What Did Warriors Learn From Game 1?
Lost in the shuffle of David Lee’s injury and Andre Miller’s out of body experience is that Mark Jackson probably saw a few things on tape his team can exploit.
The Golden State Warriors not only held their own on the boards against the Denver Nuggets but they actually snatched 10 more rebounds than their opponents.
The Warriors had all of their players’ mix it up on the interior and clean up the glass. Lee had 14 rebounds in 29 minutes of playing time while Andrew Bogut collected 14 in 31 minutes.
Jarrett Jack was able to get in there as well and grab eight missed shots. The Dubs were tough inside and fought for rebounds against a typically physical Denver team.
The obvious caveat here is that most of the misses were grabbed with either Lee on the court or his replacement Carl Landry. Also, Faried was absent in Game 1, which obviously changes the dynamic to some extent.
Faried is the Nuggets’ best rebounder and his availability modifies the dynamic some (he is scheduled to play in Game 2). Nonetheless, Golden State needs to win this battle outright or at the very least keep it close for future success against Denver and they’ve shown the ability to do so.
The Nuggets led the league during the 2012-13 regular season with 20.1 fast break points per Team Rankings. In Game 1 against the Warriors, George Karl’s group produced a mere five transition points and that’s despite the 17 turnovers they forced.
The Warriors did an impeccable job of getting back on defense and crowding the paint during Denver’s early offense.
The Nuggets used their trapping defense and host of athletes in an attempt to speed up the game and get a multitude of easy shots, but the Warriors did a good job of consistently withstanding these tries.
Also, the Warriors’ offensive rebounding helped on this front as well.
The Golden State Warriors were the top 3-point shooting team during the 2012-13 regular season. The Dubs converted 40.3 percent of their long-range shots and made life a living hell for opponents.
In Game 1 against the Nuggets, Stephen Curry and company got the looks from downtown they wanted. Whether it was Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson, Jarrett Jack or Curry, they produced great looks and should have an opportunity to do so throughout the series.
The Warriors connected on 8-of-22 shots from 3-point range and potentially could have done better if not for a donut in this category from Jack.
The Warriors have a tough task ahead of them, but they have a few things working in their favor. Let’s see if they can capitalize on these again in Game 2.
Shots, Shots, Shots and Shots
There’s a natural inclination to believe Stephen Curry will play much better in the second game of this series than he did in the first one. Curry has earned that trust with his spectacular play this season.
Hence, bigger and better things are expected from the team’s leading scorer heading into Game 2.
But not so fast.
Over at Roundball Mining Company, Matt reviewed Stephen Curry’s shot selection from Game 1 and came to conclusion that Denver did a decent job on the Warriors’ leading scorer.
This actually suggests Curry could potentially replicate the performance or even possibly play worse.
Layups and Swats
Mark Kiszla from the Denver Post made headlines when he wrote this line in his summary of the Game 1 head-to-head battle between the Warriors and Nuggets:
“The Warriors are nothing more than the task at hand, a nuisance, a mundane chore.”
Several Warriors fans took offense to the line because they felt it sent the message that Golden State had absolutely zero chance in the series. Truthfully, there’s a slight possibility he could be right.
But then again he could be completely off track. Hence, the line wasn’t as incendiary in my eyes as many others felt it was.
The ball is in the Warriors’ court. Winning the series or simply making it competitive enhances their stature, but losing in four or five games validates his point.
Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at JM.Poulard@Warriorsworld.net.