Inside the Scope: Denver Nuggets (8-7) x Golden State Warriors (8-6)
- Tip Off: 7:30 p.m. (PT)
- Television: TNT
Denver Nuggets Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 102.8 (tied for 10th in the NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 101.9 (18th in NBA)
- Points: Andre Iguodala, 15.3 PPG
- Rebounds: Kenneth Faried, 11.3 RPG
- Assists: Ty Lawson, 7.5 APG
- Steals: Ty Lawson, 2.0 SPG
- Blocks: JaVale McGee, 1.8 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: Timofey Mozgov, 63.6% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Jordan Hamilton, 45.5% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: Roundball Mining Company.
Preview: The Golden State Warriors will make their first national television appearance tonight when they take on the Denver Nuggets in what should be an entertaining matchup.
George Karl’s group has won the first two matchups against the Dubs and probably feels comfortable playing in Oracle Arena tonight by virtue of their overtime victory there on November 10th.
Denver is an incredibly tough team to prepare for because of how they bully teams on offense in the paint.
Indeed, they run multiple pick-and-rolls for their point guards and wing players that allow them to turn the corner for driving lanes where they can get to the rim for a finish or simply hit their big man with a pass where he can score.
It’s worth noting that the players that finish plays for the Nuggets are stud athletes that can be terrifying for defenders once they get a head of steam. Andre Iguodala, Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee are completely reckless in the manner in which they launch their collective assaults at the rim and dunk on anyone foolish enough to challenge their attempts.
Further complicating matters for opponents, George Karl has the option of using both Danilo Gallinari and Andre Miller as post up options to take advantage of weaker defenders for scores or to create high percentage shots by finding teammates when double-teamed. Combine that with Denver’s offensive rebounding prowess and getting stops against them can be quite complicated.
With that said, Ty Lawson and company will have to come play tonight defensively or else they might get exploited by the likes of Stephen Curry, David Lee and Carl Landry.
After starting out the season playing subpar basketball, Curry has quietly regained his form and played terrific basketball in leading the NBA in total clutch scoring.
David Lee has had some ups and downs, but as evidenced by his play from last season, he has the skills and talent necessary to be an offensive force the Warriors and that may well indeed show up tonight when he goes head-to-head with Kenneth Faried.
Lastly, an argument could be made that Carl Landry has been the best player on the Warriors this season given the boost he has given the team with his toughness, fearlessness and scoring from the perimeter as well as the interior. Landry might not be getting much fanfare outside of the Bay Area, but he is a legitimate Sixth Man of the Year candidate and tonight’s contest that will be televised before a national audience might just be the plateau he needs to get his campaign for the award started.
The Nuggets have had the Warriors’ number so far this season, but one should expect the Dubs to make an effort to change their fortunes against George Karl’s unit.
It’s worth noting that since the Warriors will be playing in primetime, the young guns — Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson — might come out with a lot of energy as well as some exuberance as they try to get fans acclimated with their names.
Nuggets game notes: In two games against the Warriors this season, Andre Iguodala is averaging 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists per game on 41.9 percent field goal shooting.
Warriors game notes: In two games against the Nuggets this season, Carl Landry is averaging 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game on 60 percent field goal shooting.
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