NBA Playoffs Game #5: Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets

2013 NBA Playoffs – Western Conference Quarterfinals Game #5
#6 Golden State Warriors at #3 Denver Nuggets
Warriors Lead Best of Seven Series 3-1
Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Pepsi Center – Denver, Colorado
Opening Line: Denver -8
Current Line: Denver -8
Opening Total: 208
Current Total: 208
Opening Money Line: Nuggets -375 / Warriors +315
Current Money Line: Nuggets -425 / Warriors +355

Nuggets Warriors NBA Game Preview
Golden State’s Stephen Curry has been on fire in the playoffs. The Warriors can eliminate the Nuggets with one more win.

The last time the Golden State Warriors made the playoffs was in 2007. That season the #8 seeded Warriors lost the first game at the #1 seed Dallas Mavericks, who were the defending NBA Champion. The Warriors won three straight games in that series and would end up pulling off the upset in six games.

This year, the #6 seeded Warriors lost the first game at the #3 seeded Nuggets 97-95. In that game the Warriors lost All-star forward David Lee to a torn hip flexor for the rest of the playoffs. Many doubted   Golden State would be able to compete  with the Nuggets without Lee. However, since then the Warriors have won 3 straight games to put the Nuggets on the brink of elimination. The Warriors won game two in Denver 131-117 to snap a 24 game home winning streak for the Nuggets. The series shifted to Oakland for games three and four with the rabid Warrior fans. Golden state would win game 3 110-108 and game 4 115-101 Sunday night. Golden State guard Stephen Curry has gone off in the series averaging 27 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists, and 3 steals per game.

Golden State is coached by Mark Jackson. The Warriors are outscoring teams 101-100 this season. Golden State is #7 in scoring but #19 in points allowed. The Warriors are shooting 45.8% from the field and 40.3% from 3 point range. Golden State is #11 in field goal percentage and lead the league in 3 point shooting. The Warriors are #4 in free throw shooting at 79% from from the line. Golden State is #3 in rebounding at 44.9 per game, but #20 in rebounds allowed at 42.7 per game. Warrior opponents are shooting 43.9% from the field and 34.7% from 3 point range. Golden State is in the top 7 in both categories. The Warriors average 22.5 assists, 6.9 steals, 4.2 blocks, and 14.8 turnovers. Golden State is 46-39-1 ATS and the total is 49-36-1 this season.

Guard Stephen Curry averages 22.9 points, 4 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He set the NBA record for most 3 point shots made in a season with 272. He is probable with an ankle injury. Power forward David Lee averaged 18.5 points, 11 .2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Guard Klay Thompson averages 16.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. Point guard Jarrett Jack averages 12.9 points, 5.6 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. Forward Carl Landry averages 10.8 points and 6 rebounds per game. Forward Harrison Barnes averages 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. Center Andrew Bogut is averaging 5.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game. Center Andris Biedrins is questionable with a back injury. Guard Brandon Rush is out for the season with a knee injury.

Denver is coached by George Karl. The Nuggets are outscoring teams 106-101. Denver leads the lead in scoring but is #23 in points allowed. The Nuggets are shooting 47.8% from the field and 34.3% from 3 point range. Denver is #5 in field goal percentage but #25 in 3 point shooting. The Nuggets are #28 in free throw shooting at 70.1% from the line. Denver is #2 in rebounding at 45.1 per game and #10 in rebounds allowed at 41.6 per game. Nugget opponents are shooting 44.4% from the field and 36.3% from 3 point range. The Nuggets are averaging 24.4 assists, 9.3 steals, 6.5 blocks, and 14.7 turnovers. Denver is 49-36-1 ATS and the total is 49-36-1 this season.

Point guard Ty Lawson averages 16.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He missed 9 games down the stretch with a foot injury but has played the last 5 games. Small forward Danilo Gallinari is out for the season with a torn ACL. He averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Shooting guard Wilson Chandler averages 13 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Shooting guard Andre Iguodala averages 13 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Small forward Corey Brewer averages 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Forward Kenneth Faried averages 11.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block per game. He is probable with an ankle injury. Point guard Andre Miller averages 9.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. Center JaVale McGee averages 9.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Center Kosta Koufos and forwards Evan Fournier and Jordan Hamilton also get significant minutes. Guard Julyan Stone is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

Golden State is 8-0 ATS in conference quarterfinal games, 7-0 overall, and against Western Conference teams, 6-0 after a cover, 5-0 after allowing 100 points or more, against teams with winning records, after the opponent scores 100 points or more, and against Northwest Division teams, 4-0 after a straight up win, in road games, after the opponent allowed 100 or more points,  against teams with winning home records, and after scoring 100 points or more, The Warriors have covered all 4 games in the series, and were the underdog in every game. Five of the last six in the series have gone over the total.

Denver is 22-8 ATS after the opponent allowed 100 points or more, 16-6-1 on one day rest, 10-4 in Tuesday games, 15-7 at home, 2-6 against teams with losing road records, 1-4 after allowing 100 points or more, 1-5 after failing to cover, after the opponent allowed 100 points or more, and after scoring 100 points or more, 0-5 in conference quarterfinal games, 0-4 against teams with winning records, overall, against Western Conference teams, and against Pacific Division teams.  The home team is 5-2 ATS in this series recently.

Despite the game 2 loss, the Nuggets still had the best home record in the NBA this season at 38-3. I think they will ride a wild home crowd to a win. Regardless of where they are playing, the Nuggets must play better defense. Golden State is scoring 113 points per game on average in the series. Denver has certainly missed Gallinari, especially with Faried battling an ankle injury. The Nuggets win a close game to extend the series, but 8 points is way too many.

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