The LA Clippers will face the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the playoffs.
In a dramatic finish, the Denver Nuggets held on in game seven and beat the Utah Jazz, advancing to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. The LA Clippers, who finished their series against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, await them.
Denver had a tough time versus Utah, albeit they came back from a 3-1 deficit to take the series. Jamal Murray was their savior, putting up amazing scoring numbers. He will have to do that plus some if Denver hopes to beat the Clippers in the second round.
While scoring against the Clippers defense will surely be a problem for Murray, it’s the other end that figures to be a bigger problem. The Nuggets don’t have the wing defenders to stop the Clips’ combined attack of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Factor in Lou Williams and Landry Shamet who can also get going from the wings and Denver is in a tough place. Expect Michael Porter Jr. to be attacked relentlessly.
Nikola Jokic will also need to play well for Denver to have a chance. Although he’s the most skilled big in the league, he averaged 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists in the three games against LA this season. Those number aren’t bad, per se, but aren’t earth-shattering and can be offset by the Clippers’ own bigs, Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell.
Second Round Schedule Released
The NBA released the schedule for the second round, with the Clippers/Nuggets series beginning on Thursday, September 3 at 6:00 PM PST. The full schedule is as follows:
- Game 1: Thursday, September 3 – 6:00 PM PST
- Game 2: Saturday, September 5 – 6:00 PM PST
- Game 3: Monday, September 7 – 6:00 PM PST
- Game 4: Wednesday, September 9 – 6:00 PM PST
- Game 5*: Friday, September 11
- Game 6*: Sunday, September 13
- Game 7*: Tuesday, September 15
The simple takeaway from the schedule release is that the Clippers don’t have to play any afternoon games. The team has struggled with them at times, so playing later is obviously better. There will be no more than one day of rest between games so the Clips will have to stay ready.
As we get ready for game one on Thursday, make sure to keep checking back here for all of your LA Clippers news, rumors, and updates!