NBA Injury Watch: How the Nuggets and Clippers cope without Millsap and Beverley

NBA Injury Watch: How the Nuggets and Clippers cope without Millsap and Beverley article feature image

As bettors are nursing hangovers and recovering from food comas, it’s a good time to look at a recent pair of long-term injuries and how they impact upcoming games.

Paul Millsap (Denver Nuggets)

Millsap signed a hefty three-year, $90 million deal over the summer. At 32 years old, an injury was always the biggest worry for the Nuggets.

Those worries have come to fruition, with Millsap reportedly being sidelined for up to three months.

The Nuggets had just started to find their feet but now have to adjust to life without their reliable big. Millsap wasn’t setting the world on fire – he never really has. The Nuggets will desperately miss his consistency and ability to help Nikola Jokic shoulder the load, though.

Denver suffers on both ends of the floor with Millsap off the court, with his 8.2 net rating fourth best on the team.

With a 27th ranked 7-11 record against the spread even before the injury, it may be best to hold off on backing the Nuggets until their rotation, sans Millsap, is ironed out.

That’s not to say there aren’t still value plays potentially available. The player prop market may host some intriguing possibilities.

With Millsap off the court, Jokic’s usage rate jumps from 20.8 to 24.3 while Emmanuel Mudiay rises from 22.5 to 24.5. The pair is finishing more plays and is likely to see a bump in its numbers, especially over the next couple of weeks.

Patrick Beverley (LA Clippers)

After returning from a knee injury for only one game, Los Angeles guard Patrick Beverley has been ruled out for the season.

The direct result is the Clippers lose their first-choice point guard. They lose the perfect role player and almost ideal complement to Blake Griffin. Austin Rivers will occupy the starting spot, but he won’t be able to emulate the hustle and intensity Beverley provides the team.

The biggest unknown is how this injury impacts the long-term future of the Clippers.

DeAndre Jordan trade talks are back in the news. Not only that, but Doc Rivers already lost his front office responsibilities over the summer and could be out the door entirely.

With the stress that comes with a losing streak, injuries and the subsequent trade rumors, the Clippers are going to be all over the place mentally in the next few weeks. In a city like Los Angeles, the scrutiny is going to come from every direction and is bound to take a toll on this group of players.

At 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 games, the Clippers were already costing the public plenty of money.

To reiterate what I said yesterday about the future of the Clippers: We’ve seen how the story goes when everything is left to Blake Griffin, and it’s not good for the Clippers, nor is it profitable for those backing them.

Other injuries around the league

Sports Insights has a comprehensive and regularly updated list of starting players currently listed as out.

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