Get your popcorn ready for tonight's game versus the Los Angeles Clippers. With J.R. Smith throwing down thunderous dunks (click here) and Blake Griffin putting together entire game reels like he did (click here) against the Spurs, you wont want to leave your seat tonight.
The particulars ...
Denver: 11-6 (8-1 at home)
Los Angeles Clippers: 4-15 (0-8 on the road)
Denver: Kenyon Martin (knee) is out.
Los Angeles Clippers: Chris Kaman is out tonight (sprained left ankle) and Randy Foye is doubtful (strained left hamstring). Kaman will look to play tonight afterall, according to Clips Nation.
Opposition's Take: Clips Nation
To start things off ... I received an email this week from Andrew Unterberger, a Philadelphia 76ers writer for The700Level.com. He is currently writing a freelance series for The Basketball Jones where he is getting to attend home games at all 30 NBA arenas in a two month period and write about the experience. He will be in attendance tonight at the Pepsi Center and if you want to chat with him or read about his in-game thoughts you should check out his Twitter at: augetoffmygold ... can't wait to see what his thoughts are on tonight's game.
Random thoughts on a Thursday night ...
-The Clippers are 3-2 in their last five games and in that stretch they have wins over the 13-5 Hornets and most recently (Wednesday, Dec. 1st) against the league's best, 15-3, San Antonio Spurs.
-I was in attendance when these two teams played back on November 5th in Denver, the Nuggets won that game 111-104. That affair was also on a Friday, hopefully the Pepsi Center crowd will show up on time and give the home squad some much needed energy to start the game. What has been up with the crowd's this year ... all Melo-Drama? Economy? Just a Wedensday game against Milwaukee? My sister was at the Bucks game and said maybe 2/3 of the Can was full, I know if it was up to Denver Stiff diehards there'd be sellouts every night!
-The Clippers have yet to win a game on the road ... hopefully Denver can keep that streak going the wrong way for the Clippers. The Clipps have the most losses in the NBA with 15, and they are tied for the fewest wins, at four, with the Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves.
-It was nice deleting Chris Andersen's and Chauncey Billups' names from the injury report I add to my previews. Can't wait to get rid of Kenyon Martin's name as well. The Clippers welcomed Baron Davis back to the lineup Wednesday. Davis has missed 14 games this season and did not play in the first meeting against the Nuggets. Against the Spurs he played 24 minutes and handed out 10 assists, including a sweet alley-oop to Griffin.
-Watch 22-year-old, 6'11'' DeAndre Jordan tonight ... his play this season could help the Clippers part with all-star center Chris Kaman (on Denver Stiffs wish list). The Caveman Kaman will miss his 12th straight game tonight with a bum left ankle (Update: Kaman, will look to play tonight, according to Clips Nation). On the season Kaman is averaging 11.4 points and 7.8 rebounds on a poor 36.4% shooting from the floor ... down from the 18.5 ppg and 9.2 boards he put up last season. He's due just over $11 million this year and just $12.2 million next season, not bad, and you can't tell me that cheapskate Donald Sterling wouldn't bite before the deadline on a deal centering around Kenyon Martin's $16.5 million expiring deal.
-The Bucks had Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and the Clipps have an interesting name on their roster in rookie Al-Farouq Aminu, Aminu is coming along averaging 9 points per game in their last five, up over his season average of 7.8 points. Aminu is sort of in the Melo rookie mold at 6'9'' and 215 pounds, although he's not the natural scorer Melo is.
-While watching the Miami vs. Cleveland game last night one thing was consistent: the booing of LeBron James. Over the last two games J.R. Swish's consistency has also been nice. Against the Suns he put up 30 points and 8 rebounds and against the Bucks he went for 20 points and 10 rebounds. It's really been J.R.'s team the last two games and we are all waiting for the other shoe to drop. What if it doesn't? The Nuggets are 3-0 in games where J.R. plays 30+ minutes this season. And Denver is 6-0 when J.R. plays 25+ minutes. We are all hoping that this isn't just contract-year play, but that J.R. is slowing making progress. But make no doubt about it, when J.R. is on his game, the Nuggets are a completely different team.
-While watching the second game of TNT's double-header (Phoenix vs. Golden State) I got to see one of my favorite players in action in Jason Richardson. I can't stand J-Rich when he's killing the Nuggets, as he so often does, but when he gets it going for the Suns they are tough to beat. While J.R. can take the Nuggets into a different stratosphere, it's Nene who plays the important role that Richardson does for the Suns. Steve Nash tries to get J-Rich going to jump start the Suns offense, just as the Nuggs do with Nene. I can't recall seeing Nene play with the aggression he has this season. Perhaps the closest we saw of his play this year was in his rookie season, when he didn't have the away from the basket game he does now and was forced to get to the rim to score. As Altitude's Bill Hanzlik would say, keep it going big fella.
-To borrow a line from Bill Simmons ... Hedo Turkoglu looks like he took a pregame shower in cement. I love Al Harrington's game this year, but he too looks like he showers in cement before games. Big Al just sort of looks like he forgot to stretch when he's on the floor. Not all players can be smooth, but Al's game works ... so whatever.
-I thought the Warriors/Suns game would be a little more high scoring ... at the time of this writing with just three minutes left in the game neither team has broken the century mark yet. Will the Nuggets get the good people of Colorado some tacos tomorrow? Six times this season the Nuggets have scored over 110 points to get the Taco Bell deal for the fans and tonight should be another 110+ point game as the Clippers allow 104.1 points per game to their opponents.
-All that talk about tacos is making me hungry ...
A must watch NFL player was in action last night as Michael Vick's Eagles beat the Houston Texans. I didn't watch much of the game, but I did try to make sure to catch the Eagles offensive drives so I could see my Fantasy Football QB in action. Vick is a must watch, just like the Clippers Blake Griffin. The Clipps Man-Child, Griffin, put up 26 points and 10 rebounds against the Nuggets in the first match up. He's averaging 20.7 points and 11.6 rebounds on the season, and just posted 31 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 assists against the Spurs ...
Be sure not to turn away from the court as each team has some highlight reel players going tonight.