Clippers vs. Nuggets Preview: Mile High Melancholy

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Nuggets pick up the pieces of Denver fans sports interest as the Clippers roll into town

Game 46: 2013-14 NBA Season
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34-16 (14-13 on road)
Series 0-1
22-23 (12-11 at home)
February 3rd, 2014
Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
7:00 PM MT
Altitude / 950 AM

Darren Collison PG Randy Foye
J.J. Redick SG Evan Fournier
Matt Barnes SF Wilson Chandler
Blake Griffin PF Kenneth Faried
DeAndre Jordan C J.J. Hickson
Notes
Clips Nation Blogs Denver Stiffs
Chris Paul (shoulder) is out until the All Star break Injuries Ty Lawson (shoulder) is listed as day-to-day and said he'll see how his shoulder reacts to practice. JaVale McGee is out with a leg fracture indefinitely, and Danilo Gallinari and Nate Robinson are out for the season.

The Clippers lead the Pacific Division and have taken seven of the last 10 meetings from the Nuggets. Stat Even with the Clippers have won the bulk of the recent meetings, the games have been weighted to Los Angeles, as the Nuggets have won 11 of the last 13 vs. the Clips at the Pepsi Center.

"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand."

-Vince Lombardi

There are tough moments in sports, for players and fans alike, when things do not go well for the team you love. Be it last night’s all-encompassing loss by the Denver Broncos to the Seattle Seahawks, or the Denver Nuggets current pupu platter of a season arc, in which they are:

- Without three of their five projected starters (and a fourth playing out of position),

-Without a single point guard able to suit up (Ty Lawson is listed as day-to-day, let’s hope he’s back tonight)

-Currently without a style of play. As much as they struggled early in the season with the new "throw into the post" system, the straw that stirred their current reincarnation was Lawson’s ability to drive and dish or score.

- Wearing out what they don’t have. Randy Foye played over 40 minutes primarily out of position for the Nuggets, and Evan Fournier nearly crossed the 40-minute marker himself.

Those are just current issues, nothing to do with new coaches and management, streaks and growing pains, and what is debatably one of the oddest Denver Nuggets seasons in history. A guy who is a die-hard Denver sports fan writing these words as the confetti falls on the end of the 48th Big Game might be thinking, "@#$% SPORTS!!!" as he tries to keep his tears from falling into the keyboard and electrocuting himself. OK, that got a little dark.

The path ahead doesn’t get any easier for the Nuggets facing off against the Los Angeles Clippers tonight at the Pepsi Center. The Clippers are missing some point guard power of their own, with Chris Paul sidelined until around the All Star break with a bent wing of his own. It hasn’t slowed them down from a solid 34-16 record, having won 11 of the 15 games Paul has missed (and four of their last five) and still pushing the pace with a 105.9 ppg average. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are playing their best season of basketball yet, and the Clippers have beaten some solid teams even with Paul healing up.

But as the Lombardi quote that leads off the article says, the only way to succeed is to pay the price of giving your all and best whether you win or lose. The Nuggets are in a tough spot right now, and they have a team coming into the building who looks like a contender at the moment. But I’ve seen this team pull some of their best efforts this season in games they were expected to lose, and even without Lawson on the court, the guys have played their guts out. If ever the boys were to pull off an "I can’t believe it", tonight would be the night.

What’s the word, Nuggets Nation? Ready to get your sports back on?

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