Game 5 Warriors vs. Nuggets preview: Win or go home for Denver

USA TODAY Sports

Win or go home. In what could be the final game for the Denver Nuggets, the team must show they have fight left in them.

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2012/2013 NBA Playoffs First Round: Game 5



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3-1 (1-1 on road)
3-1 GS
1-3 (1-1 at home)
April 30th, 2013 - 6:00 PM (MT)
Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
Altitude / TNT / 950 AM / 104.3 FM The Fan
Probable Starters
Jarrett Jack PG Ty Lawson
Stephen Curry SG Evan Fournier
Klay Thompson SF Andre Iguodala
Harrison Barnes PF Kenneth Faried
Andrew Bogut C Wilson Chandler
Notes
Golden State of Mind Blogs Denver Stiffs
David Lee (hip) and Brandon Rush are out Injuries Danilo Gallinari (ACL) is out
Curry is the 3rd leading playoff scorer with 27.3 ppg with a true shooting percentage of 66% Stat Lawson is averaging the 5th most assists in the playoffs with an average of 8 apg

You can go to the NBA.com webpage and marvel at all the shooting statistics of the Golden State Warriors - they're on a historic streak in this series - and think the Nuggets have no chance of getting back into this series. It's true, the Denver defense has been bad, but the Warriors shooting has been insane. Should the Nuggets just give up? Not according to Andre Iguodala:

We will definitely see what kind of basketball players the Nuggets have on this roster. All season long George Karl has talked about how mentally tough this team has been. I thought the Nuggets showed great resolve in Game 3 in Oakland the way they fought in the first half and the way they battled down the stretch after coughing up a double-digit lead.

But there have been two games (Games 2 and 4) where the Nuggets just got their collective doors blown off. We haven't seen that much this season and it's quite a disturbing thing to view. Not competing hasn't been something these guys do.

Watching the Warriors get open shot after open shot in each and every game has been maddening. Can the Nuggets defense get it together for one final push? Can the offense play free and loose? Will the players be able to turn off their brains and just play?

There wasn't a lot of hope surrounding the Nuggets at this point last season against the Los Angeles Lakers either. Down three games to one it was in everyone's mind that the team would fold and lose the series in five games. That Nuggets team found a way to get back into the series - can this roster do the same thing?

Win or lose tonight, tonight is about effort. You want to see the team you root for fight for the game in a way that shows you they care. Images of Kenneth Faried's boot-mark though the wall in Oracle Arena show that he was extremely frustrated with the outcome of Game 4. We want to see that sort of passion on the court tonight. Come out swinging.

It has been frustrating seeing the superstar light bestowed on Stephen Curry because it is being done at the expense of the Nuggets. He is a star and one hell of a player, but it was supposed to be Denver's coming out party, not his.

Andrew Bogut has shown us that he is the scrappy hustle guy that won't let you get anything easy. That was supposed to be the way the Nuggets bigs played in this series.

As Andrew Feinstein detailed yesterday, the Nuggets can get back into this series. They can send a message to the Warriors tonight. Win and you plant a seed of doubt. Close out games are tough. The Nuggets have been kicked at every turn in this series. There is no more time to get kicked again.

A lot has been taken from the Nuggets and it's up to them to get a piece of it back tonight.

Nate_Timmons on Twitter
ntimmons73@yahoo.com

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