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Brooklyn Nets at Houston Rockets Live Game Thread: Welcome to James Harden’s one-man show

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

WHO: Brooklyn Nets (22-23) at Houston Rockets (25-18)

WHAT: Let’s all watch and marvel as James Harden puts the Rockets on his shoulders...but, also, let’s get a win.

WHERE: Toyota Center, Houston, TX

WHEN: 8:00 p.m. EST

HOW: YES, ATTSN-SW; NBA League Pass

THE STORY: Game Preview

There is no great blueprint for thwarting James Harden which is in large part due to his offensive versatility. He can go downhill where he either finishes or draws a foul or he can hit anyone anywhere anytime with a devastating stepback three. He can also pass out of whatever defense is thrown at him, he’s averaging 9.8 assists per game over his last three seasons. The key for the Nets is to shut down the guys around Harden, and with all of Houston’s injuries that looks like an increasingly easier task ... or easier that guarding Harden.

One of the Rockets greatest strengths last season was their depth, but due to an underwhelming off-season and some untimely injuries, the starters who aren’t named James Harden are named Austin Rivers, Nene, and PJ Tucker and someone else. Beating the Celtics has an extra little kick to it, doesn’t it? The Nets took home a solid win against Boston on Monday night as D’Angelo Russell led his team to victory over what is now a completely disgruntled and frustrated Celtics team. You love to see it. Even though it got a little close there at the end, DLo’s 3rd Quarter was so scorching hot that it gave the Nets enough of a lead to hold off a Celtics comeback.

For more on the Rockets, check out: The Dream Shake

The Nets are no longer the laughingstock that Billy King made them. At 22-23, they are seventh in the East and have enough quality wins that I’m not going to list them. They are playing for real stakes right now and Nets fans should be really excited. Their youth is developing and that’s apparent throughout the roster. Their oldest starter is 27-year-old Joe Harris, who’s only in his fourth season. Rodions Kurucs has been a revelation as a rookie, and D’Angelo Russell has blossomed since leaving Los Angeles. They have the size (Jarrett Allen) and rebounding to make Houston’s night a long one.

Both teams have alternated wins and losses over their last five games, so someone is going to start a streak tonight.