The Denver Nuggets will challenge the LA Clippers
After becoming just the 12th team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 series deficit in a seven-game playoff series, the Denver Nuggets must quickly change their attention to the LA Clippers, a team full of talent and a strong defensive identity.
Matchups that will be telling
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Murray vs. Leonard, George
Jamal Murray has proved to be a certified bucket, scoring 50 points numerous times in the Jazz-Nuggets series. Leonard and George will most likely draw the assignment of guarding Murray.
On paper, Leonard should be able to shut down Murray, due to his length and athleticism, but Murray has unlimited confidence moving forward and when a player has confidence, it is a tough night for the opposition.
LA wins this matchup, though it’s closer than fans think.
Jokic vs. Zubac, Morris, Harrell
The best center in the game torched the former defensive player of the year, Rudy Gobert, with 26.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. Zubac will guard Jokic for the first quarter, a time where Jokic should torch LA’s starting center.
Zubac cannot guard Jokic, so look for LA to double team Jokic early. But with his exceptional court vision, Jokic will get his teammates involved early and find the wide-open look.
If Morris or Harrell draws the Jokic assignment, Jokic can use his height to get buckets. Jokic can either use his signature right jump hook or shoot over the top of the defense.
Nuggets win this matchup, it’s not even close.
The battle of the benches
Denver is led by Michael Porter Jr. and they recently got back Gary Harris from injury. Harris is a quality NBA starter, but if head coach Mike Malone decides to bring Harris off the bench, the second unit could maintain or even extend leads.
While LA has a dynamic second unit duo in Harrell and Williams. Harrell has a high motor, can crash the boards while Williams is a certified bucket getter.
LA will get a slight edge due to consistency throughout the season.
The Clippers should win this series due to matchups and talent. But the Nuggets have shown persistence and Jokic needs to stuff the stat sheet for the Nuggets to have a chance. LA in seven games, but the Nuggets will make the Clippers fight for every win.