The West is finally getting started with their second round. Denver and Los Angeles will play Game 1 of their series on Thursday. One team is rested, and the other is probably exhausted.
The Nuggets took care of the Jazz, but it took all seven games and a 3-1 comeback to do it. It has happened only 11 times in NBA history and is most notably associated with the 2016 Warriors and Cavaliers. It’s a huge honor, and one this tough team is worthy of.
They match up pretty well with the Clippers, but if they don’t lock in on defense, this could be a long series for them.
The Clippers will get Marcus Morris back, lucky that he didn’t have to serve a suspension of any kind after his blatantly dirty play on Luka Doncic. He’ll be crucial to their success in this series as both a scorer and a defender. This team is favored, no doubt, but it won’t be easy.
The Clippers are eight-point favorites with the over/under set at 223.
Nuggets Look for 1-0 Lead
Denver took Game 1 from Utah before dropping three and ultimately winning three more in a row to put it away. That being said, a Game 1 win in this round would go a long way. They are going against two superstars and a team with a better depth chart than most in the NBA.
Jamal Murray will have to be better than he was in Game 7. He will have some fantastic defensive players covering him at all times, and he cannot take that lightly. Nikola Jokic will also have to take advantage of his matchups and make smart passes out of the double teams.
Michael Porter Jr.’s role in this series will, without a doubt, be defined by how he plays defense. If he’s a liability at any point, they’ll have to limit his play.
Clippers Look to Stay Hot
The Clippers went 2-0 after losing on Doncic’s Game 4 buzzer-beater, and they’ll hope to continue to ride out their positive momentum. The addition of Reggie Jackson proved valuable with his effort in their last game. He was making threes left and right to close out the series.
Kawhi Leonard is the team’s ultimate X-factor, but they won’t win handily if Paul George doesn’t step up and play well. This will be a tough series for them, and Denver has some fantastic perimeter defenders in the lineup. They need to eat.
Montrezl Harrell will hope to get going after a relatively quiet first-round series. He was best known for his questionably unkind remark at Doncic after scoring a rare basket.
And they’ll need a heavy dose of Lou Williams.
Nuggets Keep it Close
The bet for is for anything besides Clippers – 8. Make sure you bet the +. Denver is ready.
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