The Denver Nuggets (22-16) are hoping to continue its success at home this season when the Golden State Warriors (23-12) come into town.
For the first time in the last three games, the Nuggets will take on a team with a winning record. But the good thing for them is that the Warriors are only 2-15 against the Nuggets on the road. Denver is playing tough at home, going at 13-2 this season.
On paper, both teams measure up just about the same. Denver is scoring 102 points per game this season while Golden State is racking up 101. Denver is allowing 99.3 points per game and Golden State is allowing 98.9. Both teams are a top five rebounding team with Denver averaging 46.4, the best in the league, and Golden State averaging 45.4, fifth best. One of the biggest differences is the style of offense. The Nuggets thrive on pushing the tempo, scoring fastbreak points, getting to the line, and pounding the boards. Golden State prides themselves in their guard play, led by Stehpen Curry, and shooting the lights out from behind the arc. Both are top notch, fast paced offenses.
Denver is being led by Danillo Gallinari, who is having a break out season as of late. He’s averaging 21 points per game during the current winning streak. He’s also playing very well against Golden State this season. In three games this season, he is avering 20.3 points and 7.7 rebounds. He’s averaging 18.8 points per game in January this season. Kenneth Faried is also looking to have a big game. Just two games after he put up 19 points and 19 rebounds, he is looking to post his 18th double-double of the season. Andre Iguodala is hoping to get on track and Golden State just might be the team to do it against. He’s averaging 23.3 points per game against them this season, posting a season-high 29 earlier this season. Denver also hopes to have Wilson Chandler back tonight.
Fo Golden State, they’re turning to Curry and forward David Lee. Curry has been a bright spot for the Warriors this season, leading the team in scoring, assists, and steals. He is averaging just over 20 points and 6 assists a game. Not to mention, he’s shooting just under 45% from deep. In the three games against Denver this season, he’s only averaging 15 points and just over 5 assists. David Lee will anchor the frontcourt for Golden State, providing their only real post prescence with the absence of Andrew Bogut. Lee is averaging a double-double this season and looks to continue that success, as he’s playing well against Denver this season, averaging 23.3 points and 9.3 rebounds in the previous three matchups.
Key to the Game: Running the Floor
Whichever team can run the floor effectively and push the tempo, will come out on top. The key for the Nuggets in the past few games has been winning the 4th quarter. Both teams will have to put together a complete game to win tonight. Look for both teams to run the floor and gain those extra hustle points.
Tipoff is slated for 6:00 p.m. MST (8:00 ET) at the Pepsi Center in Denver.