Tonight against the Denver Nuggets, the Warriors opened the game with good team ball movement despite committing six turnovers in the first 15 minutes. The Warriors found their offensive rhythm early (at one point going on a 9-0 run) but were unable to deny the Nuggets defensively. Denver's tall shooters — Danilo Gallinari and Darrell Arthur — kept Golden State busy contesting perimeter shots, and made them vulnerable on the defensive glass. Denver did a good job taking advantage of this with second chance opportunities and bullying their way to the charity stripe.
Warriors center Andrew Bogut got involved early in the offense, opening the game with a left hook off a Stephen Curry assist, and then throwing down a lob just a few plays later.
Andrew also faced up and beat his man baseline on a nice drive. Though nothing materialized, it was interesting to see a successful face up move. Despite good production on offense, Bogut was late challenging some shots, and over-committed on help defense too far away from the rim. His first quarter highlight came when Mudiay charged the paint and Bog's stripped him clean. Incidentally, a bad foul call canceled his effort, but Bogut went and scored on a nice hook the very next possession. It should have been an excellent two way sequence.
Harrison Barnes continues to show improvement in his mid-range game and finishing at the rim. He threw down an absolute monster dunk in the second half that followed with a tech-worthy stare-down. He also passed up a wide open 3-point shot in the fourth quarter, choosing instead to go one-on-one with Gallinari. He took Danilo all the way to the rim with ease, but smoked the lay up. It was an excellent move and aggressive decision despite the miss. It was encouraging to see Barnes go for his opponent's throat, nonetheless. Harrison contested a Gary Harris shot during the Warriors' decisive run which resulted in a turnover and two points on the other end.
Klay Thompson had tremendous focus tonight. His aggressive drives to the basket were finished with accurate, smart passes to open perimeter players. He even hit Bogut for an alley-oop. Thompson also handled the ball impressively on the fast break, pushing it to Curry under the basket who then cycled to a wide open Barnes for a corner three.
Klay got hot at the end of the second quarter, hitting three threes in the final two minutes of the half. He also did a tremendous job defending Mudiay on the switch a few times, and one has to wonder if the 19-year-old standout should be his primary defensive assignment in future meetings with Denver.
Young Nuggets team competes with defending champs
The Nuggets were able to stay with Golden State for most of the game — impressive for a young team. They took the ball to the rim aggressively and had 18 points in the paint by half time.
Gallo guarded Steph decently on switches, but didn't shoot at a high clip himself (4-for-16 from the field) despite staying effective at the line (10-for-11 free throws). Danilo made a very difficult basket in the first quarter on an impressive drive. He has enough talent to build around on that young Nuggets team. He has rare ball skills for a man his size and is getting healthier.
Overall, the game was never out of the Warriors' control — as usual, they've been able to score at Denver.
- Draymond Green had another good game, but wasn't focused passing the ball (four turnovers). Despite throwing away passes, he stands at the top of the league in assists per game at the forward position:
Draymond Green - 6.9 apg
LeBron James - 6.2 apg
Paul George - 4.8 apg
- Curry is on pace to score 300 threes by February 5th. He's on pace to hit 424 by the end of the season.