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Warriors at Nuggets Preview: Battle atop the mountain

The two top teams in the West meet for the second time this season.

Golden State Warriors v Denver Nuggets

Fresh off one of the more memorable victories of the season, the Warriors continue their long road trip by heading up to Denver, Colorado to take on the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets.

When these two teams last met back in October, the Nuggets needed a late block of Damian Jones at the rim in order to secure a narrow, two-point victory. With the Warriors seeming to find their stride as of late, this one promises to be another good one.

Game Details

WHO: Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets (29-13)

WHEN: Sunday Tuesday, January 15; 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Pepsi Center - Denver, CO


WRADIO: 95.7 The Game

Blog Buddy: Denver Stiffs

Just how good are the Nuggets? Pretty good, actually

The Warriors ran into this same thing last year - an upstart team, not necessarily “out of nowhere” but one that emerged to prominence a little quicker than expected. Looking at the team’s statistics, I am sorry to report that the Denver Nuggets are for real. Top ten in both offensive and defensive efficiency, they rebound well and don’t turn the ball over much.

And then there’s this guy:

yeah, this guy’s pretty good, alright!

Nikola Jokic is the real deal, an MVP candidate that leads his team in just about every statistical category. He put up 23 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists in our earlier meeting back in October. As Draymond Green told reporters on Sunday, “they’ve got a guy who’s a guy, if that makes sense.” In other words, Green is simply pointing out that Jokic is so good, it gives the entire team confidence.

For a Warriors team with a somewhat porous defense and vulnerable lack of interior threats, containing Jokic is going to be job number one tonight.

Beyond that, the Nuggets have a bevy of wing options, any one of which could go off. For example, Gary Harris lit us up for a team-high 28 points back in October. But look at their points per game - this is a fairly well-balanced attack.

Denver has 6 different players that average double-digit scoring per game

Golden State is playing as well as they have all season

With Demarcus Cousins slated to make his season debut in the next week or so, the Warriors have vocally been trying to string together a series of wins. They’ve done well. After that big loss on Christmas day to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Warriors have run off six wins over eight games... with both losses coming by a single point each.

While there are still some fundamental kinks to work out on both ends of the court, the Warriors finally seem to be engaged and locked in to each game. I know we all give a lot of lip service around here about not caring about the regular season, but a win over the Conference-leading Nuggets sure would be a nice moment to celebrate, even if it doesn’t mean a ton in the grand scheme.

Warriors go nuts - Golden State 121 - Denver 114

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