Denver Nuggets (8-3 6-5 ATS) vs. L.A. Clippers (4-9 4-9 ATS) Staples Center Los Angeles, CA 10:30 PM EST Friday November 20, 2009 on ESPN
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Nuggets -9 / Clippers +9
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This season the Clippers are 2-4 at home and the Nuggets are 4-3 on the road.
Tonight in La La Land the L.A. Clippers host the Denver Nuggets. Well, it’s the same old Clippers, as they are currently 5 games under .500, in 4th place in the Pacific Division, and have lost 2 games in a row. The Nuggets are playing well this season and they have won 2 in a row and lead the Northwest Division tied with the Portland Trailblazers.
The Nuggets have won 7 straight in this series, but Denver has not played great on the road lately having lost 3 of their last 4 road games.
Every season the Clippers have hope, but that’s about it and this season is no different. When Baron Davis and 2nd year G Eric Gordon are healthy the Clip Joint has a legit backcourt, but Gordon may miss this game with a groin injury and without him in the lineup the Clippers are 1-8.
The Clippers have to deal with a high scoring Denver team tonight, but the Clippers do have a chance since the Nuggets are averaging less than 6 points on their season average away from home.
In their last game the Nuggets crushed the Toronto Raptors 130-112 on Tuesday night. The High scorer for Denver in that game was Carmelo Anthony going for 32 points on 12/15 shooting. For the game the Nuggets simply could not miss shooting 48/78 for a FG% of 61.5%. On D the Nuggets allowed the Raptors to shoot 42/91 for a FG% of 46.2%.
The Clippers lost to the weak Memphis Grizzlies 106-91 on Wednesday night. The high scorer for the Clips in that game was Baron Davis going for 23 points on 8/13 shooting. For the game the Clippers shot well going 39/82 from the floor for a FG% of 47.6%. On D the Clippers simply did not play any allowing the Grizzlies to shoot 44/81 for a FG% of 54.3%.
This season the Nuggets rank 3rd in scoring (108.4 ppg) while the Clippers only rank 21st (96.2 ppg). On defense both teams are pretty even at not being able to keep opponents from scoring, as the Clippers rank 21st in points allowed (100.8 ppg) and Denver is right behind them at 22nd (101.6 ppg). Neither team is hitting the boards, as the Nuggets have a rebounding differential of -3.8 rpg and the Clippers are at -3.2 rpg.
On the injury front the Nuggets are banged up to say the least, as F/C Chris Anderson, PF Kenyon Martin, PG Anthony Carter, SF Carmelo Anthony, and PG Ty Lawson are all day-to-day and for the Clippers SG Kareem Rush is Out and C Marcus Camby is day-to-day.
Both teams are weak on the boards and one way the Clippers can pull off the upset tonight is winning the battle on the glass. Marcus Camby (9.1 rpg) and Chris Kaman (8.6 rpg) have to play well tonight in the rebounding department.
Since Gordon may not play Davis and the other guards have to hit the open J tonight or L.A. will be in trouble.
Speaking of Kaman he is having a legit season (21.5 ppg 8.6 rpg 1.5 blocks per game) and he has to give the Clippers some inside scoring tonight.
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The PG match up is a sweet one with Chauncey Billups (17 ppg) vs. Byron Davis (16.1 ppg). Davis has been plagued by turnovers this season and he cannot turn the ball over in this game.
SF Al Thornton (11.2 ppg) has to play good defense on Melo tonight and not let him have a big scoring game. That will not be easy since Thornton is not known for his D and Melo is the 2nd leading scorer in the NBA this season (29.9 ppg).
Nene (14.2 ppg 8.9 rpg) has to body up on Kaman and not let the 7-foot C to get easy buckets deep inside the paint.
Jason’s Pick: Gordon is coming into his own and the Clippers will miss him tonight. The Clippers are not a good defensive team and Denver can light up the scoreboard. Even though the Clip Joint are at home they will not be close in this game, as the Nuggets will win this game and cover the 9-pt spread. The Over may also be a good pick, as the Clippers have given up 100 points in 3 of their last 4 games and the Nuggets have scored at least 100 points in 4 of their last 5 games.