The last two NBA champions are from the Western Conference, and tonight they collide in an early season pop quiz on who is figuring out things faster. The defending champion Denver Nuggets welcome the 2022 champion Golden State Warriors to Colorado for a gentlemanly clash of the titans.
Denver won their first NBA title in franchise history last season, a crowning achievement for their two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and a a watershed moment for an organization that’s always had a raucous, dedicated fanbase. That (and the high altitude) make for one of the most intense homecourt advantages in the NBA. Meanwhile the Dubs are working on their fifth title of the Stephen Curry era (a 2x MVP in his own right), and to do so they’ll have to embrace their road warrior spirit from championships past.
Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets
When: November 8th, 2023 | 7:00 PM PT
TV: NBC Sports Bay Area, ESPN
Radio: 95.7 The Game
Draymond Green (personal reasons) is questionable for Warriors at Denver tomorrow night.— John Dickinson (@JDJohnDickinson) November 8, 2023
Nikola Jokic (right wrist inflammation) is probable for Nuggets
Jamal Murray (right hamstring strain) is OUT
The Nuggets are currently 7-1 for the season, undefeated in five games at home. Meanwhile the Dubs are 6-2, with a robust 5-1 record away from their fortress in Chase Center. The Warriors will get a break with Denver’s star guard Jamal Murray out for this game with a right hamstring strain, but on the flip side the Warriors will be missing their star defender Draymond Green, which is a major problem when dealing with Jokic.
6 of Golden State's 8 total games have been on the road.— Matt Brooks (@MattBrooksNBA) November 8, 2023
They're 5-1 away from the Bay Area, the best road record in the NBA. As a reminder, Golden State had the third-worst road record in the NBA last season at just 11-30. Pretty dramatic improvement so far.
Denver’s superstar center dominated the NBA Finals last year, averaging 30 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 assists against a strong Miami Heat defense. This year he’s averaging about 28-13-8, dominant per usual.
The Warriors will probably use a healthy amount of Kevon Looney on the Joker today, but no man guards a monster like that alone. I expect the Warriors to experiment with different ways of hassling the big fella, but one of those ways will have to be attacking Jokic in space on the other end.
Fortunately the Warriors have two generational point guards who can put Jokic in some compromising positions in pick-and-rolls and switches. Curry is averaging a hair under 31 points per game this season on 53% shooting from the field, and a ridiculous 47% from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile Paul has been orchestrating Golden State’s offense well as a reserve, averaging nearly 8 assists per game as he carves up the defenses with his dribbling prowess and high IQ.
Through their first five games, Golden State's offense actually scored 1.93 more points per 100 possessions with Steph Curry out of the game. Chris Paul's surgical facilitation has been a big reason for the bench unit's success. pic.twitter.com/0E3OfW5JBZ— Arya Chawla (@achawlz) November 8, 2023
Who ya got, Warriors or Nuggets?
This poll is closed
Warriors, with no Murray the Nuggets can’t keep up
Nuggets, with no Draymond available Jokic is going to go crazy