Can Jokic and Murray overcome the Clippers?

Jokic Murray

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets got an impressive win on Saturday night against the Clippers. The team was engaged on the floor and was active defensively as well. Both Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray were the two MVPs of Game 2. When the two stars are both on their game, Denver can be a tough team to beat.

It’s no question that everything for Denver starts with the Joker. His gifted talent sets the tone early for the Nuggets, forcing him to be dominant on both ends of the floor. In Game 2, Jokic started his night by stretching the floor and knocking down numerous three-pointers. We know how dominant the Joker can be when the team sets him up under the basket. But when he is stepping out knocking down perimeter shots, the Clipper defense didn’t necessarily know how to contain him.

The emergence of Jamal Murray continues to show from him. It was obvious that Murray was a bit gassed during Game 1. Having to play a rugged series against Utah, you would expect that out of Denver after 1 day of rest. Luckily the fatigue didn’t carry over into Game 2. Murray continued to put on an amazing performance by scoring 27 points, leading everyone in scoring.

The Nuggets and Clippers match up very well

With one another. Both teams have two perennial all-stars who can put the ball in the basket. But also, they both have a phenomenal supporting cast who can make a difference when their number is called. That could be the difference-maker for the Nuggets to get out of this series. Guys coming off the bench to provide a spark could make a big difference in this series

As for Jokic and Murray, their mindset should be simple: Set the tone on offense. Keep in mind that the Clippers are a far better defensive team than Utah was. So getting shots off will not be as easy for the team. But as for two gifted players in Jokic and Murray, they will find a way to put the ball in the basket. Expect the two stars to keep the momentum going into Game 3. If they can take command of a 2-1 lead in this series, then they can be in a comfortable position.

It’s challenging to contain players in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. But the one thing the Nuggets can do to take them out of their rhythm is to be physical on defense and score on offense. Denver showed in Game 2 how dominant they could be when all five players are fully engaged on the floor. Now it is time to see how they can contain the Clippers as we advance.

Jokic and Murray are the core pieces in the Nuggets’ quest of a Western Conference Finals appearance. If these guys can continue to play at a high level offensively, the Clippers will have no answers. Let’s see how they carry momentum into Game 3 Monday night.

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