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Preview: Nuggets hope to avoid sweep in Game 4 vs Warriors

Can the Nuggets extend their season?

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets have been eviscerated by the Golden State Warriors in the first 3 games of this series. While the Nuggets got close to pulling hope back in the third game of the series; some bone-headed decisions made and poor shots taken down the stretch cost them the game. They went down 3-0 in the series, and at this point their only hope is to get a game, or for the fans for the offseason to come quickly so they can forget about this series as soon as they can.

This playoff crawl has been a very crappy topper to an already melancholic season. The Nuggets never quite hit their stride in the regular season, and they fell on their faces in the playoffs. Outside of Nikola Jokic and three good quarters from Aaron Gordon the entire team has largely disappointed. Here’s to one last game, and one last potential hoorah before a tough offseason settles in to Denver.

The Basics

Who: Denver Nuggets (48-34, 23-18 home) vs Golden State Warriors (53-29, 22-19 away)

When: 1:30 PM MT

Where: Ball Arena

How to watch/listen: ABC or 92.5 FM KKSE Altitude Sports Radio

Rival Blog: Golden State of Mind

Expected Starting Lineups:

GSW: PG Jordan Poole, SG Klay Thompson, SF Andrew Wiggins, PF Draymond Green, C Kevon Looney

DEN: PG Monte Morris, SG Will Barton, SF Aaron Gordon, PF Jeff Green, C Nikola Jokic

Injuries: Jamal Murray (out), Michael Porter Jr. (out), Andre Iguodala (day to day), James Wiseman (out)

Game 4 betting odds on DraftKings Sportsbook:

Spread: Warriors -4 | Total: 225 | Nuggets money line: +155

Three Keys

Play Defense, Like At All

The Nuggets have come back to using an old moniker of “The Enver Nuggets” because I have seen grade school teams play better and harder on defense than the Nuggets in this series. Jordan Poole has looked like an MVP against them, Steph Curry has looked like...Steph Curry, and the rest of the Warriors have had it incredibly easy compared to defenses they faced in the regular season. There are two to three positive defenders on the entire healthy roster, and I don’t see it happening, but if the Nuggets were to win this game they would need to play better defense than they have played throughout the series.

Make Shots

The Nuggets made shots in game 3 and that’s what largely kept them in the game. They will have to replicate such an effort in order to keep pace with the Warriors even on their slower nights. Will Barton and Monte Morris will need to be better than they have been on offense, Bones Hyland will need to shoot better than he has, and Nikola Jokic needs to continue to make jump shots.

The Margins

The Nuggets need to communicate better on both ends, and as Malone has said to the media; the Nuggets don’t have room for error against the Warriors. They need to do the little things. They need to box out, grab a rebound, and pay attention to what’s happening. Second chance opportunities bailed the Warriors out multiple times in game 3 and the Nuggets can’t allow that to happen again.

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