The NBA is set up with an exciting night of action on for February 28. Ten games will be up on the board for Friday night. One of these games will be an exciting matchup between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers. These two teams are competing near the top of the Western Conference, which should lead to a good game. This game will tip off at around 10:30 PM Eastern time on ESPN.
The Nuggets have earned a record of 40-18 so far this season, which has them sitting in second place of the Western Conference. Denver is five games back from the Los Angeles Lakers, who are in the top seed of the West. The Nuggets have won their last two games and will look to build off of that with a nice win on Friday night.
Los Angeles has put up a record of 39-19 to this point in the season, which has earned them the third seed in the Western Conference. The Clippers are one game behind Denver and have a one game lead on the Houston Rockets, who are in fourth of the West. Los Angeles has earned wins in their last two games. The Clippers will look to earn a big win at home against the Nuggets in this matchup.
These two teams have had solid seasons so far, which has them in the second and third spot of the West. Both teams will look to improve their standing with a win in this game. I expect both teams to try and control the floor early to help give their team the edge. This should lead to a good game throughout.
The Nuggets and the Clippers met up four times throughout last season. Denver took the first game of the season series in Los Angeles, but fell to the Clippers in the second game on the road. The final two games of the season series were hosted by the Nuggets. Denver won the last two games to give them the 3-1 season series win.
These two teams already met up once this season as well in Denver on January 12. Kawhi Leonard dropped 30 points for the Clippers, while Lou Williams put up 26 points. Montrezl Harrell earned another 25 points, but it was not enough. Nikola Jokic had 20 points and 15 rebounds to help out the Nuggets. Denver’s bench combined for 43 points to help lead the Nuggets to a 114-104 win.
The Clippers dropped last season series to Denver and are already down one game this season. Los Angeles improved a lot this season and I expect them to come out stronger in this one. The Clippers were missing Paul George in the first game of this season’s series, so look for him to make a big impact on Friday night.
Field Goal Shooting
The Nuggets have done well when shooting from the field this season. Denver has made 46.9 percent of their shots from the field this season, which is eighth in the NBA. The Nuggets have made 35.6 percent of their shots from deep, which could be better. Denver has made 52.7 percent of their shots inside the arc, which is tenth in the NBA.
Los Angeles is around middle of the league when it comes to field goal shooting. The Clippers have made 46.2 percent of their shots from the field this season. Los Angeles’ three point shooting has been top ten, making 36.5 percent of their shots from outside the arc. The Clippers have also made 51.8 percent of their shots from inside the arc.
These two teams have put up respectable shooting percentages from the field this season. Denver has been slightly better shooting the ball, but the Clippers own the better defense in this matchup. If Los Angeles can clog the lanes and force Denver to shoot more from deep, this should allow the Clippers to control the floor. I expect Los Angeles to look for turnovers early to take advantage of the Nuggets.
Nikola Jokic has helped lead Denver this season. Jokic is averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds per game. Jamal Murray has averaged 19 points per game this season. Will Barton is averaging 15 points, while Paul Millsap has averaged 12 points per game. Jerami Grant and Gary Harris help round out the lineup by averaging over 10 points per game as well.
Kawhi Leonard has had a strong showing in his first season with the Clippers. Leonard has averaged 27 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Paul George is averaging 21 points per game in his first season in Los Angeles. Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell are coming off the bench, averaging 19 points and 18.5 points per game respectively. Marcus Morris and Landry Shamet are both averaging over 10 points per game as well.
These two teams have strong lineups up and down this season. The Clippers have a slightly stronger bench with Harrell and Williams dominating. Los Angeles will look for these two players to do some damage with the starters off the court. If these two can help Los Angeles get a lead early, I think the Clippers will have a good chance to win this one at home.
The Nuggets were able to earn a big win against Los Angeles earlier in the season, but I expect the Clippers to bounce back in this one. Los Angeles has a strong defense, which I think can slow down Denver enough. The Clippers also have the stronger bench in this game. Paul George missed the first game of the season series, but I expect him to step up in this one to help lead his squad to a win.
BetOnline has Los Angeles listed as a -5 ½ against the spread for this matchup. This gives a solid edge to the Clippers at home. I think that this spread is right with how Los Angeles has looked down the stretch. I like the Clippers chance to earn a win in this game and if they are not covering late, they are a strong free throw team, so they could cover the spread from the line.