Saturday, December 1, 2012

Notes: Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors [11/29/12]

Golden State Warriors 106 - Denver Nuggets 105

The Good

Warriors: They managed to put together a strong enough defensive effort in the 4th quarter to comeback for the victory. The offense was not a problem in the 1st quarter. They were hitting everything in sight, until other quarters came along, and they couldn't put anything in the basket. Here's the problem, the Warriors are a jump shooting team. Without Andrew Bogut, the only option inside is David Lee. Stephen Curry and Lee's two man game can be at times overwhelming for some teams, as Lee is very capable of being an offensive juggernaut. However, on nights without a massive game from the lefty, Golden State relies on the shooting of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who hasn't given a consistent output. These two are of the few most dangerous shooters that can hit a barrage of shots in any given night, at the same time, they can also take you out of the game.

Luckily it didn't happen tonight, in the fourth quarter of this game, Klay Thompson came back to life and brought the energy back to the rest of his guys. The sudden outburst of effort on both ends on the floor caught the Denver Nuggets off guard and they crumbled in crunch time.

Nuggets: Kenneth Faried. This guy just does everything right, he might not always show up on the box score with huge numbers, but I can guarantee you that every second he is on the basketball floor, he is going to give you a 100 percent. He never gives up on a play, he will hustle back on defense even if he didn't get an offensive opportunity and will impact the shot on the other end. I think he pinned like 4 warriors shots against the backboard.

Danilo Gallinari looks like he finally found his stroke, hitting 3 of Denver's total 10 three pointers on the night. The Nuggets need his shooting to space the floor, with Ty Lawson struggling early in the season, he needs help. If his teammates can hit shots, it will open up the lanes for the little guy to attack the basket, if not he can still kick out to get other guys going.

The Bad

Warriors: Let's face it, GSW is not a great defensive team (Yes, they have dramatically improved this season compared to the last - it is still too early to tell though), they can go from holding their own for a few good stretches, to getting ripped apart like Christmas presents. Individually, if you look at the roster, there are a lot of liabilities. The starting back court can improve, Curry has good hands, and Thompson has the length. The rest of the team, is a bit worrisome. I am going by minutes here, Carl Landry is undersized, David Lee moves like his legs are chained to a ton of cement blocks and Andris Biedrins is genetically incapable of staying in front of his man.

Andrew Bogut is the potential solution. He is, when healthy, one of the best current defending big man (there is not a lot of them). What he is missing in athleticism, he makes up for with smarts and width. The best thing is that, he can help on offense as well, like every foreign center, he is very adept to the pick and roll, can stretch the floor with his mid range shooting and pass the ball effectively. His skill set will heavily benefit the shooters of the this team and make the Warrior half court sets better.

Nuggets: Like their opponents, Denver is not great in the half court. While they can score seamlessly in transition, they cannot for some reason find a way to execute a play. If they can not get a shot off early with their quick ball movement, they will usually take up the shot clock and throw up a tough one (see Andre Igoudala. He really needs to take shots closer to the paint). A lot of this has to do with Ty Lawson, as the point guard he can't seem to navigate as smoothly as he did last year. Hopefully, this issue will fix itself, or Andre Miller is going to take his minutes.

On the other end, their defense was lacking, rotations were especially slow in the 1st and 4th quarter.
Also, Andre Miller completely botched the inbound pass for their last possession. (Jarrett Jack of GSW did too, it just wasn't as critical).

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