LA Clippers vs Denver Nuggets: Injury Updates, Lineup and Predictions

Published 12/25/2020, 7:30 PM EST
Dec 13, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) steals the ball from Los Angeles Lakers forward Markieff Morris (88) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


The Christmas Day matchup is a golden opportunity for the Los Angeles Clippers to avenge their Western Conference semifinals loss in last season’s playoffs against the Denver Nuggets. Not that anyone needs a reminder, but the Clippers had tanked their 3-1 lead against the Nuggets last season.

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This made the Clippers, who had pulled this off even against the Utah Jazz, the only franchise to overcome this deficit twice in a single postseason run. However, they are completely aware of what a team like the Nuggets are capable of. Who will win this showdown? Let’s figure it out.

Los Angeles Clippers injury updates and lineup prediction

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After winning against their arch-rivals and defending champions, the Lakers, Clippers will look to continue that streak. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George proved all critics wrong and showed the league why they are two of the best wing defenders. Putting up big numbers and starting strong made a big difference for the team.

After last season, Montrezl Harrell left and joined the Lakers. However, their recent addition, Serge Ibaka is a much better fit for them. He has a reputation for playing well alongside Kawhi when they played together for the Toronto Raptors. Ibaka isn’t the same defender he was when he was with Oklahoma City Thunder, but surely a much more reliable option than Harrell.

Dec 11, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) drives past Los Angeles Lakers guard Wesley Matthews to the basket in the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Morris, who also missed the last game, is still listed out for the game against Denver because of knee issues. With that, the predicted lineup would be Patrick Beverley, Serge Ibaka, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Nicolas Batum.

Denver Nuggets injury updates and lineup prediction

The Nuggets did a brilliant job in showing what they’re made of, last season. But, they fell short against the Lakers in the Conference Finals and will not give up without putting a fight this season. This means maintaining their win against the team they humiliated in the playoffs.

However, their season opener wasn’t as great as it was for the Clippers. Going into overtime, they lost to the Sacramento Kings. The key to their success is their star guard, Jamal Murray, teamed up with Nikola Jokic. Making a name for himself as the best finishers in the league, Murray averaged 18.5 points last season. Although because of a calf injury, he is listed as probable for this matchup.

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Dec 23, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes (40) and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) battle for a loose ball in overtime at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

This could be a worrisome situation. It won’t be easy for Jokic to hold the fort on his own. In fact, JaMychal Green and Greg Whittington are ruled out as well. So, the predicted lineup would be Michael Porter Jr., Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, Paul Millsap, and Monte Morris.

Game predictions

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The injury-ridden Nuggets stand little chance against the fired-up Clippers. With a perfect shot at redemption, the Clippers might just be able to prove that the previous game was a fluke.

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Yashima Bhatia

1098 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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