The Golden State Warriors dispatched the Denver Nuggets with ease in Game 1. Can the Nuggets make it a closer game this time around? Catch this game live on April 19, at 10:00 AM, Manila time.
Away: Denver Nuggets (0-1, 0-1 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Monte Morris
- SG: Will Barton
- SF: Jeff Green
- PF: Aaron Gordon
- C: Nikola Jokic
The Denver Nuggets gave it the old college try in Game 1, but came up short because they couldn’t get enough out of their role players. While Nikola Jokic had a good game with 25 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three steals, and a block while shooting 12 of 25, he had to work extremely hard as the Warriors challenged almost every shot attempt he made. This took its toll by the third quarter, where Jokic was looking visibly tired.
Will Barton was the only other Nugget to contribute heavily with 24 points, six rebounds, five assists and a block while making 10 of 18 shots. The rest of their starters combined for 25 points, while their bench scored 33, and that’s just not going to be enough against a Warriors team that’s finding its stride again.
To have a shot, the Nuggets will need to spread out the offense a lot more, because they’re not going to be able to win with a strategy of ‘give Jokic the ball and he’ll figure it out’. The Joker is one of the most skilled players in NBA history, but he can’t do it alone. Jamal Murray isn’t going to be back anytime soon, and while Michael Porter Jr. hopes to come back during this series, there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to play well.
Home: Golden State Warriors (1-0, 1-0 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Steph Curry / Jordan Poole
- SG: Klay Thompson
- SF: Andrew Wiggins
- PF: Draymond Green
- C: Kevon Looney
The Warriors played 14 players in Game 1, and only one of them failed to score a point. Led by a coming out performance from Jordan Poole, who had 30 points on 13 shots, the Dubs were not heavily bothered after the first quarter.
A veteran-laden team, the Warriors brought Steph Curry off the bench and he still managed to contribute 16 points, three rebounds and four assists in his first game back from a long layoff. Klay Thompson was on good form too, scoring 19 points while making 5 of 10 three-pointers.
They don’t have size, but they have smart defenders to throw at Jokic in Draymond Green and Kevon Looney, and they were able to frustrate the Serbian with a collective effort. They’ll have to keep doing this to succeed in Game 2.
It’s unsure if Curry will start in Game 2, and with the way Poole is playing, he may choose to let his younger teammate continue to shine. That might actually work out to their benefit, because having Curry as a scoring threat off the bench is a pretty appealing option for Steve Kerr.
Spread: I think the Warriors’ depth gives them the edge to cover the -7.5 spread.
Over/Under: I believe that the over 223.5 will hit.