The Denver Nuggets got a much needed win against the San Antonio Spurs last night and immediately hopped on a plane to play a game tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers are also on a busy schedule with tonight being their third game in four nights.  Unlike Denver, it’s been a much more positive past week for L.A. They seem to have figured out a rotation that works with newly acquired James Harden and are winners of four of their last five games. The newly found success is a result of moving Russell Westbrook to the bench and the continued strong play of Paul George. If Kawhi Leonard can also continue to build consistency with his game the Clippers will be a formidable matchup. Still, they don’t bring a ton of size to the table which can spell trouble against Denver.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (11-6) at Los Angeles Clippers (7-8)

When: 8:30 PM MST

Where: The Dark Web. Los Angeles, CA.

How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy….unless it’s the romanticized 18th century type. Altitude TV where available (Altitude TV is available on DirecTV, DirecTV Stream & Fubo TV). NBA League pass for those not in the Nuggets market. Altitude Radio 92.5FM. Walk around with a cheap suit, an undeserved sense of self worth and claim to be an L.A. crypto millionaire with backstage passes to whatever event this is.

Rival Blog: 213 Hoops

The Matchup

Position Nuggets Clippers Advantage
PG Reggie Jackson James Harden Clippers
SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Terrance Mann Even
SF Michael Porter Jr. Paul George Even
PF Aaron Gordon Kawhi Leonard Clippers
C Nikola Jokic Ivica Zubac Nuggets
Bench Christian Braun, Justin Holiday, Julian Strawther, Peyton Watson, DeAndre Jordan Russell Westbrook, Norman Powell, P.J. Tucker, Daniel Theis Clippers


Injury Report*: Aaron Gordon – questionable (heel), Jamal Murray – out (hamstring), Vlatko Cancar – out (knee); Brandon Boston Jr. – out (quad), Mason Plumlee – out (knee).*The Denver Nuggets official injury report was not submitted at time of writing.

The Three Things

The thing to watch for: Michael Porter Jr. vs Paul George

May 1, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) controls the ball against Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

If Aaron Gordon is a go then expect Porter to get a lot of time matching up with George. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope probably draws Harden while Gordon (or Justin Holiday if Gordon is a no-go) likely gets Leonard. MPJ is also often the target of Clipper picks and switches. Luckily for Denver, Porter continues to make strides on the defensive end and his length makes him capable of being a touch matchup for most opponents on both ends of the court. George is off to a great start this season however, and had a big game in a losing effort against the Nuggets the last time these teams met. If MPJ is up to the task of defending George it will go a long way to a Nugget victory.

The thing to remember: Denver has won ten of their last eleven against the Clippers

To say the Nuggets are a thorn in the Clippers side is an understatement. Ever since Marcus Morris got in Paul Millsap’s face when Los Angeles was up 3-1 in the bubble it’s been all Nuggets. The problem for L.A. is a lack of size to match up with Denver. Ivica Zubac is a solid NBA center but he does little to slow down Jokic who has some monster games against the Clippers including a thirty-two point, sixteen rebound, nine assist effort in the aforementioned previous meeting between the two teams this season. The Clippers recently traded for Daniel Theis to address their lack of size off the bench but even Theis is still just 6’8″ tall. If coach Michael Malone wants to roll with a bench group of rangey wings and no true centers or point guards off the bench then Clippers are the perfect team to do that against.

The thing to bet: Nuggets moneyline (+155)

Denver is on the road, on a back to back and four and a half point dogs. It’s not a game you expect them to win. Normally I’d stay away from a moneyline bet on this one but given that it’s the Clippers, a team the Nuggets have so much success against, I’m going to take the plus money here and bank on a Nuggets win. As I said, the Clippers are also on a third game in four nights here so the lack of energy factor of the SEGABABA is muted some.