After surviving the Dallas Mavericks in the opening round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs, the LA Clippers now know who their next opponent will be: The Denver Nuggets.
Denver came out on top of Utah on Tuesday night, winning 80-78 in a series-deciding Game 7 victory. The Nuggets were in control most of the night, though the Jazz made a late push in the fourth quarter that made things interesting.
LA's second-round series with Denver will officially begin on Thursday night. Here's a full look at the upcoming schedule (all times Eastern):
- Game 1: Thursday, Sep. 3 @ 9:00 p.m.
- Game 2: Saturday, Sep. 5 @ 9:00 p.m.
- Game 3: Monday, Sep. 7 @ 9:00 p.m.
- Game 4: Wednesday, Sep. 9 @ 9:00 p.m.
- *Game 5: Friday, Sep. 11 @ TBD
- *Game 6: Sunday, Sep. 13 @ TBD
- *Game 7: Tuesday, Sep. 15 @ TBD
* if needed
Denver should be just as competitive a matchup as Dallas for the LA Clippers. Like the Mavericks, the Nuggets also feature two star players in Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, who were dominant against the Jazz.
Jokic will provide a significant challenge for LA's frontcourt, as he's one of the toughest bigs to defend in the NBA. Not only is Jokic a threat from the post and midrange, but he's got a three-point shot in his bag as well, which will force Ivica Zubac to step out and guard the perimeter.
As for Murray, LA will be in trouble if Patrick Beverley isn't ready to go for Game 1. The 23-year-old scored 50+ points in two of his last four contests and was automatic from three-point range in the series.
Of course, the Clippers still have the best player in the series in Kawhi Leonard, and Denver doesn't have much of an answer for him defensively. Once again, it may come down to how well he fares.
One thing that will be worth paying attention to when Game 1 begins on Thursday: LA's rest advantage. Denver just played a brutally slow and physical seven-game series, while the Clippers have been off since Sunday.
Let us know who you think will come out on top in this series, and stay tuned for a full preview.