Golden State Warriors vs Denver Nuggets: What to Watch for

Oct 14, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala (9) defends Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari (8) in the third quarter at the Pepsi Center. The Warriors won 129-128. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

After a five-game road trip, the Denver Nuggets return home to face the Golden State Warriors. Can the Nuggets win their first home game of the season?

The Nuggets’ stomachs may still be churning from their defeat in Memphis on Tuesday. The Grizzlies were able to secure a victory from a last second layup from Marc Gasol. This came after the Nuggets turned the ball over on an in-bound pass with less than eight seconds remaining.

To be fair, the Nuggets have the toughest first 10-day schedule in the NBA. The fact that they were able to go 2-3 on their road trip is not that bad.

But would the Nuggets love to win this one. It is only the second game to be played at the Pepsi Center this season. The Nuggets are 0-1 at the Pepsi Center after losing in overtime to the Portland their first home game.

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The Warriors are, undoubtedly, one of the top teams in the NBA. Getting their first win at home against the Warriors’ super team would go a long way in boosting the confidence of this team.

The Nuggets have played much better since the beginning of the preseason, although their record might make it seem otherwise. Thursday’s game against the Warriors will be a true testament to how far the Nuggets have come.

Here are a couple things you should watch for Thursday night:

What are you going to be watching for when the Nuggets take on the Warriors? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

Nov 8, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) reacts during the second half against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Denver Nuggets 108-107. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Emmanuel Mudiay

Mudiay may look down in the picture, but his play has been looking up! Mudiay shot 7-13 from the floor and 8-10 from the line, scoring 23 points against the Grizzlies. This came after the game against the Celtics where Mudiay matched his career-high for points of 30.

The 20-year-old point guard also converted a dunk with seven seconds to go that put the Nuggets up by one. The Grizzlies eventually won, but Gary Harris’ steal and Mudiay’s dunk put the Nuggets in the position to win.

When the Nuggets played the Warriors in the preseason, Mudiay only had nine points on the game. He shot 3-9 from the floor, but this time around Mudiay hopes to put up better numbers.

Mudiay is still struggling with turnovers, though. He turned the ball over seven times against the Grizzlies and seven times against the Celtics.

If Mudiay can continue to shoot the ball well and limit his turnovers, he could do some damage against the Warriors. When the Nuggets young point guard looks sharp, it tends to translate to the rest of the team playing well.

Nov 5, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jameer Nelson (1) drives the ball to the basket during the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports

The Bench

If one thing can be said about the Nuggets, they have a solid bench.

Jameer Nelson comes in to relieve Mudiay and runs a very fluid offense. Also, Nelson is vocal on the court and acts as a floor general.

The game against the Celtics, the Nugget’s bench scored 52 points. Wilson Chandler scored 22 of those points and Kenneth Faried scored 12 points.

Unfortunately, the last game against the Grizzlies the bench’s production significantly decreased. The Nuggets’ bench was only able to contribute 25 points in their loss to the Grizzlies.

The bench has taken a hit with Chandler being questionable for the game against the Warriors. Darrell Arthur is also listed as questionable according to Harrison Wind:

Chandler has been extremely valuable to the team, as he is averaging 15.7 points per game. His veteran presence is also an overlooked benefit he adds.

Next game, the Nuggets hope to find useful minutes from the bench against the Warriors. Jamal Murray has been shooting much better in the past couple of games, so perhaps he could provide points the Nuggets desperately need from the bench.

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