The Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors play the first leg of a back-to-back this Wednesday at Chase Center. With that said, check out our preview of this marquee matchup below.
Catch this game live on Wednesday, December 29, at 11 AM, Manila time.
Away: Denver Nuggets (16-16/8-10 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Monte Morris
- SG: Austin Rivers
- SF: Will Barton
- PF: Jeff Green
- C: Nikola Jokic
The Nuggets can consider themselves a bit lucky because they are going to face Golden State in both of their next two games with the Warriors missing Draymond Green. That’s especially good news for the Nuggets’ frontcourt, with Nikola Jokic having one potential big thorn in the side away for Wednesday’s matchup against the Warriors. Jokic is coming off a monster performance in a 103-100 road win over the Los Angeles Clippers last Monday, in which he recorded 26 points and 22 rebounds to go with two blocks and a couple of steals.
As the focal point of the Nuggets’ offense, expect Jokic to get ample touches again and have plenty of success with the rock against an undersized Warriors’ frontcourt. The Nuggets are great in moving the ball and finding the open man, as evidenced by the fact that they are fifth in the NBA with 25.7 assists per contest. Denver is also 4-1 ATS in their last five games after taking a one-day rest.
Home: Golden State Warriors (27-6/16-2 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Stephen Curry
- SG: Gary Payton II
- SF: Andrew Wiggins
- PF: Otto Porter
- C: Kevon Looney
Not having Green around in the upcoming game against a quality Denver team is a significant drawback for the Warriors. Then again, Golden State still has Stephen Curry and some solid supporting pieces around to help the team pass the test this Wednesday. Curry had 33 scattered 33 points in 37 minutes of a 116-107 road win against the Phoenix Suns last Sunday, while Otto Porter Jr. came through in the clutch and finished with 19 points on 8/13 shooting from the field.
Porter is slated to get more minutes with Green absent. Even without Green, the Warriors’ defense should remain stingy. With Gary Payton II hounding ball carriers and disrupting passing lanes, Golden State can still spoil the Nuggets’ offense. In fact, the Warriors have four players who are averaging at least 15 minutes per game and with a sub-100.0 defending rating this season. The Warriors have covered the spread in each of their last five meetings at home with Denver.
Spread: The Warriors will be fine without Green. Leaning on Golden State to cover (-7.5) against the Nuggets who have a losing record this season both straight-up (8-10) and against the spread (7-11) when they’re on the road.
Over/Under: Denver’s not that good in terms of possession retention, but Jokic can throw his weight around in this game and get the Nuggets a few more offensive rebounds than they usually do. Feeling an Under hit (215.5) for this game.