After a rough first half of December, the Clippers finally found its grove. They are 5-2 over its last 7 games. There is no secret to the Clippers’ recent success, which rests on the fact they have the 4th best offense in the league (116 PPG), thanks in large part to excellent shooting (47.5% FG + 38.5 3-pointers). If they could learn to play a little defense, this could very well be a team that will surprise in the playoffs without a legitimate superstar. Tobias Harris currently leads the team in scoring at 21.1 PPG with Danilo Gallinari in close pursuit at 19.5 PPG. The front six have done a good job avoiding injuries, missing a total of 11 games among them.
After a blazing hot start to the season, a lot of people expected the Nuggets to come back to earth a little. Hasn’t happened yet as the Nuggets still have the 2nd best record in the NBA. They return home after a terrific 4-game road trip that saw them go 3-1 with the only loss coming 125-113 to a very hot Houston team. Overall, the team has won 5 of its last 6 games. C Nikola Jokic has turned into a real force in the middle. He leads the team in all three major categories: Scoring at 19.2 PPG, rebounding at 10.1 RPG and assists at 7.5 APG. He is also getting plenty of scoring support from PG Jamal Murray, who comes in at 18.4 PPG.
Prediction: Both these teams play with a bit of pace. The last time these two teams met was in December when the Clippers ran all over the Nuggets, winning the game 132-111. Since both teams play with pace and shoot the ball well, over the total looks well within reach. Pick over 226 (score – Denver 123-115)