Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors: First Round Playoff Preview

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors are back in the playoffs and they are playing the best home team in the NBA, the Denver Nuggets.

The last team to go 38-3 at home was the 1995-96 Western Conference Champion, Seattle Supersonics, whom were coached by current Nuggets coach, George Karl.

Karl has always been known for his high pressure defenses and up and down style that will wear teams out the longer the game goes. In Denver he's taken that philosophy and made it truer than ever.

Denver is the fifth most efficient offense in the NBA, scoring 107.6 points per 100 possessions and is 11th defensively. This is one of the best teams and I do emphasize teams for a reason.

The Nuggets don't have any clear cut superstars, they are a team that is full of guys who can go off any night for a big game, really focus on defense and there aren't any egos really to speak off. They all know their roles and go out and execute the game plan.

The Nuggets are hampered a bit by injury. Danilo Gallinari is out for the year and won't be back until December of next year. Ty Lawson is going to be playing with a tear in his foot and Kenneth Faried has a severely sprained ankle. He's anticipated to play in game one, but we don't know how explosive he's going to be.

Stephen Curry is the best pure shooter in the NBA. There isn't a player with a sweeter stroke than him. He broke the single season NBA three pointers made record (held by former Sonic Ray Allen) and is a threat to score 50 on any given night. He's going to need a lot of help from swingmen Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes. This is going to be the first real taste of NBA post season basketball for any of these guys.

Their coach Mark Jackson has been to many a playoff series, won many a series and played against some of the greatest ever in those series. He's seen what it takes to go deep into the playoffs and win in those games. How does that translate to coaching? We'll have to see how Jackson game plans for an ever evolving Nuggets team.

Tale of the Tape

Denver Nuggets

Golden State Warriors

106.1

PPG

101.2

45.0

RPG

45.0

24.4

APG

22.5

9.29

SPG

6.91

47.8

FG%

45.8

34.3

3PT%

40.3

70.1

FT%

79.0

Ty Lawson
Andre Iguodala
Wilson Chandler


Best Three

Stephen Curry
David Lee
Klay Thompson

Kenneth Faried

X Factor

Jarrett Jack

Faried's health is going to be a big factor. He's going to have to keep David Lee off the glass and in check on the offensive end. The Nuggets do have the option of putting Javale McGee on him if he doesn't have the explosiveness and they can stick him on the much less effective Carl Landry.

Jarrett Jack for the Warriors has been so hot off the bench of late and really all year. If it wasn't for JR Smith or Jamal Crawford we'd be hearing a lot more about Jack for Sixth Man of the Year. He's going to have to play smart and in control in this game. He'll be in charge of making sure the Nuggets second unit doesn't run the Warriors off the floor.

This has the chance to be one of the better series of the first round, but even though they are banged up, the Nuggets are too deep to deny. I say Denver takes this one in six.

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