The Golden State Warriors have only lost eight games this year, and they’ve been to eight different teams. In other words, no one has beaten them twice.
Enter the Denver Nuggets, who will seek to do exactly that tonight. The teams have split their two contests this year, with the Warriors winning 127-108 in November, and the Nuggets winning 96-81 in December. Denver soundly locked up the Dubs in their most recent game, and they’ll be looking to build on that big performance.
No KD? No problem. Hopefully.
While Kevin Durant is clearly a superstar, the Warriors have been just fine without him this season. Durant has missed seven games this year, and the Dubs have won six of them, with the only loss coming in a game that Stephen Curry also missed.
They’ll have to repeat that success tonight, as Durant is sitting out, mostly as a precaution.
Warriors rule out Kevin Durant with a calf injury for a third straight game. Won't play tonight. Was getting shots up a couple hours ago in front of trainer.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 8, 2018
Andre Iguodala has been starting in Durant’s absence, and that is likely to continue tonight.
Which Nuggets team shows up?
Even with All-Star forward Paul Millsap out, the Nuggets are a fun team. They have budding superstar center Nikola Jokic, and a pair of highly promising young guards in Gary Harris and Jamal Murray.
As is the case with so many young teams, Denver has been hot and cold. They’ve looked borderline dominant for stretches, but also struggled for patches, as evidenced by Saturday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings.
Denver blew out the Warriors, but also got stomped by them. That’s a pretty good metaphor for how their season has gone.
Which team shows up for the Nuggets could determine how close this game is.