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As we thought, the Clippers dispatched the Mavericks in six games but their next opponent won’t be so easy. The Nuggets look like a well oiled machine, lead by their conductor Jamal Murray. If the Clippers play anything like the first three games of round one, the Nuggets will run away with this series.
Keys To The Game:
The Clippers will have their hands full with the Denver Nuggets. Not only are they quick with more offense than the Mavericks but they have size as well. Round one showed that L.A. doesn’t do well when challenged with size at the rim, so their outside shooting must shine.
Landry Shamet, Lou Williams, Patrick Beverly, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard will have to put on their best Golden State impression and get shots up and in.
The defense will be easier but not simple. The Clippers can’t allow themselves to get caught looking at Murray in isolation. If so he will kill you with his ability to pass the ball. The Clippers need to settle down, and stay sound with their defensive assignments and not switch to create bad matchups on the perimeter.
The Nuggets are in a sound situation in this series. Murray is clicking on all cylinders and Nikola Jokíc is playing well in this quickened playoff format. If the Nuggets wish to keep their winning ways alive, they will need a third scorer to emerge.
Michael Porter Jr. can be that scorer. His length, shooting, and aggression will need to be on full display in this series. Along with that, the Nuggets need to make the Clippers drivers and funnel them to rim so that they can utilize their length on defense.
Matchup To Watch:
This series could very well come down to whose bench can pull away or at least spell with quality minutes while the starters rest. We know that Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams are lightning in a bottle for the Clippers but the Nuggets boast depth that can disrupt and counteract those two.
It’s hard to say what may transpire in a series like this but I think the Nuggets are the better team right now. Jamal Murray is playing lights out and the Clippers showed some kinks in the armor in round one. The Nuggets edge the Clippers here, 4-2.