Blog Buddy: Denver Stiffs
The Warriors are really the only team left on the Nuggets schedule who are not battling for a playoff spot. One could argue that the Timberwolves, whom the Nuggets play two more times, at 5.5 behind the Nuggets are still in the hunt, so Denver needs these next two games against the Warriors to make life a tough easier on themselves. We can all attest to the fact that Arron Afflalo and his teammates don't like making their basketball lives easier and we should expect a close game tonight.
If you're on board with the tank, this is good news - a hungry team fighting for a playoff spot might provide us an entertaining loss on a Saturday night.
But if you're looking for wins just for pride at home, there might be hope in Denver's defense over the past 10 games - as Timmons alluded to in his preview, it hasn't been the stingiest.
Denver's defensive efficiency rating of 103.6 is the 9th worst in the league (via Hoopdata). Over the past 10 games (in which they've gone 5-5), they've averaged a defensive efficiency rating of 110.26, which - for perspective - would be worse than the Charlotte Bobcats' league-worst 107.1 rating on the season. Speaking of Charlotte, the one bright spot defensively in this 10 game span was Denver's 99-88 road win over the 7-46 Bobcats.
Among the Nuggets' defensive liabilities might be a familiar face, as Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area described somewhat charitably.
If Harrington is on the floor, the Warriors need to be aware of him because Harrington is very aggressive. At the other end, it makes sense to occupy Harrington because he’s not the best defender in the league.