Once again the Denver Nuggets turn skeptics into believers during the regular season and turn them right back into skeptics during the NBA playoffs. The Golden State Warriors have come out this opening round playing like they are the third seed, while the Nuggets have played with an apparent lack of urgency. Denver has lost three in row for the first time since February, however, all three of those games were on the road. Denver got blown out at home against the Warriors last game at the Pepsi Center and now in order to save the season, they will have to win three in a row, including one game away in Oakland.
The Warriors have played like the better team and they have done so without their lone All-Star, David Lee. The importance of Danilo Gallinari is now clearly evident and the Nuggets continue to struggle shooting and defending the three-ball without him. The Warriors have managed to play well and score a lot of points thanks to Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Jarrett Jack. Also, Andrew Bogut is dominating the paint and giving his team reasons to get excited.
Curry started off slow Sunday night, but his third quarter may have been the best of his career thus far. The Warriors as a whole once again shot lights-out, going 55.7 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from beyond the arc.
The Nuggets turned the ball over 23 times and put up an effort that has fans thinking about the worst, another early exit from the playoffs. The Nuggets’ defense is pretty much non-existent and when they start stringing points together they cannot get important stops on the other end of the court to get and maintain a lead.
Ty Lawson led the Nuggets in scoring in game four and looked to be the only one who could get anything going offensively. The team needs to come together, play rough-and-tough and must start playing like the team they were in the regular season. The team that won the most games in franchise history has struggled to play the same type of ball in the postseason and if the intensity doesn’t come out on Tuesday night in Denver, the Nuggets will get another early start on vacation time.
The subs and reserves that helped the Nuggets achieve the third seed must reappear now before it’s too late. Wilson Chandler, Evan Fournier, JaVale McGee, Corey Brewer and Andre Miller must all pick up the scoring and must play tough defense. Get a hand in Steph’s face, something or anything to make the Warriors’ shooting contested.
Coach George Karl‘s time to rally the troops is now, it can’t wait any longer. Now is desperation time and the team must do anything to win. Stop playing sloppy, pick up the pace and be aggressive in the paint are all things the team must do in order to fizzle out the Warriors’ hot shooting.
One more loss and the fans of the Nuggets will once again be shaking their heads in disbelief as a team with such high expectations dwindles in April.