Our event of the day is the NBA fixture between the Denver Nuggets and the Houston Rockets. Denver made a near perfect start to the season, with a record of 9-1 after ten games. However, Michael Malone’s side have struggled of late, losing three games on the bounce and slipping to 9-4. The Houston Rockets, on the other hand, have had a very below par start to the season and currently have a losing record of 5-7. After going 1-5 to start the season, Houston won three games in a row to get their season back on track but have struggled to find any real consistency so far this term. James Harden impressed last time out against the Indiana Pacers where he dropped a season-high 40 points including eight three-pointers in a home win. If the Nuggets are to get the W in this tough match-up, they will have to guard the perimeter where Houston have proved deadly this season. Only the Milwaukee Bucks have made more three-point field goals than the Rockets who have one of the most effective shooters in the league in James Harden. Even though they have found success from beyond the three-point line, Houston have struggled shooting the ball overall, as they currently have the worst field goal percentage of any team in the league. But Michael Malone will trust his defence to nullify the threat of James Harden and his team-mates, as the Nuggets can currently boast the fourth best ranked defensive unit in the NBA. The Nuggets haven’t reached the playoffs since the 2012/13 season, where they lost in the first round to the Golden State Warriors. However, early signs this season suggest they are on track to perhaps make their first conference finals appearance since 2009. On their impressive early season run, Denver have already beaten defending NBA champions Golden State, who have won the championship three times in the last four years.
Adversely, the Rockets have reached the playoffs every season for the past six years. Houston topped the Western Conference last term, seeing off competition from eventual NBA champions Golden State Warriors. However, their lacklustre recent performances in the post-season have frustrated Rockets fans, who haven’t seen their team in the NBA Finals since they won it in the 1994-95 season. If they are to cultivate an effective run in the playoffs, Houston will have to sure up their shaky 19th ranked defence which has struggled thus far this season. The Houston Rockets can boast a superior head to head record against the Nuggets and the Texas-based franchise have won the last seven regular season games against them. But the Nuggets have been strong at home this season winning six games from eight at the Pepsi Center. Whoever comes out on top, you can be sure of an exciting game!
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Women’s World Cup Twenty20 match between Pakistan and Ireland. Both sides are yet to pick up their first win at this year’s World Cup and have failed to impress the West Indian crowds but will look to turn their fortunes around in today’s game. Elsewhere, day three of the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals gets underway as Kei Nishikori and Kevin Anderson face off having both won in their opening games. Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem will hope to bounce back from their straight-set losses in their first games as they play each other in the late game. In the NHL, leaders of the Central Division Nashville Predators look to make it six wins on the bounce against the Sharks in San Jose. Finally, its day four of the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NBA
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