2022 NBA Playoffs Round 1: Golden State Warriors vs Denver Nuggets
The first round of the NBA Playoffs will see the No. 3 Golden State Warriors host the No. 6 Denver Nuggets on Saturday. Here’s what to expect.
With the NBA Play-in Tournament coming to an end, we will soon begin the NBA Playoffs. The first round begins on Saturday, April 16. For the No. 3 Golden State Warriors, the playoffs begin at home in the Chase Center where they’ll take on the No. 6 Denver Nuggets and reigning MVP Nikola Jokic.
With Steph Curry back in action for the Warriors after being out with a foot injury, we have an interesting game to look forward to, ladies and gentleman. In the regular season, the Warriors and Nuggets played each other four times and the Nuggets won three, though they were all close games (granted, none of those games were played with Draymond Green on the court). Let’s take a look at some of the things we can expect when Jokic and the Nuggets travel to take on Curry and the Warriors.
The Warrior’s Fantastic Four are back
The Warriors will have four of their best, championship players healthy and participating for this playoff game: Curry, Green, Klay Thompson, and Andre Iguodala. This will be the first time these four have played together in a playoff game since the 2019 Finals. When Curry was out, the Warriors struggled, losing six out of seven games. But when Iguadola came back and Thompson and Green started to hit their stride, the Warriors won their last five games, and by around 13 points each time.
Stopping Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic is the reigning MVP and one of the best centers the NBA has seen. He averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists, and 1.5 steals per game in the regular season this year. He is the kind of player that can carry the team, but it’s a big ask. It’s possible the Nuggets will be without Jokic’s supporting cast of Jamal Murry and Michael Porter Jr., which means it’s up to Jokic to dominate. He will have Aaron Gordon, Will Barron, Monte Morris, Jeff Green, and Bones Hyland to relieve some pressure, but will it be enough with the Warrior’s top men on the court and at home?
Jordan Poole an added weapon
Let’s not forget how impactful Jordan Poole has been for the Warriors, especially since losing Curry. He averages 25 points on 47% shooting since March and made more 3-pointers than any other player in the league. The Warriors are 32-16 when Poole has scored 15 points or more.
Warriors need to limit turnovers
The Nuggets rank ninth in transition points at 20 per game this season, They are known for being a fast-break team with Jokic running the game. The Warriors have the second-highest turnover rate in the NBA, nearly 15 times per game. They can’t afford to do that against the Nuggets, who are one of the best transition teams.
Overall, the Warriors have more depth than the Nuggets. Even with Nuggets’ big man Jokic in and Curry perhaps rusty coming off an injury, the Warriors are the more stacked team. It won’t be an easy win for the Warriors to pull off considering they have lost to the Nuggets three times this season and how dominant Jokic can be, but they have the talent to make it happen.
The Warriors host the Nuggets this Saturday, April 16 at 8:30 p.m. ET.