After suffering a disappointing loss at the hands of the Orlando Magic, the LA Clippers will look to get back on track when they host the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
Defeating Denver won't be an easy task. The Nuggets have one of the best records in the Western Conference at 29-18 and boast a talented roster, highlighted by MVP candidate Nikola Jokic. The 26-year-old big man is one of the most dominant players in the league, and he gave the Clippers fits when the two teams met in the playoffs last season. Consider it a fun coincidence that they get to face The Joker on April Fools' Day.
LA held its own against Jokic earlier this season, limiting him to 24 points on 13 field goal attempts in their 121-108 victory on Christmas Day. But that was when the Clippers had two serviceable big men of their own to throw at him — something they won't have at their disposal tonight, as Serge Ibaka is slated to miss his 10th game in a row due to injury.
LA's coaching staff will have to try to match Ivica Zubac's minutes with Jokic's, but any time that Jokic spends on the floor without a formidable seven-footer draped on him has the potential to be deadly for the Clippers.
It doesn't help that LA has also ruled out Patrick Beverley, Paul George and Rajon Rondo ahead of Thursday night's contest as they work to return from various ailments. Marcus Morris Sr. is also considered questionable to play.
This is a winnable game for the Clippers, but it's going to take an impressive all-around effort to get the job done.
How to Watch
Matchup: LA Clippers (32-17) vs. Denver Nuggets (29-18)
Date: Thursday, April 1
Time: 7:00 p.m. PT
Venue: Staples Center
Broadcast Information: TNT
Spread: Nuggets -2
Moneyline: Clippers +108, Nuggets -126
Point Total: O/U 220.5
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook