Game 1 – Saturday, April 20, Golden State at Denver, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 2 – Tuesday, April 23, Golden State at Denver, 10:30 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Friday, April 26, Denver at Golden State, 10:30 p.m., ESPN2
Game 4 – Sunday, April 28, Denver at Golden State, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Game 5* – Tuesday, April 30, Golden State at Denver, TBD
Game 6* – Thursday, May 2, Denver at Golden State, TBD
Game 7* – Saturday, May 4, Golden State at Denver, TBD
Denver Nuggets (57-25, second in Northwest Division) vs Golden State Warriors (47-35, second in Pacific Division)
Season Series: Denver Nuggets 3-1
November 10, 2012 (107-101 for Denver)
November 23, 2012 (102-91 for Denver)
November 29, 2012 (106-105 for Golden State)
January 13, 2013 (116-105 for Denver)
Points: Nuggets – Ty Lawson (16.7), Stephen Curry (22.9)
Rebounds: Nuggets – Kenneth Faried (9.2), David Lee (11.2)
Assists: Nuggets – Ty Lawson (6.9), Stephen Curry (6.9)
The Denver Nuggets 57-regular season wins and 38 victories at home were both franchise-records.
How the Denver Nuggets will win this series:
Denver leads the league in points in the paint and shots taken around the rim. With the health of Warriors center Andrew Bogut still up in the air, the Nuggets should look to attack the rim on a consistent basis and push the ball up the court, not allowing Golden State to set up their defense. They should also look to take advantage of their home-court, especially with the altitude, which is always an issue for opponents. The Warriors can score with the best of them (7th), but no one does it better than Denver (first overall). Golden State can score 115, but the Nuggets could easily score 120.
How the Golden State Warriors will win this series:
The Warriors are going to have to “make it rain” from downtown to keep up with the Nuggets on offense. Golden State is the only team in the NBA shooting above 40% from behind-the-arc on the year. Three players (Jarrett Jack, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson) all shoot higher than 40%, as well. Denver allows the most three-pointers to the opposition in the league (23.1), so they will get plenty of opportunities. Denver is also hobbling in to the postseason, with Danilo Gallinari out for the season, and both Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson banged up.
This is going to be one of the hardest series to call in the first round. A Warriors win wouldn’t shock anyone, even with the sixth seed in the Western Conference.
Final Prediction: Golden State Warriors in seven