Saturday, December 13, 2008

Game 23: Warriors @ Nuggets

(Boulder-CO) Please tilt you head back and slowly rotate it in a clockwise circle. Stop, and repeat while alternating clockwise for counter clockwise until the neck is completely stretched and the muscles are loose.
Now are you ready for the Warriors to come to town?
I hope so because tonight's match-up between the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets could be a rubbernecking affair with a lot of points and highlights!
The Warriors are allowing a league-high 111.1 points per game so far this season and unlike in recent campaigns are not finding success in the W-L column. In fact, their complete abandonment of the defensive end has contributed to the team's worst start since opening 6-17 in 2000-01 as they are now 7-16 overall and just 3-10 on the road.
With their defense obviously deplorable, it would be redundant for me to say something like, "All the Nuggets have to do is put a decent total on the scoreboard to win." But, after doing some scouting on the Dubs I think one of the best strategies for the Nuggets to apply is to take the ball right at the Warriors to slow down the pace of this game with a surplus of free-throw attempts.
Follow me now...
Golden State is going to give up at least a hundred points. It's a given no matter how poorly their opposition plays on offense. But, did you know that Golden State is yet to win a game when they don't score at least 105 points?
Now, in their 15 wins, the Nuggets are averaging a league-high 35.1 free-throw attempts. In comparison, in Denver's seven losses, they are averaging a mediocre mark of 24.6 free-throw attempts.
Still with me?
It's my belief that if the Nuggets can slow down the offensive barrage of the Warriors and keep them under a hundred points by reducing the game's pace with a ton of free-throws that Denver will win whether or not they even score a hundred points. It may sound counterintuitive at first when considering Golden State allows so many points, but when you consider how one dimensional the Warriors are it makes sense to not try and beat them at their own game. They want the opposition to try and outscore them. They want their opposition to try and push the pace of the game. That's the only way they know how to win. It's a direct result of their inability to manage tightly contested games as seven of their 16 losses have come by a margin of five or less points, including two losses in overtime.
Don't take the bait, Denver! Play smart, controlled basketball and get to the free-throw line as much as possible. Not only is it advantageous for the Nuggets (as the free-throw attempts averaged in wins vs. losses indicates), but it will expose the Warriors for the street-ballin' crew they are.
Go Nuggets!

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