The Clippers are back to one game under .500 and have played better of late, but now face their ultimate nightmare in the Denver Nuggets and Nikola Jokic.

Game Information

Where: Arena, Los Angeles, California

When: 7:00 PM PT

How to Watch: ESPN, Watch ESPN, AM 570

Projected Starting Lineups

Nuggets: Jamal Murray – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Michael Porter Jr. – Aaron Gordon – Nikola Jokic

Clippers: James Harden – Paul George – Kawhi Leonard – Terance Mann – Ivica Zubac


Nuggets: Jamal Murray Questionable (Ankle), Aaron Gordon Probable (Knee), Vlatko Cancar Out (Knee)

Clippers: Mason Plumlee Out (Knee), Brandon Boston Jr. Out (Quad)

The Big Picture

By going 6-3 in their last nine games, the Clippers have worked their way back into 9th in the Western Conference. There are still plenty of jarring quarters full of stagnant ball movement, lack of athleticism, and poor rebounding. However, the ship has been, if not righted, at least plugged up so it’s not actively sinking. The Clippers’ starting lineup has been effective, they’re getting decent individual contributions from their bench – even if the lineups and rotations still need work – and have been health (knock on wood) since Plumlee went out. Now their schedule is about to get tougher, and we will see if their progress over the past couple weeks really means anything.

The Antagonist

The Nuggets have had their own struggles this season, though most of those can be traced to injuries. Starting point guard – and second best player – Jamal Murray has missed around half the season and is questionable for this game. Reggie Jackson is a solid fill-in, as the Clippers can attest after he destroyed them a week go, but he’s not as good as Murray on either end. There’s also the depth trickle down effect, with the Nuggets youngster being called on more with Reggie starting. Those younger players have been inconsistent, with great flashes in some games and nonexistent performances in others. Still, Nikola Jokic is putting up inane statlines every game, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is the epitome of the moder 3-and-D wing, and the Nuggets get enough from elsewhere to win a lot. Can the Clippers finally do anything with Jokic and Denver? We will see.


New Rotations: Ty Lue has indicated he will stick with the updated rotations from the Warriors game, where he brought in Russ early for Harden in the first quarter instead of Russ for Mann or Paul George. This not only keeps Russ and Harden apart (good), but allows Harden to cook with the 2nd unit. As long as one of Paul George or Kawhi Leonard is also out there, I do like this staggering. A Harden-Norm-PG-Kobe-Theis second unit has some promise, and we know Russ can play with the starters. But keeping Harden and Russ apart is the biggest thing, and Ty Lue getting to that adjustment after 12 games or so is a good thing.

Will Kobe Stick: After a solid first game in the rotation, Kobe Brown was dismal in both Warriors games. The Warriors are a tough team to play against with their motion offense and deadly shooting, but Brown looked shockingly lost on defense for an older rookie. He also bricked all of his threes, with none of them being close. He just moves around a lot more than PJ Tucker, which is great, and I’d keep trying him, but Ty’s “Kobe will be in the rotation” after the Kings’ game might be tested with another one or two of these performances. Hopefully Kobe is better against the Nuggets.

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