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Preview: Nuggets attempt to stay alive

Taking it one game at a time is often the approach in situations like these, will the Nuggets be able to take it to another game?

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets have gotten a glimpse of hope against the Golden State Warriors as they won in game 4. They saw their defense improve and their offense also follow suit. With big games from Monte Morris, Aaron Gordon, Bones Hyland, and Austin Rivers; they got the production outside of Nikola Jokic that they had needed so badly.

The question going into this game 5 is whether they can just keep it going or not. They’ve constantly stated that the pressure at this point is not on them — it’s on the Warriors. The Warriors are the ones that need to win to close it out. They need to keep applying pressure, and we’ll see if they can.

The Basics

Who: Denver Nuggets (1-3) @ Golden State Warriors (3-1)

When: 8:00 PM MT

Where: Chase Center

How to watch/listen: TNT 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 5 betting odds on DraftKings Sportsbook:

Spread: Warriors -8.5 | Total: 225.5 | Nuggets money line: +300

Three Keys

Are Coaching Adjustments Made?

There are many adjustments that fans have been clamoring for Coach Malone to make throughout the series. One of which is Austin Rivers getting the starting nod over Jeff Green. Jeff Green has not provided much over the first four games in the series, and Austin Rivers is a big part in why games 3 and 4 were so close. As well as some just wanting Malone to shorten the rotation. There are many adjustments that could be made, but will Malone make them?

Make Shots

The Nuggets made shots in game 3 and in game 4 and that’s what largely kept them in those games, and won them game 4. They will need to have a similar sort of performance as they did in game 4 to keep up with the Warriors. Will Barton will need to be better than he has been on offense, Bones Hyland and Monte Morris will need to keep up their momentum, and Nikola Jokic needs to continue to make jump shots. That has opened the floor for the whole team. The paint has been cleared with Draymond Green having to step out on Nikola now, and it has freed up a lot for Aaron Gordon as well.

Compete with desperation

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. They did a better job of it in game 4, but they can’t rest on their laurels. They need to compete again and again until they can’t compete anymore. Playing desperate in the sense that they want to win. They need to fill in the margins.

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