Tonight’s doubleheader was alleged to be about one of many recreation’s greatest gamers enjoying in one of many recreation’s greatest arenas. Sadly, Steph Curry will miss the Warriors’ solely journey to Madison Sq. Backyard this season with a shoulder damage. Within the night time cap, we’ll get a star-studded matchup between Ja Morant and Nikola Jokic because the Grizzlies go to Denver to face the Nuggets.
Heading into tonight, the defending champs are 15-16 and on the skin wanting in for a playoff berth within the Western Convention. With Curry anticipated to overlook a number of weeks with a shoulder damage, Golden State received’t simply have to tread water in his absence, however hopefully begin climbing up the standings to keep away from one other journey to the play-in match. On Sunday night time, Jordan Poole poured in 43 factors north of the border to beat the Raptors and he’ll be relied on closely by veterans Klay Thompson and Draymond Inexperienced to guide a youth motion that features Johnathan Kuminga who is anticipated to play after seeing simply 5 minutes in Toronto with a sore knee.
The Knicks return to the Mecca after a 3-0 highway journey and 7 straight wins. Over the stretch, Julius Randle has regained his All-Star kind, averaging 27 factors, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. R.J. Barrett and Jalen Brunson be a part of Randle in a Knicks’ trio all scoring over 20 factors per recreation and pushing New York to be within the a lot contested middle-of-the-pack within the East.
Tonight marks the primary assembly between the Grizzlies and Nuggets with each groups rising to the highest of the Western Convention at 19-10 and 18-11 respectively. For Memphis, they’re lastly pretty wholesome. The return of Jaren Jackson Jr. has beefed up their beginning lineup and giving their frontcourt extra flexibility on each side of the ball. With Desmond Bane out, Dillon Brooks has crammed in properly as a #2 scorer at 18 factors and three assists an evening. And in simply his fourth season, Ja Morant has solidified himself as a reliable MVP candidate. After getting ejected early in Saturday’s loss to the Thunder that halted the Grizzlies’ seven-game win streak, count on a frisky Morant in Denver.
On Sunday, fellow MVP contender Nikola Jokic put collectively a monster 40-27-10 triple double in a 119-115 win over the visiting Hornets. The Nuggets boast the third most effective offense within the league with Jokic as its engine. Defensively, they’ve been center of the highway, however are tied at fourth at 9-4 in clutch video games. However as spectacular as Jokic has been, it’s been his stable position gamers round him which have actually assist the Nuggets attain their mile excessive expectations. A mixture of younger gamers and veterans than embody Bones Hyland, Jeff Inexperienced, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Bruce Brown have chipped in to assist Denver win 4 of their final 5 video games.
With out Steph, Andrew Wiggins, and Donte DiVincenzo, the Warriors are 5.5-point canine heading into the Backyard. The west coast nightcap has predictably a tighter level unfold with the host Nuggets only a one-point favourite at Ball Enviornment. As juicy as Morant vs. Jokic might be, the doubtless extra intriguing matchup may very well be the aforementioned battle between the position gamers.
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