NBA Playoffs Preview: Nuggets vs. Warriors

This should be an exciting series to watch.  It is filled with exciting players from Stephen Curry to Kenneth Faried.  Both teams play a run-and-gun style offense.  If you like constant back-and-forth action, this is the series to watch.

What Denver needs to do to win: First and foremost, contain Stephen Curry.  His defender needs to be right up in his grill at all times.  Curry recently broke the record for three-pointers made in a season.  He won’t think twice about firing if you give him any kind of space.  Denver led the league in fast break points per game, averaging over 20.  They need to continue to play tough defense and run the floor off forced turnovers and long rebounds.  The Warriors live and die by the three-point shot.  The Nuggets need to play active perimeter defense.  Slide your feet and keep your hand in the shooter’s face.

What Golden State needs to do to win: Stephen Curry needs to be a stud for Golden State to have a realistic chance. warriors34  The Nuggets are a much more experienced team.  They have to be efficient if they are going to get into a full court battle with the Nuggets.  If Golden State doesn’t convert on the fast break opportunities, the Nuggets will handle them.  The Warriors also led the league in defensive rebounds per game.  They definitely need to continue that trend and limit the Nuggets from getting second chance opportunities.  Finally, they need to take care of the ball, especially in the 4th quarter.  They have been in a lot of close games this season but their inexperience can sometimes hurt them.

Key Matchups:

Ty Lawson vs. Stephen Curry: Assuming Lawson guards Curry, he mainly needs to stick with him for three quarters.  The Warriors usually roll with a three guard lineup in the 4th quarter that consists of Curry, Jack, and Thompson.  In that case, the Nuggets can stick Iguodala on Curry in late game situations.  With that said, Curry’s height advantage should give him an advantage over Lawson.  He loves to pull up and shoot.  With Lawson on him, it will be easy for Curry to see the basket.

Kenneth Faried vs. David Lee: 

Both of these guys are animals who do not stay away from the rebounds.  David Lee needs to utilize his experience and win this matchup.  As the rebounding machine David Lee is, he needs to box out Faried for the rebound at all times.  He can take Faried away from the basket when the Nuggets are on defense by spotting up for a jumper.  Shooting outside the paint is something Lee is comfortable doing.

Warriors need bench production: The Nuggets are nine guys deep at the very least.  The Warriors can’t just depend on their five best players to get the job done.  Other guys need to provide answers.  That means Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Carl Landry.  Curry won’t be able to drag the team through this series against this rock solid Denver team.

Prediction: Nuggets in Five Games

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