Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Denver is in familiar territory – can they get the job done?
Ahh Game 6. We meet again. For the second time in as many series this postseason the Denver Nuggets find themselves here, still down 3-2, after improbable and emotional comeback wins in each Game 5.
Paul Millsap turned back the clock on Friday, the Nuggets remembered how to shoot the basketball in the fourth quarter and Michael Porter Jr. walked the walk after possibly getting a little too chirpy behind the mic after Game 4. Expecting the Nuggets to force a Game 7 over a team that employs Kawhi Leonard is risky business, though.
But here’s a secret no one in the national media will tell you: the Clippers haven’t won jack. Sure, Los Angeles looks like a well-rounded team that could win it all, but we’re also talking about them making the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. Undoubtedly they are built to win now but until they actually win four games in the NBA Finals there’s no reason to treat them as anything but equals.
Ryan Blackburn had a great stat the other night: throw away the Game 1 schedule loss, and the Nuggets have been outscored by L.A. by only two points for the rest of the series. Denver looked great for the majority of Game 3 and honestly appeared to be on the verge of taking it before collapsing, and iffy rotations haunted the Nuggets in Game 4 in what was still a somewhat close loss.
It’s not like the Clippers have been out here running the table. The Nuggets are good enough to win, but the key will be to not beat themselves. Limit the careless turnovers. Keep generating good looks, hopefully someone can hit a three. Understand that Torrey Craig can be a liability and be ready to yank Millsap if he looks rusty again. And for the love of God, play Michael Porter Jr!
The Nuggets are 5-1 in elimination games in the Jokic/Murray era. Can they force another Game 7? Absolutely. Will they? We’ll soon find out.
Who: Los Angeles Clippers (3-2) at Denver Nuggets (2-3)
When: 11:00 AM MDT
Where: The Bubble, Orlando, FL.
How to watch/listen: ESPN