With only a handful of games remaining in the NBA regular season, the match up between the Warriors and Nuggets could determine top seed in the Western Conference. The teams have identical 51-24 records, although the Warriors have taken the last two meetings by an average margin of victory of 24 points.
Statistically speaking the Warriors lead the league in scoring and are third in three-point field goal percentage. Denver is a solid 11th from beyond the arc, but are just 19th in scoring. They rely in a tough defense and rebounding, both ranked 6th in the league. The Warriors are mediocre defensively and also can get sloppy with the ball, ranked 17th in turnovers.
Denver is lead by Nikola Jokic, who is tops on the team in scoring, redounding and assists. Several other members on the squad compliment Jokic, lead by Jamal Murray who hits 37 percent from beyond the arc and averages 18.3 points per game. Malik Beasley and Monte Morris are three-point threats off the bench, hitting over 40 percent. Veteran Paul Millsap adds 13, while Garry Harris and Will Barton combine to drop 25 points per game. The Warriors have several players to keep their eyes on when the Nuggets have the ball.
The Warriors "big three" of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Clay Thompson average a combine 75 points per game. Curry and Clay Thompson will test Denver's perimeter defense, knocking down 42 percent from beyond the arc. DeMarcus Cousins continues to provide a strong inside presence, averaging 16 points and eight rebounds, while Draymond Green quietly adds seven rebounds and seven assists per game.
Denver is the hotter team coming into play, winners of eight of their last ten. Then are 20-18 on the road, while the Warriors are 26-11 at home. The Nuggets are likely going to give the Warriors a much more difficult time that the blowouts in the last two meetings. It's difficult to pick against the Warriors at home, especially in a such a critical game. While it wont be a shock if the Nuggets pull of an upset, go with the Warriors in a tight, high scoring game.