- Tip Off: 5:00 PM PT
- Television: TNT (national), CSN-BA (local), TSN2 (Canada)
Denver Nuggets Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 103.1 (tied for 7th in NBA playoffs)
- Defensive Efficiency: 112.3 (last in NBA playoffs)
Scope the Opposition: Roundball Mining Company.
Preview: The Golden State Warriors have won three games in a row and currently have an opportunity to close out the series today — notice the early tip off — on the road.
After winning Game 4 at Oracle Arena, the Dubs put the Denver Nuggets in a tight situation where they are currently facing elimination. There are multiple factors that have allowed the Warriors to string along victories against the Nuggets, but none more important than their shooting.
Game 4 notwithstanding, Golden State has consistently won the rebounding battle and it’s given them an opportunity to close out defensive possessions and get into the half-court and execute. Also, it’s been a plus in offsetting their negative turnover margin.
But again, the shooting has simply been sensational. Through four games, the Dubs are converting 53 percent of their field goals and 44.1 percent of their 3-pointers against the Nuggets.
Jarrett Jack, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have made it rain from all over in the series despite Denver’s defensive schemes.
Curry has seen every Nuggets defender take a chance at guarding him and he’s eaten all of them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. None of them have put the clamps on him.
Even when George Karl tilted his defense towards the Warriors’ leading scorer, he simply found his open teammates for high percentage shots.
This leaves Karl with one small adjustment that could possibly still give his team a shot in this series: shutting down Jack.
So far, Denver has done everything possible to take out Curry and failed. Perhaps putting the likes of Andre Iguodala and Corey Brewer on Jack is the way to go.
Curry’s gotten his no matter what, but Jack has been incredibly lethal in this series as evidenced by his 20 points and 8.3 assists per game on 62 percent shooting from the field so far in the postseason.
Jack has been torturing Denver defenders with mid-range jumpers, drives for floaters in the paint and layups. Allocating a bigger defender could potentially slow him down, especially in the face of the half-court trap where he’s struggled.
Obviously, making such a switch comes with a lot of trepidation. Placing Ty Lawson on Curry exposes the Nuggets to the 1-2 pick-and-roll that repeatedly hurt them in Game 1.
The Nuggets might not have a choice at this point. Curry, Thompson and Jack have given them fits and they will need to limit one of them for the sake of getting back into this series.
If such is the case, expect Jackson to counter by putting Curry in a plethora of pick-and-rolls to create mismatches. The adjustment might also tire out Lawson who has looked like an All-Star in this series with his spectacular drives.
Denver is now fighting for their playoff lives.
Desperation can create a sense of finality or result in a never say die attitude that brings forth a rush of adrenaline and emotion that carries a team.
Tonight, we’ll be seeing one of those.
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