Another matchup against these two Western Conference squads with this exception: No Chauncey Billups this go around, but the familiar face of Kenyon Martin. This time around, there won't be, arguably, Denver's best player in Gallinari, and there could, likely be no Lawson, Nene or Rudy, although they could quite possibly play.
Denver Nuggets: 18-15 Record ( 9-7 at home, 9-8 on the road) Streak: 1 Win
L.A. Clippers: 19-11 Record ( 11-4 at home, 8-7 on the road) Streak: 2 Losses
Denver has won 14 of the last 20 games against the Clippers; 5 of those 6 losses have been on the road at the Staples Center. However, Denver has gone 5-5 at Staples over the past 5 seasons and Denver has won 5 of the series in the last 7 years. Last year was the first 2-2 season for the two crews since 2003-04 season. All time, Denver is 83-65 against this L.A. Squad.
By The Numbers
In the past seven games, Los Angeles has outrebounded their opponents 341 to 259 and in those 7 games, L.A. have gone 4-3. Caron Butler has gone only 1-for-13 in his past 3 games and Blake Griffin has 14 games this season where he has had 20+ points and 10+ rebounds. When DeAndre Jordan has 4 or more blocks, the Clippers team is 6-1; they're 11-5 when Jordan has 3+ blocks. Clippers are 12-2 when they score 99 or more points, they're 15-3 when they hold their opponents under 100 points. They're 15-0 when allowing less than 96 points.
Chris Paul. Enough Said. He can stink for three quarters and then light it up in the 4th, much like the Thunder, no 12-point lead is safe with this team. CP3 is averaging over 18 points, 8.5 assists and 3 steals per game. Oh, and he flops. The Ginger Mamba. He will attack and tear up opponents at the room. If a team has to foul someone, foul Blake. He STINKS at the charity stripe, but hes a beast in the paint. Caron Butler, until the past few games, was tearing it up on the perimeter, but that can all change at the Staples Center. Same goes with Moe Williams. Perimeter defense is a must. Not to mention, Kenyon Martin has joined the squad. His defensive toughness and how he leads the team on the floor, defensively, is the difference for the team now. He has that veteran leadership and yells on the court at his teammates to defend. Then there is the youngster in DeAndre Jordan who can block with the best of them. Let's not forget Randy Foye, but a brightside is there is no Chauncey Billups to worry about to light Denver up from the three.
How Does Denver Win?
DEFENSE is a must for this game, especially with Kenyon Martin thrown on the mix. Mistakes can not be made.
Screens, P & R, and put that body on somebody are vital.
Make all the FT's and I am looking at you Al Harrington.
ENERGY! Intensity! DRIVE!
Defend that perimeter.
Attack the rim, don't settle for ill advised outside shots, and it's all about that shot selection.
George Karl's rotations have to be on point for this game, coming out of time outs, has never been Denver's strong suit, but that has to change, right?!
PLAY THE MANIMAL! Enough said!
This is only a portion of the blatantly obvious things Denver needs to do to win.......
Until next time,