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Preview: Warriors vs. Nuggets - Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney and Shaun Livingston expected to play

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Time to wake up, or hit the snooze button?

Golden State Warriors v Denver Nuggets

Another big game on a National broadcast against one of our biggest threats in the West? If you’ve been watching the Golden State Warriors this year, you’ll know that this game could go pretty much any way. The first place Warriors walloped this second place team when Golden State laid 142 points on them back in January, but the Denver Nuggets are facing a Warriors team that hasn’t looked good lately.

Game Details

WHO: Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets

WHEN: Friday, March 8; 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Oracle Arena

WATCH: NBCSN Bay Area, ESPN

RADIO: 95.7 The Game

BLOG BUDDY: Denver Stiffs

The Warriors have become that lazy kid across the street that was always late to High School

Normally, we would offer statistical analysis here. I’d tell you that the Warriors offense is still leading the league with an offensive rating of 115.1 - down a bit over recent weeks, but still extremely good.

I’d then go on to point out how much the defense has slipped - with the Warriors once-vaunted defense falling all the way down to the 16th in the league.

And of course, we’d all want to know that the Warriors are going to be as close to full strength as they’ve been in a good long while. Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney and Shaun Livingston are all expected to play according to Steve Kerr.

And then I’d make some concerned but hopeful noises about how this is really the time to focus. Up just one game on the second place Nuggets, this game has tremendous impact on our eventual playoff seeding and homecourt advantage - which Kerr even talked about yesterday as a major focus for the remainder of the year:

But none of this is going to matter. Not unless the Warriors decide it matters.

Back in high school, there was this one stoner dude who lived literally across the street from the school who was ALWAYS late to first period. Finally, I asked him how the hell he could manage to be late every single day when all he had to do was walk across the street, and he just looked at me and said “snooze button.”

It’s exactly this sort of over-deferral that is plaguing the Warriors. These guys aren’t idiots, they know precisely how much room for error this team has in the regular season (it’s lots). And they are taking every single inch of slack they can.

Oddly, I do think they’ll win this game. But mostly because they hate losing.

Nuggets are hanging strong

The Nuggets, for their part, are also looking just a bit wobbly. They’ve lost three of their last four games, with the sole victory coming at the expense of the LeBron James’ lowly Los Angeles Lakers team.

But they’re still the second best team in the West. Their defense is ranked 10th right now, which is a fair bit better than the Warriors. But thankfully our offense still carries us to a slightly higher net rating (our 5.6 to their 5.1), but it’s essentially a wash between these two teams overall right now.

This is the third time these teams are facing each other this season, so each side knows which advantages they’ll press. Keep an eye on Demarcus Cousins against Nikola Jokic. Due to size and speed, this is exactly the sort of matchup that Cousins should be able to play in - then again, the Warriors just expended their final roster spot on a defensive Center in Andre Bogut for a reason.

The Nuggets do have a small wrinkle that’s new. Isaiah Thomas is finally healthy and back on the court. Much like Cousins, he hasn’t been doing a lot to make his team better, but in a vacuum you’ll always want your team to add more talent.

Prediction

I’ll miss this game completely because I’m spending my evening at my daughter’s grade school talent show, where someone will inevitably spoil the score for me.

Warriors 133, Nuggets 128

A personal note: update on a GSOM legend

For anyone who has been around this blog for a while, you’ll no doubt remember the work of Tony.psd. Or, if you don’t remember, perhaps you recognize his iconic style. This guy was designing for us back when GSOM night tickets were ordered via Fax machine.

Anyways, as is fitting, his talent has been recognized. All fans attending the game tonight will get an authentic Tony.psd print:

Always makes me so happy to see good things happen for good people!