The Denver Nuggets (41-19) just wrapped up their most confusing two-game stretch of the season with a blowout loss to the LA Clippers on Friday night before torching the nets against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday afternoon. Tonight, they have a matchup with the Golden State Warriors (13-48) as they look to extend their winning streak to two games before heading out on a two-game road trip.
The Nuggets have a path to going 4-0 this week prior to a meeting with the Milwaukee Bucks next Monday, but the Warriors pushed them to the limit in their January matchup. This Warriors’ unit has some sharpshooters that can get hot, and Denver has been exposed by teams that got hot this season. They have to close out against this team if they want to make this win an easy one.
Point guard Stephen Curry (Hand) is still out, although he is expected to return this month. His absence will make life significantly easier on Denver, but Golden State still has some talented players on the roster. Denver has let some easy games slip away from this year, and they have to make sure that this one does not join that bunch.
Who: Denver Nuggets (41-19, 24-7 home) vs Golden State Warriors (13-48, 6-24 away)
When: 7:00 p.m. MST
Where: Pepsi Center
How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy..unless its the romanticized 18th-century type. AltitudeTV where available. League Pass for non-Denver market viewers. Show up in Denver. 92.5 FM KKSE Altitude Sports Radio
Rival Blog: Golden State of Mind
Expected Starting Lineups:
GSW: SG Andrew Wiggins, SG Damion Lee, SF Juan Toscano-Anderson, PF Dragan Bender, PF Marquese Chriss
DEN: PG Jamal Murray, SG Gary Harris, SF Will Barton, PF Jerami Grant, C Nikola Jokic
Injuries: Paul Millsap (Ankle) Out, Noah Vonleh (Ankle) Out, Stephen Curry (Hand) Out, Draymond Green (Knee) Day-to-Day, Kevon Looney (Hip) Day-to-Day, Jordan Poole (Ankle) Day-to-Day, Ky Bowman (Ankle) Out, Alen Smailagić (Quad) Day-to-Day
Three Things to Watch
Golden State’s 3-point Shooting
In the January matchup between these two squads, Golden State got out to a huge lead thanks to their 3-point shooting in the first half when they shot 52.2 percent. That shooting went cold, and they ended the game at 44.4 percent which is a decent mark, but they were just eight of 22 in the second half and overtime. If they can maintain their shooting throughout the game, they could sneak out of this with a win.
Denver’s Up-Tempo Offense
In their past couple of games, the Nuggets have played a more uptempo style, and it’s worked to great success. Against both the Raptors and Detroit Pistons last week, they were giving their wings more minutes to run up and down the floor and play off of Nikola Jokic. That was working to great success with the number of open looks they were creating. The question is whether or not Michael Malone continues to go to that style of lineup.
Does MPJ Play
Michael Porter Jr. had an absolutely horrid month of February, and that was due in large part to the inconsistent amount of minutes that he was playing. He’s still shooting over 50 percent from the field and over 40 percent from 3-point range, but he’s averaging just 14.2 minutes per game this season. This is the type of game that, if he doesn’t play at least 20 minutes, that was a mistake on the part of Malone.