Denver Nuggets ideal playoff matchup #2: Golden State Warriors
I went with the obvious answer in the first slot, but not so much here. The Golden State Warriors are currently sitting in third place in the West, and if things stay as they are until the end of the season, this is exactly the matchup the Nuggets will be getting. Don’t be scared of the big names, those dogs are much more bark than bite right now.
If Steph Curry and Draymond Green had been healthy at the same time over the past few months, helping Klay Thompson to reincorporate himself into the team he once knew back in 2019, I would obviously not say they are the best and most realistic matchup for Denver to advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs for the third straight year. But alas, the Golden Gate boys can’t stay healthy.
That reunion lasted all of one and a half games. Just as Draymond was returning, Curry picked himself up an ailment that will be keeping him out at least until mid-April, if not longer.
One thing is for sure, the trio will not be at 100 percent in under a month and they won’t have the luxury of a string of full-speed games to rediscover the chemistry that made them so dominant half a decade ago. Jokic and company, on the other hand, are relatively healthy, and head coach Michael Malone has his rotation humming at the right time, with rookie Bones Hyland injecting a much-needed energy and scoring punch.
Besides their big three being hampered, Malone still has an ace in the hole. Well, not an ace, but a Joker. Green is an elite defender, but he’s only 6’7″ and is clearly not equipped to defend Jokic on a regular basis. Kevon Looney is the next best choice, but that certainly won’t cut it against the reigning MVP. Looney will be having Serbian nightmares for weeks if this matchup comes to fruition.