THE PLAYOFFS ARE HERE. Let me repeat. THE PLAYOFFS ARE HERE. Crazy, isn’t it? Seems like yesterday that Mike Brown was being wrongfully replaced five games into the season by Mike D’Antoni.
What’s that old saying? Time flies when you’re having fun? I guess that’s why this Nuggets season has passed everyone by. Because Denver is, without a doubt, one of the most fun teams in the NBA. But they’re not done, yet. Expectations are high as ever and Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post writes that anything less than a trip to the Western Conference Finals should be considered a failure. The Nuggets have been on the rise but nobody, outside the state of Colorado, expected them to be the No. 3 seed in the stacked Western Conference.
But they didn’t expect their first round opponent to be here either. The Golden State Warriors finished 23-43, 13th in the conference, last season in head coach Mark Jackson’s first season of coaching. This year? The Warriors have been steadily in playoff contention all season long and finished 47-35.
The Nuggets and the Warriors are similar in a lot of ways. They’re both fast. The Nuggets played at the 2nd fastest pace in the league, averaging 97.3 possessions per game. The Warriors weren’t far off, with the league’s sixth fastest pace at 96.3, per HoopData. They’re both excellent rebounding teams, on opposite sides of the floor. The Nuggets are 2nd in offensive rebounding rate, grabbing 31.53 percent of their missed shots. The Warriors excel on the defensive glass, rating 2nd in the league, finishing 74.89 percent of their defensive possessions with a rebound.
Game 1: at DEN, Sat., April 20, 5:30 p.m. – ESPN
Game 2: at DEN, Tue., April 23, 10:30 p.m. – TNT
Game 3: at GS, Fri., April 26, 10:30 p.m. – ESPN2
Game 4: at GS, Sun., April 28, 9:30 p.m. – TNT
Game 5: at DEN, Tue., April 30 – TBD*
Game 6: at GS, Thu., May 2 – TBD*
Game 7: at DEN, Sat., May 4 – TBD*
*** if needed
Read more from SI here.
Here’s some more statistics to look forward to:
Four Factors, per HoopData
- eFG%: 51.34
- Free throw rate: 30.6
- Turnover rate: 13.67
- Offensive rebounding rate: 31.35
- eFG%: 50.29
- Free throw rate: 25.8
- Turnover rate: 14.15
- Offensive rebounding rate: 25.40
Denver shot chart/distribution:
Golden State shot chart/distribution:
The Denver Post is reporting that Kenneth Faried is hopeful for Game 1 against the Warriors. Faried told the Post:
“I feel physically better, I can walk without a boot, I can walk barefoot now, it’s just getting better and better each day. If I can walk, I can play — we’ll just see how good the tape job is.”
Read more: Kenneth Faried “hopefully” will play for Nuggets in Game 1 vs. Warriors – The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_23055283/kenneth-faried-hopefully-will-play-nuggets-game-1#ixzz2QrQdJwtF