The Denver Nuggets are finally going to the postseason after a drought that lasted a total of 6 years. Nikola Jokic had 13 rebounds and 21 points, and the Denver Nuggets managed to rally during the 4th quarter to defeat the Boston Celtics in a great 114-105 victory on Monday evening. This allowed them to clinch their very first playoff berth since the 2012/13 season.
Denver Nuggets vs Boston Celtics
Will Barton managed to add 20 points for the Denver Nuggets who have now won a total of 4 consecutive games. The Denver Nuggets, with a 47-22 record, are currently tied with the Golden State Warriors for the best record within the Western Conference.
The Denver Nuggets managed to win a total of 46 matches in the previous season. However, they, unfortunately, missed the playoffs after they lost against Minnesota during overtime on the final day of the NBA regular season. Thankfully, this season, their 47th win worked like a charm.
“It’s a fantastic feeling,” Michael Malone stated in a recent interview who is the head coach for the Denver Nuggets. “This has taken us four years to achieve. Two consecutive years are coming up just short. We will be using that as tonight’s motivation moment.”
There were loads of smiles in the locker room of the Denver Nuggets after the game. “We are just going to enjoy this,” Jamal Murray stated. “We are going to take a moment and realise how far we’ve come this season. It’s fantastic to look ahead at the moment while enjoying it at the same time.”
Kyrie Irving was leading the Boston Celtics with a total of 30 points, while Al Horford managed to finish with 20 points, six assists and six rebounds. This was the Celtics second loss in 7 matches.
“You need to play exceptionally well for 48 minutes against the Nuggets,” Irving stated. “They managed to come back from 18 down and kept firing.”
The Boston Celtics are currently 5th in the Eastern Conference, one and a half games behind Indiana in 4th place and two and a half games behind the 76ers who they will face on Wednesday. This match essentially felt like a game between 2 postseason teams. The game remained tight during the second half, with no team having more than a two-possession lead during the third quarter.
However, the Denver Nuggets managed to get some breathing room during the final period and to an impressive 106-94 lead with only 3:47 remaining on the clock. The Boston Celtics managed to score seven successive times to get within 5 points. However, Barton managed to stop the run thanks to a layup. After Horford missed a 3-pointer, Paul Millsap managed to seal the deal with a 4-point play that allowed the Denver Nuggets to stretch their lead to 112-101 with only 31.3 seconds left on the clock — well deserved to the Nuggets. Now let’s see how they do in the playoffs.
When the Golden State Warriors play the way they should and focus, no other NBA team can beat them. The Golden State Warriors at their best is far better than any other team in the league. This was especially true when they claimed a 122-105 victory against the Denver Nuggets on Friday evening at the Oracle Arena.
However, after four consecutive journeys to the NBA Finals. Steve Kerr, the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, has recently acknowledged that it’s not humanly possible for his star players to provide the same level of skills and capabilities through the season. This means that in some matches they have it, and some events they don’t.
Emotions of the Golden State Warriors
After losing by 33 points to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday evening at the Oracle Arena, the worst loss at home for Kerr, the Golden State Warriors understood the embarrassment they inflict on their opponents. In a regular season that has witnessed loads of emotional swings, the Golden State Warriors have played at times with frustration, anger, and joy during several rough patches throughout the season. All these emotions have assisted the Warriors in providing a reminder to both the Denver Nuggets and the rest of the NBA league that they are truly dangerous when everything clicks.
“Once we are challenged, with our backs against the wall, we play the best basketball in the league,” Klay Thompson stated before the match. “Being aware of what is at stake in the next eighteen matches, we have to play our best as we don’t want to lose our number 1 seed. Therefore, tonight is a major game for the Golden State Warriors.”
Golden State Warriors Receives Wake Up Call
After they lost 5 of the eight matches before Friday evening’s showdown. The Golden State Warriors and Kerr were very open about the fact that the team has recently enjoyed a few solid days of group discussions and practice. Kerr stated that he felt like the team owed fans of East Bay a much better performance in the final year at Oracle. More importantly, Kerr’s players were well aware that they expected better performance themselves.
Kerr’s team too often appears that they are merely going through the motions of the NBA regular season. They are patiently waiting for the glimmering lights of the playoffs to wake them up. The horrible defeat against the Boston Celtics seemed to offer a significant wake-up call for the Warriors which is something they truly needed.
Although the Celtics are enjoying a thrilling season, the Warriors provided a potent reminder to showcase how dominant they can be. They continue to play phenomenally in every game they participate in, whether its an elite team or an inferior opposition. If the Golden State Warriors continue to rake in wins, there will be no one to stop them from claiming another sensational season in 2019.
The conflict between the NRL (Namibia Rugby League) and the NRU (Namibia Rugby Union), which threatened to place the Rugby World Cup participation for the country at risk. It looks like it’s going to have a happy ending.
The NRL and NRU have been at each other’s throats over who controls the national rugby team in Namibia as well as the day-to-day operation of the country’s beloved sport. World Rugby was contacted to intervene which managed to save the national rugby team, the Welwitschias, a trip to Japan after Corrie Mensah, the NRU president, refused to sign off on the national teams. The NRU president told several reporters that he had done to cause the Namibian Rugby League sidelined the union.
The Rugby Africa Conference
The impasse witnessed how the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the Namibian rugby team’s participation was in jeopardy for the 2019 Rugby World Cup that will take place in Japan. However, we now understand that World Rugby. Along with the NRL and NRU, have agreed on a compromise that will be announced next week following discussions between the two Namibian parties at the Rugby Africa
Conference that took place in Morocco recently.
