After blowing a double-digit lead and losing a heartbreaker to the Utah Jazz 105-103 on Monday night, the Nuggets will look to bounce back as they face the Golden State Warriors for a third time tonight. Tipoff is slated for 8:30 PM mountain time and the game will be featured on TNT.
The Nuggets have won their two prior meetings with the Warriors by a average of 8.5 points, Danilo Gallinari, Andre Iguodala and Kenneth Faried were all major factors in those two wins. Gallinari hit multiple clutch shots for the mile high crew in the 1st meeting with Golden State, while Iguodala took over in the 3rd Qrtr during the second meeting on his way to a 29 pt outing. Ty Lawson’s defense against Stephen Curry has also been a huge reason why Denver has had success against the Warriors so far this season. Curry is averaging a pedestrian 12.5 PPG against the Nuggets this season, while only shooting 9-22 from the field(41%), committing 8 turnovers and almost fouling out in the previous two games.
The proverbial thorn in the side for the Nuggets when facing the Warriors this season has been Carl Landry. Landry has out muscled, positioned and toughed the Nuggets big’s during the first two meetings. Landry is averaging 20.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG and 3.5 APG against Denver this season, while also taking a combined 15 free throw attempts in those first two games. The Warriors will continue to look to Landry to give them a physical presence off the bench in tonight’s game, while trying to get Curry, Lee and Thompson going on the offensive end early on. If Golden State can control the glass like they did in the second game against Denver, get Curry into a rhythm early on, force the Nuggets to commit turnovers and get some solid scoring out of their bench from guys like Jarrett Jack and Charles Jenkins…the Nuggets could be in trouble tonight.
For Denver the keys to beating Golden State for a third time this season are very simple one’s…rebound, run, attack the teeth of the defense and take care of the ball. The Nuggets have dominated the Warriors inside this season, outscoring them 124-76 in the paint during the first two meetings and will look to continue that dominance tonight. Also the Nuggets have outscored Golden State in transition 39-22, as long as the Nuggets can rotate on Defense and get into passing lanes they should find similar success running against the Warriors again. Denver continues to be dreadful(which may be a understatement) from the free throw line this season shooting a pathetic 66% from the charity strike, so here’s hoping the Nuggets can start moving that number upwards and stop leaving points on the floor tonight against Golden State.
If the Nuggets can continue to dominate down low, rebound the ball, score off of turnover’s and control the tempo of the game they should walk away with their 3rd straight win over the Warriors this season. It would also be nice to see Ty Lawson not be so hesitant on the offensive end for once this season as well, he had a nice outing in the second meeting with Golden State(18 pts, 9 ast) and as pointed out earlier has defended Stephen Curry very well so far this season. I think Lawson has a chance to take over this game on both end’s of the floor tonight, as long as he is aggressive and doesn’t hesitate to attack on the offensive end. I expect Kenneth Faried to be his energized self, per usual, gobbling up 10-15 rebounds and Iguodala to once again contain Klay Thompson. Denver will need to find someone not named Kenneth Faried to BOX OUT and get physical with Carl Landry tonight(I’m looking at you Kosta Koufos, JaVale McGee and Danilo Gallinari) or it could be a long night for the Nuggets.