Game one was a very sad and heartbreaking loss for the Warriors, and the Warriors should have stolen that game to get a leap on the series. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they couldn’t perform down the stretch, and were bested by the Nuggets in the final seconds. No Nugget, except Andre Miller, who hit the biggest shot of his career, was having an offensive night. It was a good loss for the Warriors, but it was still a loss.
To go back home with some confidence, the Warriors need to win Game 2 just to tie the series. Guys like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Carl Landry are really going to have to pick up some of the slack so that they can #winforlee. It’s going to be a difficult task against the best home team in the NBA, but if the Warriors can snap this lengthy home winning streak, they can shatter some of Denver’s confidence.
Keys to Victory:
1. Get Curry Going:
With David Lee out of the rest of the playoffs, Stephen Curry is going to have to summon his inner-Jordan and become more of a scoring machine than he already is. If he can finally get into the human torch mode, he’s very difficult to stop. The Warriors played the Nuggets very well, slowing down the tempo and daring them to shoot, but that’s not going to cut it tonight. The Nuggets will always find a way to adapt to the situation, so Curry needs to provide the Dubs with that extra offensive push that they desperately need.
2. Dare the Nuggets to Shoot:
It worked last game. Guys like Andre Iguodala, Wilson Chandler, and Ty Lawson can tear apart opponent’s defense. If the Warriors give them some space and allow them to shoot the basketball, they’re going to have a better time on defense. If the Warriors force the Nuggets to dwell on the perimeter, more and more lower percentage shots are going to clank off the rim over and over again.
3. Allow Bogut to Control the Paint:
When Bogut and Festus Ezeli are in the game, they don’t have to worry about getting beat to the basket. Bogut, as you all know, seemingly averages 5 blocks per game. He may not be able to block Javale McGee, but in all seriousness, McGee is going to try and dunk over Bogut every time, and he won’t be getting anything to fall. Bogut has a better mentality, and will eventually draw a charge on McGee. On the offensive end, Bogut came up pretty clutch for the Warriors, helping them get back into the game.
Matchup to Watch: Thompson vs Iguodala
Players to Watch: Curry, Landry, Bogut
Leading Scorer: Curry
Winner: Nuggets still able to pull away in second half
1. Curry vs Ty Lawson
2. Thompson vs Iguodala
3. Harrison Barnes vs Evan Fournier
4. Landry vs Kenneth Faried
5. Bogut vs Kosta Koufus