- Tip Off: 6:00 p.m. (PT)
- Television: CSN-BA
- Offensive Efficiency: 101.1 (15th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 102.4 (19th in NBA)
- Points: Danilo Gallinari , 15.5 PPG
- Rebounds: Kenneth Faried, 11.5 RPG
- Assists: Ty Lawson, 7.3 APG
- Steals: Ty Lawson, 2.0 SPG
- Blocks: JaVale McGee, 1.8 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: Timofey Mozgov, 60.0% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Jordan Hamilton, 44.4% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: Roundball Mining Company.
Preview: After defeating Brooklyn Wednesday night, the Golden State Warriors will try to win their third game in a row when they take on a Denver Nuggets team that defeated them a little less than two weeks ago in double overtime.
In that contest on November 10th, George Karl’s group took advantage of their perimeter and interior size to snatch 23 offensive rebounds and also get themselves to the free throw line by sending their players to venture into the paint.
Add it all up and the Nuggets produced 66 points in the paint despite only converting 5-of-24 shots from 3-point range.
Naturally, one would assume that the Warriors should have done a better job of clogging the paint and forcing Ty Lawson and company to beat them from the outside, but Denver does such a good job of creating matchups in the pick-and-roll with Gallinari and Iguodala that defenses eventually have to rotate to unfavorable matchups – like Gallinari in the low post against a point guard after a switch — for fear of getting abused; thus the extra attention eventually creates a one-on-one opportunity for another player where he can get either an open shot or break his defender off the dribble and get into the lane.
In addition, because Kenneth Karied and JaVale McGee are so active on the offensive glass — they combined to have 16 in the last encounter against the Dubs — against most teams, it’s quite difficult to prevent them from getting shots right at the rim because of their ability to manufacture second chance opportunities right at the basket.
Thus the Warriors will have their work cut out for them tonight when they stroll into the Pepsi Center and try to take down the Denver Nuggets.
Mind you, Golden State has one thing working for them that wasn’t quite the case the last time they were in Denver: Stephen Curry.
The Davidson product has struggled some so far this season, but has gotten better of late, especially late in ball games.
Indeed, Curry was literally a train wreck in his first couple of games in the clutch as he made mistakes that Warriors fans are completely unaccustomed to with him. He turned the ball over, picked up his dribble in one-on-one situations with the shot click ticking down, took ill-advised shots and even missed free throws with the added pressure.
But things are far more different now though.
Coming into tonight’s game, Stephen Curry is leading the NBA in total clutch scoring according to NBA.com’s advanced stats tool.
Indeed, the Warriors’ lead guard has played 40 minutes of clutch basketball (clutch is defined as the last five minutes of the game with the scoring margin within five points) so far this season and has scored a total of 39 points on 11-for-24 shooting from the field (45.8 percent field goal shooting). He’s also converted 15-of-18 free throws, which makes not only makes him quite dangerous when fouled but also makes him the team’s certified door closer when opponents are trying to foul late in games to stop the clock.
Consequently, if the game tonight is close with about five minutes left, the Warriors know they can count on Curry to make enough plays to help them pull the game out on the road.
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