While we all know about the record breaking Stephen Curry, and we know about David Lee and the rest of the starting crew, I think it is time to look at the players the Nuggets need to look at to contain, because there are players on the roster of the Warriors, like the Nuggets themselves, who can take over a game, albeit less often. The following are the players I'm most worried about for the Nuggets and how I feel we should contain them.
3- Jarrett Jack- One of the better point guards coming off the bench in the league, he is averaging around 12 points, and 5 assists. He is nothing spectacular athletically, but he is a smart point guard, who doesn't make too much mistakes and can keep the Warriors system running smoothly when their offense is struggling. He is a solid defender against guys like Miller, because he has a big body for a point guard and doesn't give up too much ground even for one of the better post-up guards in the league in Andre Miller.
Game 1 Against Denver- 10 points,8 assists, 4 rebounds.Loss
Game 2 Against Denver- 18 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds. Win
Game 3 Against Denver- 17 points, 4 assists, 0 rebounds. Loss
Game 4 Against Denver- 8 points, 5 assists, 8 rebounds. Loss
He plays similar to a younger Andre Miller, he can rebound pretty well for a guard, and tends to prefer slowing it down as compared to the starting Warriors rotation. Defensively he's slightly below average to above average depending on the matchup. Lacks quickness to check on the best and quicker point-guards but is a good defender against PGs with average to below average quickness. He can defend some 2s as well, the smaller ones. Large liability versus big 2s. This would mean it would be ideal for the Nuggets to try and get him to switch on our 2 guards, who would cut him up on drives to the basket.
Offensively, he's a pick'n'roll reliant guard. Can't create much otherwise. Solid at drawing fouls (flops a lot offensively... kind of guy you need to be careful defending). Good mid-range jump-shooter, uses pull-ups and runners. Mid 30s shooter from 3pt range. Not a particularly good distributor or floor general, even though he's improved. Better paired with another guard or playmaker - as he often was throughout his career. He isn't very active off the ball though.
Key is to not underestimate him, as he was the best Warrior during many stretches in the Warriors win over the Nuggets because he didn't have a man up on him. We can't discount his intangibles.
2- Andrew Bogut
Though finishing 1-8 from the field in his final regular season game against the Blazers does seem encouraging to most Nugget fans, he is very much still Andrew Bogut, one of the more skilled centers in the league and he has shown to be a strong interior defensive presence for the Warriors, despite not being able to put up double digit points this year. He could very well give Koufos some trouble, on both ends of the court. He would also be a huge factor if the Warriors decide to play a slower half-court offense against us to keep Bogut as a relevant player who could slay the Nuggets in a big way, though the opposite can also and should be implemented by the Nuggets, who'd be too slow and injured to run with our team. He'd be much more effective for the Warriors if they had to face the Grizzles, but if the Warriors find a way to run a half-court offense through Bogut that works, look out.
To be sure, the NBA is a guard’s league these days. Since the hand-check rules were set, perimeter players have pretty much had their way on the court, and the big men of the NBA have seen their stars fade a bit. Outside of the physical anomolies or the few guys with truly incredible careers it’s tough being an inside banger these days.
Tell that to the big Aussie. Injury troubles aside, Bogut has shown a constant dedication to improving his play through hard work on and off the court. He’s also done wonders to improve the fan experience of the Warriors. He is not relied to score much in the Warriors offense, which might make him more effective doing the things he is really good at, which is strong man to man defense and positioning himself in the right positions on offense to help his team. He has had a really dissapointing season for the Warriors so far, but his style of play can be deadly in the playoffs, and often upsets occur when teams don't look at the disappointing players of a opposing team in their regular season. Don't be surprised if the Warriors try to feed the man more often when the games slow down a bit.
What do you think?
1- Carl Landry
Undersized power forward, but incredibly skilled and quite frankly.. He scares me very much. Landry has scorched the Nuggets and was a big thorn for the Nuggets on occasion this season. Though without Chandler, the stats Landry was able to put up on us might dwindle a bit.. Hopefully. He is very fluid and has a few nice moves to get by defenders, he can a nice shooting touch as well, which could cause Faried to play further away from the basket on defense, and thus allow the Warriors to get some much needed offensive rebounds if they are to succeed in beating us.
Game 1 Against the Nuggets- 5 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists. Loss
Game 2 Against the Nuggets- 6 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists. Win
Game 3 Against the Nuggets- 19 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assists. Loss
Game 4 Against the Nuggets- 22 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists. Loss
Landry has one of the better face-up games of any power forward in the league. Once catching the ball in the high post, he sizes up his defender and if they are smaller, he will shoot the jumper over them (54 percent from the field for his career). If the defender is bigger, he will use his quickness to jet around them to the basket after a pump fake. While not a dominant rebounder, Landry can pull them down; and even better than his face-up game is his patience around the basket off of a rebound. Nuggets fans will be taken off guard occasionally by his deceptive quickness under the hoop.
Landry can have nights where his stats equal his sLandry doesn’t possess much of a transition game and his assist totals (0.7 for his career) are less than satisfactory. He could look for his teammates a little more and tends to rely on his individual offensive abilities too much. tarting counterpart, David Lee and between the two.. They do not miss a beat between switching for each other. I can see George Karl hoping to trap Landry on occasion, because his ability to pass out his below mediocre. Landry is never going to be an All-Star type of power forward, but barring injury he is going to be in the league for a long time. His work ethic is top-notch and he is a consummate professional.
It'd be interesting to see who we have defend him, Wilson Chandler looks like an ideal match though, Chandler shut down another great undersized power forward in Milshap, and this looks like a job for the ill Will.