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Nuggets at Warriors Preview: West’s Top Teams Battle

Nuggets at Warriors Preview

On Friday, the Denver Nuggets will visit the Golden State Warriors. This is the third of four meetings between the two teams, with the first two games being split.

The game features a matchup of the Western Conference’s best two teams. The Warriors lead the Nuggets by one game for the first seed.

Mile High success

The Nuggets have been one of the more surprising teams in the NBA this year. The team that missed the playoffs on the final night of the season last year is now at the top of the West.

Nikola Jokic has been the driving force for this Nuggets team. A first-time All-Star this season, the fourth-year player is averaging a near-triple-double. Paired with power forward Paul Millsap, the Nuggets have a strong paint presence.

Nuggets at Warriors Preview
Coach Mike Malone mid-game. Photo credited to USA Today.

While Jokic is an emerging star, Denver has several other players that make a big impact for them.

Guard play has been key for the Nuggets. Jamal Murray has emerged as va ery talented player, putting up 18 points, five assists and four rebounds this season. Gary Harris, Malik Beasley and Will Barton have also emerged to be quality players for the Nuggets.

Led by Coach of the Year candidate Mike Malone, Denver is one of several teams who have assembled a strong roster in a smaller market.

Is it June yet?

We have come to expect that the Golden State Warriors will be in the NBA Finals yet again this year. The regular season is almost a chore for them.

The first-seed Warriors are led in scoring by Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, who each average nearly 28 points per game. Klay Thompson provides spot up shooting, and Draymond Green does a little bit of everything, averaging seven points, seven assists and seven rebounds.

Nuggets at Warriors preview
DeMarcus Cousins. Photo credited to AP.

The Warriors’ newest addition, DeMarcus Cousins, has played well this season since returning from injury. In nearly 20 games, Cousins is averaging 15 points and eight rebounds while also leading the team in blocks.

Behind the Rockets and Nuggets early on in the season, the Warriors are back in first place. Expect Golden State to stay near the top until the playoffs start.

When that comes, we will see if a three-peat is possible.

Prediction

Cousins will be a big factor in this game. How he defends Jokic will determine if the Nuggets will get their offense going thru him like they normally do.

As always, Golden State can win this game easily if Thompson, Durant and Curry all score like their usual selves. While Thompson didn’t play, the Warriors got embarrassed by the Celtics on Tuesday night. If Denver can play fast-paced basketball like Boston did, they have a shot at winning this game.

The Warriors and Nuggets have a good chance of meeting in the Western Conference finals come playoff time. This game will be a good indicator of how that series will go.

Look for Golden State to edge out Denver at home in a close game; 116-112

 

Featured image credited to AP.

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