The LA Clippers will host the Denver Nuggets on Friday, looking to avenge their most lopsided loss of the season just eight days ago. Continue reading for our Clippers-Nuggets preview.

Game Information

Where: Arena, Los Angeles, California

When: 7:30 p.m. PT

How to Tune in: ESPN, Bally Sports SoCal, ClipperVision, AM 570

Projected Starting Lineups

LA Clippers: Terance Mann – Kawhi Leonard – Marcus Morris – Nicolas Batum – Ivica Zubac

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

Injury Report

Clippers: Paul George (Hamstring) – OUT, Luke Kennard (Calf) – OUT

Nuggets: Jeff Green (Wrist) – OUT, Collin Gillespie (Leg) – OUT, Peyton Watson – OUT

The Big Picture

Simply put, this is a statement game. Whether the Clippers’ players will treat it as such or even acknowledge that fact are two different questions. But the bottom line is this: the same Clippers team that took the floor in the Orlando Bubble and was embarrassed by Denver after taking a 3-1 lead are the same guys who took the court a little over a week ago and were run off of the court just minutes into the game. LA has looked better as of late, and its process on both ends of the court has looked more like a team that fancies itself on contending for a championship, though it’s only resulted in one win since that concerning January 5 loss in the Mile High City.

But good processes and things of that nature aren’t necessarily that important this Friday night. Regardless of who is on the court for either team, the Clippers must show some pride. Ty Lue has gone as far as to say that the game against the Nuggets will be a test of what the Clippers are made of.

The Antagonist

You can flip a coin to decide whether the Memphis Grizzlies or Denver Nuggets are the Western Conference’s best team, but there’s no coin-flipping or guessing necessary to determine which team presents the more significant threat to the Clippers. Behind Nikola Jokic, a two-time NBA MVP, Denver’s got the best and most lethal offense in the league today. There is no answer for him on the Clippers’ roster, but as is the case with most superstars that LA faces (namely Luka Doncic), the best bet in slowing down this offense is to limit the others. It seems like in each matchup since Aaron Gordon’s arrival in Denver, he’s gashed the Clippers with his offense. And it would be in the Clips’ best interest not to allow any easy looks for guys like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jamal Murray, who can get going in a hurry. If they don’t, well, we are all aware of how quickly it could get out of hand.

Clippers vs. Nuggets Game Notes

  • Clippers’ Offense: The Clippers’ offense is one of the worst in the NBA. Lucky for them, Denver’s defense is below average. And despite that being the case, I thought they actually were able to get some good looks at jump shots early in the last game that just didn’t fall. Still, something they could improve on is getting past the first line of defense and getting to the paint. The Clippers don’t necessarily have the personnel on the offensive end to beat guys off the dribble in isolation, so ball movement and attacking closeouts will be crucial. If they can get paint touches, success should follow.
  • Fast Start: In the recent games that the Clips have shown signs of progression, the common denominator is how well they started. One was followed by a good second quarter and the other was not. But the key is to not get behind the 8-ball too early and be forced into exerting extra energy while playing catch-up. The Clippers will need another strong first few minutes to set the tone for how the game is going to be played.
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