As always in bubble action, we are here to provide an injury report update on the Clippers and their opponent the day before the game, in this case the Denver Nuggets.
Montrezl Harrell: Out (Self isolating)
Patrick Beverley: Out (Calf strain)
Landry Shamet: Out (Ankle sprain)
The Clippers remain far from complete, as two of their key players and another rotation player (I think Shamet has lost the “key” designation at this point) will sit out against the Nuggets. Trez, of course, is healthy, but is waiting until he’s cleared to play. All being well, he should pass the COVID-19 quarantine before Friday’s game against the Thunder, giving him a single regular season game to get back into some semblance of rhythm before the playoffs begin. Shamet’s injury isn’t particularly worrying either – he didn’t seem damaged after the game, and there probably would have been reports if the injury was more serious.
At this point, the bigger question is Beverley. The initial thought was that he would be kept out for a game or two to give him time to relax and recover, but he’s now been out over a week and has missed some crucial game time. He’s the most important of those three guys, and the Clippers need him right in the playoffs. Hopefully it’s all still precautionary, and he too can rejoin the Clippers in that Thunder game before the playoffs begin.
Will Barton: Out (Knee soreness)
Jerami Grant: Questionable (Knee soreness)
Gary Harris: Out (Hip strain)
Vlatko Cancar Out (Broken Foot)
The Nuggets have been dealing with plenty injuries of their own. Jamal Murray made a triumphant return in their win against the Jazz, but looked hobbled and out of gas by the end of that contest. He might have a minutes limit in this one, though he broke it very quickly in that Jazz game. However, the Nuggets are missing two starters, Will Barton and Gary Harris, and those are also two of their best (though still not very good) options on Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Barton is a do-everything kind of guy for them, an energetic scorer who can play some defense, and his absence has been tough on the Nugs. Harris’ scoring and shooting has fallen off a cliff this year, but he’s still a solid defender who offers some tertiary ballhandling and playmaking.
Additionally, Jerami Grant, who’s probably their actual best option on Kawhi Leonard due to his size and strength, is questionable. If he’s out as well, there’s really nobody on their roster who can even come close to guarding Kawhi or PG. For all that the Clippers might not have the chemistry or cohesion they’d like going into the playoffs, the Nuggets will be in similar straits, which is good news for the Clippers considering the Nuggets are either the 3rd or 4th best team in the conference.
Well, that should cover the injury report for this Clippers-Nuggets game. Stay tuned for further updates closer to tip-off, though all the Clippers’ injured guys seem definitively out. This should be a fun game between two likely playoff opponents, and will be a good opportunity to see where each team stands.