guard: Jamal Murray
Guard: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Forward: Bruce Brown
Forward: Aaron Gordon
Center: Nikola Jokic
Projected lineups are based on each team’s previous game.
Houston’s injury report lists Jae’Sean Tate (right ankle soreness) as out, but the Rockets are otherwise healthy for Wednesday. Denver will be without Jeff Green (right knee contusion), Collin Gillespie (right lower leg fracture), and Michael Porter Jr. (left heel contusion), while Bones Hyland (non-COVID illness) is questionable.