Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets: Predictions, Starting Lineups (11/14/23)

The slumping Los Angeles Clippers travel to face the Denver Nuggets this Tuesday (11/14/23). Get Clippers vs. Nuggets moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets Prediction

Los Angeles fields a deep bench, while Denver is struggling in this department due to Bruce Brown’s free agency departure and Jamal Murray’s injury. Therefore, taking Denver’s first quarter moneyline at a decent price is the best bet, as the benches are nearly removed from the equation.

Jamal Murray’s absence is a huge blow because of his scoring and playmaking contributions; however, nobody apparently told Denver. The starting lineup with Reggie Jackson replacing Murray is currently outscoring opponents by an impossible 37.1 points per 100 possessions across 97 minutes (via NBA.com). Denver has won the first quarter in eight of ten games so far and leads the NBA in first quarter net rating.

They face a dysfunctional Clippers squad that is 0-4 since James Harden’s debut and being outscored by 24.2 points per 100 possessions with him on the court. Los Angeles’ offense cannot find a rhythm because the Harden fit is clunky. He’s a ball-dominant player that loves to dribble out possessions and refuses to accept an off-ball shooter role for long stretches. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are subsequently being diminished as scorers, while Russell Westrbook cannot succeed in this off-ball situation. The Clippers will be an ineffective offense until Harden puts aside his ego or comes off the bench.

Denver owns the defenders to limit them too. Aaron Gordon possesses the strength to match Leonard – a typical advantage for him – while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope can pester James Harden. Overall, this Denver defense (6th in Defensive Rating) is currently holding opponents to the worst expected points per possession on finishes at the rim and the third lowest on three-point shots (per ShotQuality). Look for Los Angeles’ offense to struggle out of the gate again.

Meanwhile, who is stopping Nikola Jokic? The Clippers are 21st defending finishes at the rim per ShotQuality, and Ivica Zubac doesn’t have the defensive chops to slow him down. Jokic owns a 40-pound advantage over Zubac and should back his way into layups and baby hooks. If Los Angeles helps inside, then Jokic will kick it out to the open shooter or cutter. Nobody has an answer for Jokic, but the Clippers are especially a good matchup for the reigning Finals MVP.

Finally, Denver holds home-court advantage here. The Nuggets are 50-8 at home since the start of last season, which doesn’t bode well for Los Angeles. Denver’s starting lineup should comfortably take the first quarter over Los Angeles’ new-look lineup.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets Prediction: Nuggets 1st Quarter Moneyline

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Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets Best Odds

Denver enters this contest as 4.5 favorites despite Jamal Murray’s absence. The Clippers must win here roughly 38 percent of the time for their +160 moneyline to be profitable in the long run. It’s worth noting that the Nuggets are 10-4 versus the Clippers since the Paul George trade.

Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup

PG: James Harden
SG: Russell Westbrook
SF: Paul George
PF: Kawhi Leonard
C: Ivica Zubac

Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup

PG: Reggie Jackson
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Michael Porter Jr
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Jokic

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets Injuries

Mason Plumlee and Brandon Boston Jr are out for Los Angeles, while Jamal Murray and Vlatko Cancar remain out for Denver. The Clippers definitely hold the injury advantage.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets Key Matchups

Denver’s 3PT Shooting

Because Nikola Jokic is an unstoppable scorer if left alone, their offense is lethal when three-point shooters are hitting their shots. It’s a pick your poison situation for opponents: either allow Jokic to score around the basket at an exceptionally high rate or surrender quality looks to talented perimeter shooters. If Michael Porter Jr and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope remain red-hot, then Los Angeles’ defense is in trouble.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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