“We have managed to find a way forward where we could successfully find solutions to the problems we were facing,” Mensah informed reporters. There was never a scenario where the Namibian rugby team couldn’t participate at the World Cup. It’s for this reason that we did everything we could to resolve the issues between the NRL and the NRU. Mensah added to his comments saying that, “The only issue that could have surfaced was if World Rugby decided to pull their financial support. Without their help, we never would have been able to travel to Japan for the World Cup. That was undoubtedly our biggest concern. However, preparations are going ahead, and the team is busy training, so everything is going according to plan for the 2019 World Cup.”
Issues Between the NRL and NRU
Mensah informed reporters that the problems between the NRL and the NRU began when the former NRU board developed the NRL, a newly registered company before the term came to an end. The old board decided to transfer the day-to-day operation to the NRL, leaving the new NRY board completely powerless.
“The biggest problem was for everyone to understand that the NRU needed to be in charge of the company,” Mensah stated. The NRL didn’t make any provision for the brand-new NRU officials to sit on the board or have any influence in the affairs of the NRL.”
Mensah stated that he had to sign off the rugby teams when the Africa Gold Cup was underway. Which also managed to serve as Rugby World Cup qualifiers for Africa as the NRL was not recognised by the NSC (Namibian Sports Council). If the rugby teams were not signed off, then Namibia wouldn’t have been part of the qualifiers. Namibia managed to win the Africa Gold Cup to qualify for the 6th successive Rugby World Cup successfully.
March Madness is fast approaching and this
year’s tournament promises to deliver its usual amount of thrilling match-ups.
The 81st edition of the NCAA Men’s
division basketball championship is scheduled to begin on March 19 and
will conclude with the final game on April 8 at U.S. Bank Stadium in
The tournament is always eagerly
anticipated, with 68 teams battling to claim the prestigious trophy. The Duke
Blue Devils have been a popular pick with pundits making March Madness
predictions this season and remain favourites to win the tournament.
However, two defeats in three games towards
the end of February have shown that they are not infallible. Star freshman Zion
Williamson missed their recent 77-72 defeat against Virginia Tech and Duke will
be eager to see him return in time for March Madness.
That result left the Blue Devils with a
24-4 record during the regular season, but this talented group of players have
the ability to go a long way in the tournament. Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam
Reddish will be much sought-after commodities in the next NBA Draft and Duke are
still the team to beat despite their recent troubles.
Virginia Tech’s victory over Duke showed
that they could be a force to reckoned with at March Madness. The Hokies led
for nearly 33 minutes, before holding their nerve late on to secure a memorable
victory. Kerry Blackshear Jr finished the game with 23 points from 11 shots and
grabbed 10 rebounds – he will be one to watch during the post-season tournament.
Gonzaga Bulldogs are prominent in the
betting having enjoyed an impressive campaign. The Bulldogs have also defeated
Duke this season and it would be dangerous to underestimate their chances. Other
potential contenders include Virginia Cavaliers, Michigan Wolverines, Michigan
State Spartans, Kentucky Wildcats and Tennessee Volunteers.
Reigning champions Villanova Wildcats are
another team who could come into contention, although they have gone off the
boil a little in recent weeks. Despite this, if the Wildcats can rediscover
their early season form, they could be a serious threat as they bid to clinch
their third March Madness title in the last four years.
Based on the attitudes surrounding the All-Star Weekend, there’s a decent chance that the race for the Most Valued Player might transform into a basketball culture war. Everyone, especially the players that are surveyed on the matter, agrees that James Harden from the Houston Rockets and Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Milwaukee Bucks have incredible seasons. Many nods also go towards Paul George, who has managed to take an unexpected leap during his second year with the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, there’s a culture war breaking out, and it seems to revolve around Harden’s accomplishments
James Harden as Potential MVP
The media seems quite fascinated with the incredible scoring binge of James Harden. Detailing his phenomenal 30 point matches and generating a pursuit of what would have looked like an unattainable Wilt Chamberlain record only a couple of months ago. It’s for this very reason why Harden was the Vegas favourite to repeat as Most Valued Player just last week. However, most sports betting sites have them both at -110 to claim MVP.
While some acknowledge the mastery of Harden, others are put off due to his style. Both in the way, Harden utilises the rules to his advantage and the way the Houston Rockets play. The freedom of movement, along with the relaxation of travel calls on Harden’s step-back. Having helped supercharge his season in such a way that it could irritate other players.
“Most people will say he gets away with travels when it comes to the step-back or that he flings his entire body into players to obtain fouls, but in all honesty, there are loads of us that get away with it,” stated a player that wants to remain anonymous as he doesn’t want to create controversy.
“Harden rarely plays basketball as a team sport. If you take a look at Giannis and how he plays, that is definitely how I was brought up in the game. However, that’s just my opinion on the matter,” he stated.
When you look at the statistics, most would agree with this statement. Earlier on in the season, Harden managed to score a total of 304 successive points that were all unassisted. This incredible streak was tracked with awe by both the media and fans. However, for some players, it developed eye-rolling because it represented the complete opposite of team play.
The counterpoint for Harden is simple. While the Rockets were in trouble and missing Chris Paul as co-creator for weeks on end, Harden took it upon himself to keep the team afloat in the Western Conference.
James Harden’s Record
Harden is currently boasting with 31 successive matches along with at least 30 points per game, tying him with Chamberlain for the longest streak in the history of the sport. During the game against the Golden State Warriors, he managed to finish with 44 points, ten rebounds, and 15 assists which is precisely the performance of an MVP.