Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets: How Denver Can Get Back in the Series

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Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets: How Denver Can Get Back in the Series
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Denver point guard Ty Lawson.

As the Warriors and Nuggets series currently stands, Golden State holds a 3-1 series lead over Denver.  Tonight the Nuggets will attempt to stave off elimination as they return home to face the Warriors in what could be their final game of the postseason.  

In a series that has seen close games throughout, what are some things the Denver Nuggets will have to do to force a Game 6?

 

Limit Golden State's three-pointers

Golden State has been ridiculously good from the three-point line in this playoff series.  Through the first four games, the Warriors have shot 44.1 percent from beyond the arch.  The Warriors are led by Stephen Curry, who is averaging 27.3 points per game in the series while shooting 47 percent from three-point land.   

Furthermore, the Warriors are making just over 10 three-pointers per game, while the Nuggets are scoring only six three-pointers per game.  While the Warriors are only hitting four more shots from beyond the arch than the Nuggets, the point differential is substantial, as Golden State averages around 12 more points from the three-point line than Denver does.

 

Take advantage of the Warriors losing David Lee

 

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The Warriors lost center David Lee to a torn right hip flexor in the first game of the playoffs.  If Denver wants to bounce back in this series, they should look to take advantage of Lee's absence.  Lee was a big presence for Golden State throughout the season, posting 14.9 points per game while bringing in 9.9 rebounds per game.

Unfortunately for the Nuggets, they still have to deal with Andrew Bogut.  While he is not much of a scoring threat, the center is still averaging nine rebounds per game during the playoffs, while Denver's top rebounder this series is averaging 7.5 boards over the four games.

As a team, the Nuggets are getting slightly out-rebounded by the Warriors.  Golden State has posted 40.5 rebounds per game in the series while Denver is pulling in 35.5 rebounds per game.  Should Denver find a way to win the rebounding battle against Golden State, they may find a way to shift the series. 

 

Shutdown Stephen Curry

This one seems pretty simple, but when the Nuggets shutdown Stephen Curry in Game 1, they walked away with a two-point victory.  

Curry scored only 19 points against the Nuggets in the first game of the series.  In his last three games against the Nuggets, Curry has averaged 30 points per game. Limiting him to just 19 points in the first game was a step in the right direction.  

The young superstar seems to be motivated to win the series at whatever cost necessary.  Despite an ankle injury he suffered in the second game of the series, Curry has gone on to post two strong performances for the Warriors.   

Curry is a threat who can score from anywhere, so shutting him down will be a difficult task.  While it may not be an easy task, the Nuggets will have to find a way to limit Curry's productivity in order to move back into the series.

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