Earlier today, some of our local Warriors bloggers took a look back at the Dubs’ Game 1 loss. Now, as the Warriors prepare themselves for Game 2 on Tuesday, Adam Lauridsen (Fast Break), Steve Berman (Bay Area Sports Guy), and Rich Twu (Golden State of Mind) give their take on what to expect from what should be quite the compelling matchup.
Adam Lauridsen | Fast Break | @GSWFastBreak
First, Stephen Curry will shoot better. The Nuggets successfully blitzed him, but my hunch is first-playoff-game nerves had a lot to do with his 1-10 opening half performance. Second, he Warriors won't win the rebounding battle. Lee's absence and Faried's return should result in the Nuggets controlling the glass. Bogut, Landry and Green will need physical games to make sure that Denver doesn't get too many second and third chances. Finally, despite his Game 1 heroics, I expect a Nugget player other than Andre Miller to be the center of attention. Lawson and Iguodala will be looking to push the tempo, and Faried's rebounding may give them the extra boost they need to pick up the pace. It's a long-shot win for the Warriors, but I expect the team to gut it out -- as they have all season, despite a variety of injuries.
For more of Adam Lauridsen's thoughts on the series, visit blogs.mercurynews.com/warriors.
Steve Berman | Bay Area Sports Guy | @BASportsGuy
The Nuggets can't be counted on to shoot 20% from thee-point range like they did in Game 1, so the Warriors are going to have to maximize their possessions. Holding Denver under 100 points at home isn't likely, and Golden State will have to raise their scoring while divvying up David Lee's shots to the Warriors who remain.
It's difficult to know what to anticipate in this game, mostly because we've only seen the Warriors play without Lee for two games. If Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Jarrett Jack all shoot lights-out, anything can happen. Carl Landry, Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut will need to provide the interior scoring, and they'll need to get to the line more often than we're used to seeing. Draymond Green won't be asked to provide much offense, but he'll play more than the four-plus minutes he got in Game 1 (where he performed fairly well, despite letting Miller get to the rim at the end).
This will be a physical test unlike any the Warriors have faced all season. Even with two days off, the altitude could affect some players in a detrimental way. Even worse, Golden State loses their starting power forward and the Nuggets gain Kenneth Faried. There are more minutes to be had with Lee's absence, which means the Warriors' best players desperately need to stay out of foul trouble. My head tells me the Warriors will keep this close throughout, but Denver will pull away in the end for a win in the 108-98 range. My heart (or whatever part of my mind is responsible for non-objective thinking, i.e. rooting) says Curry's playoff jitters are a distant memory, he'll abuse Ty Lawson for 35+, and the Warriors will shock the Nuggets and head to Oakland with a split.
2) A better performance by Steph Curry.
3) Continued good team defense, with a focus on stopping Ty Lawson's penetration. There's plenty of time for preparation and mental fine-tuning.
4) Kenneth Faried will have an impact, especially with Lee out.
5) Probably Carl Landry starting in place of Lee.
6) Something we couldn't possibly anticipate!
Stay tuned for more from this 'Bloggers Roundtable' throughout the postseason, and access prior discussions among this group by clicking here.
RECENT BLOGGERS ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS
- Other than the usual suspects, which Warriors player is most likely to play a starring role in the playoffs?