The Warriors will face the Denver Nuggets in the high altitude of Denver, Thursday night. After a devastating loss Tuesday against the NBA’s best team in the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Warriors will have to rebound strong against a Nuggets team that has some problems of their own. Their starting small forward and up and coming young star, Danillo Gallinari will miss at least one month after fracturing his foot Tuesday night against the defending champs. But nevertheless, there will definitely be no shortage of scoring and fast paced play from two of the best scoring teams in the league.
What to Watch for:
Al Harrington Against Former Team: Harrington’s minutes have been on the rise of late, after averaging 14 points and seven rebounds over the past week. His inconsistency is glaring, but if he gets into a groove, David Lee will have trouble slowing him down on the offensive end. Harrington isn’t your typical power forward, though. Not many “true” power forwards attempt nearly six three pointers per game, and in a high action game such as tonight’s; he could very well get hot from beyond the arc.
Frontcourt Battle: Andris Biedrins will play the first few minutes of each half, but other than that, the majority of the minutes will be given to Ekpe Udoh and David Lee. That frontcourt court tandem will try to match a much more skilled and bulkier frontcourt in Nene and Kosta Koufos/Timofey Mozgov. The Nuggets extended Nene to a five year deal worth about $67 million this offseason, but his 2011-2012 campaign has been a bit of a disappointment. Averaging just ten points and six rebounds over the past week, Nene hasn’t been the force the Nuggets have come to know over the past couple of years. If the Warriors are to have a shot at taking home a victory, they will have to make sure that Nene remains quiet.
Can Monta Ellis Stay Hot Against A Good Defender In Aaron Affalo? Monta Ellis had a career night on Tuesday against the Thunder, scoring a career high 48 points, but the Warriors came up short of a victory. He will clearly have to stay hot Thursday, but Affalo has been known to frustrate some elite shooting guards throughout the league. If Ellis has an off night, the Warriors chances of winning decrease dramatically.
This game should bring out the best in the players offensively, but the Warriors need a win to regain the confidence they lost Tuesday night. Their chances of making a playoff run are low, but it’s not out of the question yet.
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