What to Watch for in Preseason Opener at Golden State
The Nuggets open preseason play tonight at the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. It is the first of three straight road games to open the preseason. Here are four things to watch for against the Warriors.
Paul Millsap. This one was easy, right? This is the four-time All-Star’s first game with his new team, and there is a lot to sort out. Much of it is on offense, where Millsap continues to get familiar with the plays and more comfortable playing alongside center Nikola Jokić. Don’t expect today’s game to be anywhere near perfect, but pay attention to any and all flashes of the chemistry. Those plays will tell you more of what to expect in the future more than any broken plays or turnovers. Millsap’s integration into the Nuggets system is a process, and that process begins now.
Point guards. By now, you’ve read and heard everything you need to know about the Nuggets’ point guard battle. This is the first game they put solid play in training camp into practice for a game. Jameer Nelson will not play against the Warriors due to a toe injury, but Emmanuel Mudiay and Jamal Murray are each ready to let their play state their case.
Turnovers. The Nuggets finished last season with an average of 15.0 turnovers per game, which is about three to four more per game than is ideal; and allowed 18.0 points off of those turnovers – a number that is also way too high. Can the Nuggets start to carve out a personality of a team that takes better care of the basketball?
Second unit. Nuggets coach Michael Malone says he’d like to have a rotation of nine players. Getting there is going to require a series of difficult decisions. The majority of those decisions are going to center on who plays in the second unit. There is competition at reserve power forward, and players like Will Barton and Juancho Hernangomez are getting acclimated to new, bigger roles.
Christopher Dempsey: firstname.lastname@example.org @chrisadempsey on Twitter.