Los Angeles Clippers vs Denver Nuggets: Match Preview and Predictions - 12th January 2020
- The Denver Nuggets will host the Los Angeles Clippers on the second night of a three-game homestand as they battle out for the second seed.
Fixture: Los Angeles Clippers vs Denver Nuggets
Date & Time: Sunday, 12th January 2020 (6:00 pm ET)
Venue: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
Last Game Results
Los Angeles Clippers (27-12): 109-100 win against The Golden State Warriors (11th January)
Denver Nuggets (26-12): 103-111 loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers (11th January)
Los Angeles Clippers Preview
The Clippers have had a few games this season where they didn't come out with their usual "dog" identity and high energy. They have lost to the Pelicans, Bulls, Grizzlies, and the Spurs. Nevertheless, they remain one of the top teams in the West at second seed despite their key players being in and out of the lineup. The Clippers still pose a serious threat to win it all this season.
The Clippers are currently fifth in offensive rating at 111.6 and sixth in defensive rating at 105.6. They will look to give the Nuggets a back-to-back loss in Denver as they try to move one full win away from the third seed Nuggets.
Key Player - Kawhi Leonard
Paul George is said to be out until at least January 14 due to a strained left hamstring. It will then be up to Kawhi Leonard to keep the Clippers afloat against the Nuggets, who are coming off of a disappointing home loss against the Cavs.
The Clippers are 9-0 when Kawhi scores 30+ points. Last game, he tallied 36 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists in their turnaround win against the Warriors. He will once again be key to this game if he wants his team to render the Nuggets their second-straight loss and solidify his team's spot in the standings.
Clippers Predicted Lineup
Patrick Beverly, Landry Shamet, Kawhi Leonard, Mo Harkless, Ivica Zubac
Denver Nuggets Preview
Before the last game, the Denver Nuggets were coming off of a 3-2 road trip and a two-day off before their game against Cleveland. Unfortunately, the Nuggets came back a step too slow as they were on the wrong side of a red-hot Cavaliers and were unable to complete a comeback against the now 12-win team. The Nuggets are a great and deep team, however, they seem to fall to sub-.500 teams who always bring their A-game against them. They have now lost to the Wizards, Pelicans, Kings, Hawks, and the Cavaliers.
With their recent loss at home against the Cavs, they will look to recover on the second night of a back-to-back as they host the Clippers at home. A win against the LA team will switch them to the second seed in the West.
Key player - Nikola Jokić
Jokić will be key to this game if they want to come away with this win and prevent a second-straight loss. The All-Star center put up 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists in their loss against the Cavs last night. He will need to get back to his usual self—making plays, distributing the ball well and being aggressive in the paint—if he wants to lift his team to victory.
He will be matched up against an average defender in Zubac and he should take advantage of this and challenge the young center. The Clippers have great one-on-one defenders in PatBev and Kawhi, and Nikola should look to make some plays that will confuse their defense as he sets his teammates up with great looks.
He should also come out aggressive and take it upon himself to take over the game when his teammates are being hounded by the Clippers' defenders.
Nuggets Predicted Lineup
Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, Will Barton III, Jerami Grant, Nikola Jokić
Clippers vs Nuggets Match Prediction
The Nuggets might be unhappy after a disappointing loss against the Cavs, but they have yet to figure out how to defend a contender well. The Clippers' defense can very well contain the Nuggets' shooters, and without their best perimeter defender in Paul Millsap to contain Kawhi, the Clippers could very well come away with a win.
Where to Watch Clippers vs Nuggets?
The game will be broadcasted on FOX Sports Prime Ticket and Altitude. You can also catch it live via NBA League Pass.