Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
In arguably the teams biggest game of the season, the Nuggets are in need of a huge victory over the Clippers to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race.
Where: Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
When: 8:30 p.m. MST
Watch/Listen: TNT – Altitude Sports Radio AM 950
With just under a month and a half to go in the NBA’s regular season, the Nuggets close out the month of February with a matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers. After a month that saw the Nuggets go 7-2, the Nuggets find themselves with an overall record of 33-27 and currently sit at eighth place in the Western Conference. The Clippers come in with a record of 31-27 and are just a game behind the Nuggets for that eighth and final playoff spot. After going 6-2 in the month of February, the Clippers have also been on a role and have continued too keep pace in the brutal Western Conference.
After the departure of Blake Griffin just under a month ago, the Clippers have really relied on strong play from Lou Williams, DeAndre Jordan, and Tobias Harris. Williams currently leads the team in scoring at 23.3 points per game and is shooting 37 percent from behind the three-point line. Jordan leads the team in rebounding at 15 per game, while also chipping in 11.8 points per game. The matchup between Nikola Jokic and Jordan will be a fun one to watch, and will be the first time the two matchup against each other this season as Jordan missed the two teams last matchup with an injury.
Blake Griffin and Montrezl Harrell gave the Nuggets problems in the two teams last matchup, which ended up being a 109-104 point victory for the Clippers. Now that Griffin will no longer be an issue, the Nuggets will still have to look out for Harrell as he’s averaging 9.3 points per game, while shooting over 60 percent from the field. Tobias Harris was the biggest name acquired by the Clippers in the Griffin deal, and has been strong in his eight games with the team averaging 19.4 points per game and shooting 42.5 percent from three. Both Williams and Harris will be the two guys the Nuggets will really have to look out for on the defensive end of the floor as both have the ability to be deadly shooters.
📊 30p/12r/4a/1s/1b | @tobias31 scored 30 points for the 10th time in his career, and grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) February 24, 2018
The Nuggets are coming off a game where they fought hard against the NBA’s best team, the Houston Rockets, but couldn’t quite finish the job as MVP hopeful James Harden went absolutely berserk. Even with the loss to the Rockets, the Nuggets have still had a stellar month of February and have rode their big man Nikola Jokic while doing so. If it wasn’t for a absolutely unbelievable month of February for Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, Jokic would have a very strong case for the NBA’s Player of the Month Award.
So, I thought Jokic might have a shot at Player of the Month for February (he's averaging 22.4 PTS, 11.6 REB and 9.8 AST with a .694 TS%), but my goodness, the Western Conference is absolutely ridiculous… pic.twitter.com/woCSLFPwrz
— Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey) February 24, 2018
Jokc’s numbers for the month of February have been absolutely ridiculous and his overall numbers for the season have been phenemoul too as he leads the team in rebounding (10.7), assists (6), and is second on the team in scoring at 17.2 points per game.
The Nuggets leader in scoring continues to be Gary Harris whose averaging 17.4 points per game, while shooting over 48 percent from the field and just under 40 percent from three. Harris had one of his worst performances of the season in the Nuggets last game against the Rockets as he shot just 2-12 from the field and scored only six points. Even though Harris’s offense wasn’t rolling, he still affected the game defensively with five steals and is now averaging 1.9 seals per game. Even though Harris’s defense was great, the Nuggets still need more from him offensively if they want to pull out a big victory over the Clippers Tuesday night at Pepsi Center.
Stay tuned to Dig In Denver for postgame coverage of the Nuggets and Clippers.
Nuggets forward Paul Millsap has missed the past 44 games with a wrist injury, but his return may come as early as Tuesday night against the Clippers.
Paul Millsap on if he’ll play tonight vs. the Clippers: “We’ll see. Pretty much a gametime decision.”#Nuggets
— Chris Dempsey (@chrisadempsey) February 27, 2018
Millsap would give the Nuggets a major boost if he were to play Tuesday night. He would instantly help the team defensively and would add another scoring punch to one of the top offenses in the league. In 16 game this season, Millsap is averaging 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.