No team in the playoffs is built quite like the Denver Nuggets. They have no “best player” and nothing resembling a “go-to” scorer. They lost one of their best players ( Danillo Gallinari) to a torn ACL and they don’t really have a post player who has proven himself. With all that being said they earned a 3 seed in the Western Conference and present a multitude of problems for opposing teams. Point guard Ty Lawson has taken steps towards becoming one of the elite point guards in the league. He has been the person with the ball in his hands late in games and has handled that responsibility extremely well. Andre Iguadola has come over from the 76ers and provided the team with his all-around game. He provides scoring, rebounding, assists, and steals to go along with his incredible defensive presence. Denver features a two headed monster at center. Starter Kostus Kofus is a big strong presence on the inside who has the ability to score inside. Reserve Javelle McGee is an incredible defensive presence and shot blocker who can throw down highlight reel dunks.
Golden State features the most dangerous player in the West in Steph Curry who has emerged as one of the premier players in the league this season. He has the quickest release in the NBA and has gone off for 50 points on more than one occasion. David Lee may be the most underappreciated player in the West as all he does is consistently provide his team with 20 points and 10 rebounds on a daily basis. He is a gritty physical presence who is an interior force. Young wings Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes will get their first taste of playoff basketball and whether or not they can handle it may go a long way towards the success of Golden State. Center Andrew Bogut hasn’t shown that he is all the way back from his injuries, however he has improved daily and could provide them with a much needed interior presence.
How Denver elects to defend Curry may decide the series. Lawson is actually shorter than Curry and that would likely mean that Coach George Karl will have to use different defenders on him. Iguadola and reserve Corey Brewer may end up seeing a lot of time on him. Denver will have to extend their defense to the 3 point line as Thompson and Barnes are strong threats from downtown. Golden State must keep turnovers to a minimum as Denver is the best team in the NBA at creating points off of turnovers.
Ultimately this is a tough series to judge. Denver had the superior regular season however they are without a go-to player. The Warriors have a star but are inexperienced across the board. Golden State has the ability to score points better in the half court and that will ultimately lead them to a series victory.
For more NBA Playoff betting odds: