The NBA kicks off its weekend of basketball with seven games on Saturday night. The day of NBA basketball will kick off at 5:00 PM Eastern with the Los Angeles Clippers hosting the Denver Nuggets. Both teams are near the top of the Western Conference, which should lead to an exciting game.
Denver has started out the season with a record of 21-9, which has earned them the top spot in the Western Conference. The Nuggets have played really well, despite some injury problems early in the season. Denver has won four games in a row and eleven of their last thirteen games. The Nuggets will look to get another win on the road on Saturday.
The Clippers had a really strong start to the season, but have hit some bumps in the road recently. Los Angeles has posted an 18-13 record this season. The Clippers are sitting in fourth place of the Western Conference. Los Angeles won their last game against the Dallas Mavericks, but have lost six of their last eight. The Clippers will look to continue to turn it around with a win at home on Saturday.
This matchup between the Nuggets and the Clippers will be the second of the season. Denver and Los Angeles will meet two more times on January 10 and February 24 this season. Both teams have earned playoff spots early in the season, which makes me expect a close game on Saturday.
The Nuggets and the Clippers met up three times last season. Los Angeles took the season series last season 2-1. The Clippers won the first two games by scores of 109-104 and 122-120. Denver was able to upset Los Angeles on the road 134-115 in their third and final meeting of the season series. Both teams finished right outside the playoff picture last season, but neither team got in.
The first meeting of this season was hosted by Los Angeles on October 17. It was the first game of the season for both teams. Tobias Harris had a solid night, dropping 19 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Boban Marjanovic had another 18, but it was not enough. Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris and Will Barton combined for 60 points. The Nuggets were able to power themselves to a 107-98 win.
Denver has won the last two games against the Clippers, but these two teams are 2-2 against each other in this season and last season’s matchups. The Nuggets will look to keep the streak against Los Angeles going on Saturday, while the Clippers will look to build up a winning streak. Los Angeles will look to win their last home game against Denver this season.
The Nuggets have had some problems with injuries throughout this season. Denver is currently without Will Barton, Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, Michael Porter Jr., Isaiah Thomas and Jarred Vanderbilt. Barton, Harris and Millsap have all played important roles in the lineup this season, while Porter, Thomas and Vanderbilt are still waiting to make their season debut.
Los Angeles has had a hit to their depth, but are not hurting too badly from injuries. The Clippers are missing Luc Mbah a Moute and Jerome Robinson for Saturday’s matchup. Neither player has put up big numbers this season, but they are solid depth players to have in the lineup.
Denver is hurting much more from injuries, but even with key players absent from the lineup, the Nuggets have been playing really well. The Nuggets have had some players step up, but I believe that eventually Denver could struggle from all their injuries.
Nikola Jokic has been the top player for the Nuggets this season. Jokic has dropped an average of 18 points, 10 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game this season. Jamal Murray has averaged 17.5 points and 5 assists per game this season from the Point Guard spot. Monte Morris, Trey Lyles and Juan Hernangomez have all stepped up with the injuries and averaged 10 points per game.
Los Angeles has seen really solid production from Tobias Harris this season. Harris is averaging 21 points and 8 rebounds per game. Danilo Gallinari has had a solid season, averaging 19.5 points per game. The Clippers have had a lot of help from Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell off the bench this season. Williams is averaging 17.5 points per game, while Harrell has averaged 15 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
Denver has a solid mismatch in the paint, with Jokic going up against Marcin Gortat. Jamal Murray will go against Los Angeles’ rookie Point Guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Harris and Gallinari could dominate at the Forward spots though, especially with Paul Millsap out. The Clippers will look for their bench to give them the final edge. If Los Angeles’ bench can put up solid numbers, I believe it will give the Clippers the win.
The Nuggets have been red hot as of recently, but I believe that Los Angeles’ will cool them down on Saturday. Denver has been hit hard with injuries, and I believe that those injuries give the Clippers some mismatches in the lineup to take advantage of. Los Angeles is also looking to bounce back after losing the first game of the season series at home.
BetOnline has the Clippers listed as a -1 against the spread. Los Angeles is at home, which makes me believe that they should be favored by a little bit more. The Clippers may have struggled recently, but they have still put up a solid start to the season. I believe Los Angeles gets a big home win against the Nuggets on Saturday.