Pre-Game Jitters: Nuggets

The Warriors return to the scene of the crime tonight in Denver.  In their last mile-high game, the short-handed Warriors got blown out by 28. In this game, however, it will be the Nuggets who are short-handed:  Chauncey Billups and the Birdman, Chris Andersen, are out with injuries, and Carmelo Anthony will be a game-time decision with a bruised knee.  The Nuggets have been struggling without Billups, going 2-6 with him out.

As for the Warriors, in their last game against the Nuggets they were not only without Biedrins and Turiaf, but also without Anthony Randolph.  The presence of all three in the Warriors lineup should help this game be a lot more competitive.  Should.  In the Portland game, Biedrins and Turiaf did not look like they had a lot to give.  Hopefully, a good stiff practice and a Nellie reaming have them in better shape to attack this game.

Look for the Warriors to run a lot of pick and roll. Nene and the diminutive Ty Lawson are perfect targets for this play.  Will Biedrins actually take the ball to the hole instead of floundering around and dishing it off?

With Billups out and Anthony out or diminished, the Nuggets attack will likely center around Ty Lawson.  Lawson struggled initially in the starting role, but has looked better the last two games, getting 23 and 9 in both games.  Nellie had his point guards sag off Nash and Rondo in the Suns and Celtics games, and force them to become scorers.  Both point guards had big nights, but their teams lost.  Look for the same strategy tonight.

I will be watching Stephen Curry.  He has struggled badly with foul trouble and silly turnovers in the last few games.  In practice two days ago, Nellie went so far as to call him “soft.”  Will he rise to the occasion when matched against another heralded rookie point guard?  I think he will.  Lawson will likely outperform him statistically, because he will have the ball in his hands all game, and Nellie will dare him to have  a big game.  But I think Curry will show up to play.

The Nuggets are +7.5 home favorites.  Warriors.

4 Responses to Pre-Game Jitters: Nuggets

  1. Again, as in Portland, this appears to be a winnable game. I’m grateful that my son and I remembered what a house of horrors Portland is for the Warriors because of consistently awful officiating and took in the game from a sports bar instead of losing our hard earned cash on arena seats. Not completely blaming the officiating for their collapse, but I as usual was shaking my head in disgust at the refs.

    However, I feel better about this game. Nelson probably sent a message with Sunday’s practice. Then again, letting Mikki Moore go might also have an impact on attitudes: positive on Chris Hunter, negative if he had any guys who liked to hang with him off-court. Still, I think this is a game the Warriors will win.

  2. Just saw the end of the game. Aparently the lack of respect from the ref’s extends to Denver as well. That sucks.


    feltbot: How did you like Curry’s cross-over drive between 2 defenders and no-look behind the back pass to Maggette for the dunk in this Nuggets game? Wow. If that doesn’t get one excited about this pg’s future, nothing will. I would have liked to have seen Monta give it up to Curry a few times in the second half. Monta taking @30 shots a game and forcing some to’s is not the way to win.

  4. Watched the game via NBA Broadband and reviewed the last 15 seconds archived. I’m going to cut the refs a little more slack. I thought it was bad for Ellis to make any attempt to block that shot; it just gave the refs a situation to call a make-up call. On the Warriors final points it sure looked to me like the refs could and should have called a travel and disallowed the basket. That also may have been why they swallowed their whistles on the over-and-back on the jump ball which would have been the game-ending turnover by Denver. Oh well, water under the bridge now.

    I REALLY like the game Curry had. That’s the kind of play we’ve been waiting for, 6-6 from 3 pt land, and some terrific assists. Even with Maggs and Ellis having great games I thought Curry was the player of the game for the Warriors.