Denver Nuggets vs Los Angeles Clippers Preview


The Denver Nuggets host the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday (11/24), marking the third, of four, straight home game.

The Denver Nuggets enter their contest against the Los Angeles Clippers with a 6-8 record, just a half-game behind the Clippers for eighth place in the Western Conference. The Denver Nuggets lost the last game of their three game road trip to the San Antonio Spurs before heading back home four four-straight games at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets returned home with a 6-6 record; however, they lost their first two games of their current home stand, narrowly losing to the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors.

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Last week, Emmanuel Mudiay stated that he wanted to make the playoffs this season; however, the Denver Nuggets need to turn their season around quickly. The Nuggets stand a chance to make the playoffs as either the number seven or eight seed in the West, but their team needs to get healthy. The Denver Nuggets are without Wilson Chandler (hip), Jusuf Nurkic (knee), and Joffrey Lauvergne (back). It does not help that all of the aforementioned players are key contributors to the Nuggets’ frontcourt. 

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With a dwindled frontcourt, the Los Angeles Clippers present a tough matchup against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. With the Clippers’ powerful frontcourt duo of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, the Nuggets will have their hands full on Tuesday. Also, Kenneth Faried suffered an ankle injury that kept him out of Sunday’s contest against the Warriors, so it remains to be seen whether or not the Denver Nuggets’ star power forward suits up for Tuesday’s tilt.

The Denver Nuggets desperately need Kenneth Faried to be a part of their rotation heading into Tuesday due to their laundry list of injuries. Additionally, the Nuggets must rely on J.J. Hickson and Nikola Jokic to fill the void left by Lauvergne and Nurkic’s injuries. DeAndre Jordan is a double-double machine, so the Nuggets need all the help they can get on the boards against the Clippers. Also, Blake Griffin continues his development as a shooter, so he presents a tough matchup for the undersized Faried (if healthy). 

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Emmanuel Mudiay has a tough matchup against Chris Paul on Tuesday. Sure, Mudiay is the more physically gifted player out of the two, but Paul is one of the best point guards in the game and a perennial All-Star. Mudiay needs to utilize his size mismatch on Chris Paul to get to the basket and break down the Clippers’ defense. If he can consistently get to the hoop, look for him to dish it to open players on the wing, like Danilo Gallinari and Gary Harris. Gallinari and Harris must perform well in the Denver Nuggets want to have any chance at winning Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Clippers have underwhelmed this season, currently sitting one game under .500. The Denver Nuggets need to play pretty flawlessly to end their current three-game losing streak. Just last week, the Denver Nuggets sat a game over .500, but the team is going through a tough part of their schedule. So, the Nuggets’ playoff hopes are not lost just yet, but they have one more home game after Tuesday before they go on the road for five-straight.

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With a Denver Nuggets win over the Los Angeles Clippers, the Nuggets jump to eighth in the Western Conference, with a chance to climb as high as sixth if the Grizzlies and Jazz lose their matchups. Hopefully, Faried suits up for the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, but expect him to be a game-time decision. Also, Gallinari and Harris need to have a good game, because they present the most favorable matchups in the game against the Clippers. Tipoff is at 7pm (MST).