Game Preview: Nuggets Look to Continue Winning Ways Against Clippers
Los Angeles -The Denver Nuggets head into a matchup of unbeaten teams in tonight’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Tonight’s game is also a look at the season opener for both teams but for Coach Michael Malone this is just another preseason game.
“I’m sure Doc [Rivers] is not going to show his hand tonight, and we’re not going to show our hand. I’m more worried about us as opposed to next Wednesday when we play them in the season opener,” Malone said following shootaround.
The Nuggets are coming off a win Friday against the Perth Wildcats of Australia’s National Basketball League where they got a look at their starting five for the first time this preseason. For Malone, tonight is all about getting cohesion with that group.
“That group hasn’t played together a lot,” Malone said, “So we’re trying to get Jamal, Gary, Will, Paul, Nikola as cohesive as possible heading into the regular season.”
Here are some things to watch for in tonight’s game:
Pressure from the Clippers backcourt: The Clippers boast two of the more tenacious defenders that the Nuggets will face this preseason with Avery Bradley and Patrick Beverly. Malone sees this as a challenge that will be a good test for the Nuggets.
“I think their starting backcourt is the best defensive backcourt in the NBA. Patrick Beverly and Avery Bradley are two pit bulls who are going to make Gary and Jamal work.” Malone said.
Malik Beasley’s hot shooting: Beasley is currently shooting 13-for-23 from the field and 11-for-16 from deep in the preseason. Beasley’s shooting has been a spark for a second unit that has been huge for the Nuggets as the first unit looks for more rhythm.
Minutes for the starters: Malone says that he wants his starters to play 30 or more minutes in one of the two final preseason games. He’s not sure what game that will be but getting that group a workload that they’ll have in the regular season is important for Malone.
“I do not want to get into October 17th and have guys in the fourth quarter saying ‘man, I haven’t been here since last season’ so I have to get that done,” Malone said.
Tonight’s game will be at 8:30 MT and will be on Altitude TV and the AltitudeNOW app.