Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon
Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (50) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Kyle Barrette

A pair of old western conference foes go head-to-head again tonight. Both teams have gone through a lot this season, leaving many to wonder if both or one of them will be able to return to the postseason. The Nuggets remain active and recently traded Bol Bol to the Pistons for journeyman Rodney McGruder. This move likely won’t change much for the Nuggets, but who has the advantage in this matchup? Let’s break it down and find out.

The Nuggets come in riding a two-game win streak and will look to expand on it against a reeling Clippers team. Denver has struggled offensively and it’s clear that they miss Jamal Murray. Someone else that is an elite scorer and that can help take the pressure off Joker would go such a long way for this team and open the floor for them, and I think we would start to see this offense how they used to be. Denver’s offense currently ranks 23rd, scoring around 107 per game. On defense, the Nuggets have still been able to hold their own as they round out the top 10 and only allow 107 points per game. The lineups for this game look like they will be similar to the ones that were used when these two teams played last month, and the Nuggets won by 3.

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If an A for effort got you a playoff spot, then my vote would be that the Clippers would make the playoffs. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. The Clippers have struggled without George and Kawhi. The struggles have really shown on the offensive end, where the Clippers currently rank 26th, only scoring 105 per game. Their defense has stayed the course though, as they rank seventh in opponents’ points allowed, only allowing 105 per game. The Clippers could struggle to score here as their offense has not been able to keep up, and the Nuggets will have the best player on the floor in Jokic. If the Clippers’ defense starts to sink, look for it to be a long night for them.

Clippers vs. Nuggets: Nuggets -2
This one seems like it will come down to the Nuggets just playing their type of game and picking up the win. With both defenses being very similar but one offense being clearly better than the other, take the better offense and the Nuggets to win and cover the spread. 

Same Game Parlay
Denver Nuggets -3.5, Nikola Jokic First Basket, Nikola Jokic Over 26.5 Pts, Nikola Jokic to score 30+ Pts and Nuggets to win by 1-10 Pts.

SGP Odds +4209

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