How Denver Can Defeat Golden State
Denver travels to Golden State tomorrow for a very tough test.
The Denver Nuggets struggled to overcome Golden State in their first match-up.
Injuries, lack of effort, and little defense were just a few things that toppled the Nuggets in the 24 point loss.
Now, Denver will have to face Golden State in enemy territory to kick off the new year. However, a Denver upset is not out of the question.
It will be tough to do, but the Denver Nuggets are capable.
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If Denver can execute at least these three aspects of the game to perfection, then they will disappoint the Warriors home crowd and go back home with a ton of momentum.
Limit the Big 4
Now, yes slowing down a core of stars that consists of Steph, Klay, Kevin, and Draymond is easier said than done.
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But, the Nuggets have the tools to slow them down defensively, they just have to be willing to give the effort. If Gary Harris and Emmanuel Mudiay, who are very capable defensively, can limit the Splash Brothers production from the perimeter, then they will have to go to either Durant or Green.
Green is very physical, but if Jokic can get up for this game and not let him under his skin, then he will be able to use his size to shut down Draymond. Then than leaves Durant.
If I were Malone, I would start by having Wilson Chandler guarding him since Gallinari has never been a great defender. Chandler will have to redeem himself after a poor defensive effort in their last game as is the case with the entire team.
Therefore, if the “Big 4,” of Golden State struggles, it will force the role players to step up and try to beat Denver.
This will be a huge first step towards conquering Golden State if Denver pulls this feat off.
Tune out the Crowd
Golden State is one of the toughest places to play in the league.
The Warriors are virtually unbeatable there unless you are the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Nuggets on the other hand cannot let the crowd get to them.
This young core needs to make sure the crowd stays out of it and doesn’t affect their performance whenever a swing in momentum occurs. The Nuggets need to strike quick and early and try to take the Warriors crowd out of the game in the first quarter.
This means snagging an early lead, beating Golden State in the hustle plays, winning the battle on the glass, and playing pestering defense.
If Denver does all this early and doesn’t let up on an early lead, then they will be able to tune out the crowd and execute the rest of the game.
Don’t be Afraid of a Little Trash Talk
Remember last year when Draymond said they didn’t actually lose to Denver because they were without key players?
I know that certainly irked me. I hope it irked the team as well.
My question is this: if Draymond starts jawing at Jokic, is Jokic going to shy away from the moment or use it as motivation to be more productive? When DeMarcus Cousins scored on Tim Duncan a few years ago and started talking a bit of trash, did Duncan just lay down? Nope, he went on to score 10 unanswered points reminding Cousins he was dealing with a legend.
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Therefore, do what Duncan did. Pretty good advice really in any aspect of basketball. If Klay starts jawing at Gary in the 2nd quarter, is Harris just going to take it?
My advice is don’t, talk a bit of trash with Klay even if it does result in a technical foul. It wouldn’t hurt this team to show a bit of fight and maybe a get a bit chippy as a matter of fact.
As long as a technical that occurs doesn’t put the game at risk late in the game, go ahead and fight back a bit.
Don’t let the Warriors intimidate you just because they are the Warriors. You guys are in the league too and you are also a respectable NBA team.
Make them respect that fact.
Put them on notice by not shying away from the spotlight and stealing a game in Golden State.