Nuggets vs. Warriors NBA playoff preview
by Sean Highkin, USA TODAY Sports
No. 3 Denver Nuggets (57-25) vs. No. 6 Golden State Warriors (47-35)
Season series: Nuggets won 3-1.
Points per game (per 100 possessions): Nuggets 106.1, Warriors 101.2 (Nuggets 107.6, Warriors 104.2)
Points allowed per game (per 100 possessions): Nuggets 101.1, Warriors 100.3 (Nuggets 102.0, Warriors 102.6)
Matchups worth watching: Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson vs. Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, Nuggets shooting guard Andre Iguodala vs. Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes, Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried vs. Warriors power forward David Lee.
Scoring leaders: Lawson (16.7 PPG), Stephen Curry (22.9 PPG).
Why Denver will win: The Nuggets are virtually unbeatable at home. The loss of Danilo Gallinari to a torn knee ligament hurts, but between Iguodala, Corey Brewer, Wilson Chandler and Evan Fournier, they have no shortage of talented, athletic wings that can cause matchup problems for opponents. If Lawson is at full strength, Denver has the speed in the backcourt to match Curry and Klay Thompson.
Why Golden State will win: Curry and Thompson give the Warriors outside-shooting threats that the Nuggets can’t come close to matching, especially with Gallinari out. Andrew Bogut is finally healthy, and can provide an interior defensive presence that could neutralize Denver’s talented but inconsistent frontcourt.
Did you know? The Warriors lead the league in three-point percentage (40.3%), while the Nuggets are tops in points in the paint (57.8 a game). Contrasting styles will be on display in this series.
Prediction: Nuggets in 6.