November 11,2018 at 8:00 PM
11/15/2018 8:00 PM
Rockets Host Warriors in Western Conference Finals Rematch
The Golden State Warriors travel to Texas to play the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on Thursday. The Warriors (12-3) come into this game losing two of their last four games, which is a massive slump for this powerhouse. It's clear what the issue is, as they'll be without Stephen Curry for the next five games. Curry is currently nursing an abductor strain and Warriors fans are just happy that it's not his nagging ankle. NBA fans aren't talking about Curry though, as all the talk around the Warriors is surrounding the Kevin Durant-Draymond Green spat. It's unclear exactly what was said between the two but it's clear there's some animosity in the locker room. That little argument got Green suspended for their victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, as he's expected to return here. It's funny that there's all this drama around the Warriors and they still sit with the second-best record in the league. That's just how dominant Golden State is and they're heavy favorites to repeat yet again despite all of the gossip and rumors surrounding this club. The Rockets (6-7) got off to a dreadful start but recent results would indicate that they're out of their slump. In fact, Houston has won five of their last seven games, with four of those coming on the road. What's really encouraging is how well the defense is playing right now, as they've allowed 103 or fewer points in six-straight games. That's an unbelievable mark from a team who was expected to struggle defensively and it's clear that won't be an issue for them this season. The real issues have come on the offensive end, with the Rockets sitting 28th in scoring. That's a shocking statistic from a team who sat top-five in nearly every offensive category last season and it's only a matter of time before they start playing better on that end of the floor. What's also ironic about this mini-surge is the fact that it's all come with Carmelo Anthony sidelined, as many skeptics believe he's played his final game for the Rockets. Houston actually won their three-game season series over Golden State last season, despite losing in the Conference Finals in seven games. Prior to that, the Warriors won 11 of their previous 12 regular-season games over the Rockets coming into last season.
November 11,2018 at 9:00 PM
11/15/2018 9:00 PM
Nuggets Look To Get Back On Track
The Denver Nuggets play host to the Atlanta Hawks, at Pepsi Center on Thursday evening. After a great, 9-1, start to the season, the Nuggets (9-5) hit a wall, as they have dropped their last four in a row. They dropped the first one in Memphis, then followed up with consecutive losses at home, against the Nets, Bucks and the Rockets. This marks the fourth and final game of a home stand for the Nuggets, who are 6-3 at home this season. Nikola Jokic (undisclosed) visited the x-ray room after his last contest, but is expected to be ready for action on Thursday. Jokic is averaging 17.5 points, 10.4 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Jokic had a massive 37-point, 29-rebound night a couple games ago, but otherwise has been relatively tame this season. Jamal Murray similarly had his amazing 48-point night, and otherwise has been solid, averaging 17.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. The Nuggets sit third place in the West, with a 0.5-game lead over fourth and fifth place. Meanwhile, the Hawks (3-11) have dropped five in a row. This marks their third game of a four-game road trip, while they are just 1-7 on the road so far this season. The Hawks are one of the worst defensive teams in the league, as they are allowing an average of 117.7 points per game, which is second worst in the league. Despite their poor record, the Hawks have some bright spots with their young players, especially Trae Young, who is averaging 17.5 points, 8.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. Taurean Prince is averaging 15.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists, while Kent Bazemore is averaging 14.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
November 11,2018 at 10:30 PM
11/15/2018 10:30 PM
Spurs Visit LA on Heels of Loss
The San Antonio Spurs will visit the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Thursday evening. San Antonio (7-6) has had an up-and-down start to the season. That hot-and-cold start was encapsulated in the Spurs' 116-96 loss Wednesday night to Phoenix, a team they had beaten by 30 in their last meeting. In the loss, the Spurs struggled to find reliable offense. DeMar DeRozan led the team with 24 points, but San Antonio still shot just 42 percent and committed 19 turnovers. Offense has been a primary issue for San Antonio for much of the season. The Spurs rank just 21st in the league in scoring at 108.7 points per game. Los Angeles (8-5), on the contrary, has been one of the league's best teams on the offensive end this season. At 116.6 points per game, the Clippers rank fifth in the league in scoring output and fourth in the league in true shooting percentage. LA is fresh off a major win in which it defeated the Golden State Warriors in overtime. Montrezl Harrell scored a team-high 23 points in the win, followed closely by Lou Williams with 22. The Clippers have also seen strong recent production from rookie point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is averaging 17.6 points per game over his last three contests.