Houston Rockets guard James Harden is back in action Tuesday versus the Denver Nuggets after a one-game absence due to a toe injury. In his return, however, he will likely face multiple double teams if Nuggets head coach Mike Malone has anything to say about it.

“I know it's probably frustrating for him, but he should take it as a sign of huge respect, because people are scheming to take the ball out of the best scorer in recent memory's hands,” Malone said, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

Despite the dizzying array of defenses that Harden has faced thus far in 2019-20, he has kept a stranglehold on the top scoring spot in the league, averaging a gaudy 38.3 points per game. On pace to lead the league in scoring for the third consecutive year, slowing the Harden has become paramount to defeating the Rockets.

No team in the league has done a better job at shutting down opposing shooting guards this year from a fantasy perspective than the Nuggets. Of course, James Harden is far from the usual off-guard, having collected 27 points against Mike Malone and the Nuggets back on Nov. 20 in the most recent outing between the two teams.

Even with double teams, Houston has managed to display myriad offensive talent around Harden this season, with Russell Westbrook aiding that process. In addition to leading the league in scoring, Harden averages 7.5 assists per game, all while drawing an astounding 12.3 free-throw attempts on a nightly basis.

In order for the Nuggets to knock off the Rockets, they'll likely have to corral Harden, which begins and ends with the effectiveness of their double teams.

The Rockets enter Tuesday with a 22-11 record, good for fourth place in the Western Conference standings. However, their opponents are the second-seeded Nuggets who boast a 23-9 record.