On the back of a crucial one-point win against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night, the Denver Nuggets continue their road trip against the Golden State Warriors. The sides met just last week at the Chase Center, where the Warriors took home a 117-106 victory on the back of Steph Curry's 53-point masterclass.
Fixture - Denver Nuggets vs Golden State Warriors | 2020-21 NBA Season.
Date & Time - Friday, April 23rd; 10:00 PM ET (Saturday, April 24th; 7:30 AM IST).
Venue - Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
Denver Nuggets Preview
Returning to the Chase Center will bring back some all-too-fresh memories for the Denver Nuggets. Towards the end of their encounter last week, star guard Jamal Murray suffered an agonizing ACL tear that has put their postseason hopes into question.
Since Murray's injury, however, the Denver Nuggets have won their last four fixtures and led the league in points per game with 124.
Nikola Jokic will have to continue his MVP-caliber form with the Nuggets' second-leading scorer out. The Serbian center has averaged 29.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists in those four games while shooting at 60% from the field. He will be the go-to guy yet again on offense in this matchup with the Golden State Warriors.
Key Player - Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic will be fully deserving of the MVP award should the Denver Nuggets big man take it. He has been one of the most consistent players in the league this season and has improved his overall game to become the most well-rounded center in the NBA.
Jokic's importance to the Denver Nuggets has been made abundantly clear in his stats this season. He has the highest win share of any player in the league with 12.9 as well as the best box plus/minus (11.7).
If he weren't putting up MVP-caliber numbers, Jokic would be worthy of taking home the most improved player award. The 26-year-old has significantly increased his points per night to 26.4, compared to 19.9 last year, and is recording career-high accuracy levels across all shooting metrics.
Denver Nuggets Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Facundo Campazzo l Shooting Guard - Will Barton l Small Forward - Michael Porter Jr. l Power Forward - Aaron Gordon l Center - Nikola Jokic.
Golden State Warriors Preview
Propelled by Steph Curry's brilliance, the Golden State Warriors look to have cemented their place in the play-in tournament. Having won six of their previous ten matchups, the Warriors are sitting just one game behind the Memphis Grizzlies in ninth and are now 3.5 games ahead of the Pelicans in 11th.
A road loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday put a slight dampener on the Golden State Warriors' recent success. However, with a three-game homestead ahead, Steve Kerr will be hoping his side can close the gap on the Mavs in 7th, by beating both them and the Kings after this matchup.
On home court this season, the Golden State Warriors have gone 20-12 and Curry has averaged 31.4 points and a +/- of 7.7.
Key Player - Steph Curry
Steph Curry's shooting performances look good enough to beat any team in the league at the moment, as shown by his 49-point sinking of the 76ers on Monday. He has been nothing short of unplayable in the Golden State Warriors' last ten matchups, and while the Wizards were able to hold him to just 19 on Wednesday, Curry has averaged 39 points per game during that time.
Out of 14.6 3-point attempts during those ten encounters, the 33-year-old has an accuracy of 47.3%, 4th among players that take 8 or more per game. That included four matchups in which Curry drained at least ten efforts.
If the Golden State Warriors are to succeed in the play-in, keeping Curry healthy will be essential. He has put up MVP-worthy numbers all season for the franchise and is arguably playing the best basketball of his career.
Golden State Warriors Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Steph Curry l Shooting Guard - Kent Bazemore l Small Forward - Andrew Wiggins l Power Forward - Draymond Green l Center - Kevon Looney.
Nuggets vs Warriors Match Prediction
Friday night's game should be a thrilling encounter between the two sides fighting for rank. The Denver Nuggets have looked strong recently. However, they will have to find a way to tie Steph Curry down and not allow the guard to score 53 points again.
Draymond Green and Kevon Looney will have to control the paint to limit the Denver Nuggets' cheat code, Nikola Jokic, if the Golden State Warriors are to come away with another win from this fixture.
Though this is an exceedingly tight game to call, we are going to give the Denver Nuggets the edge in this one due to their greater array of scoring options.
Where to watch the Nuggets vs Warriors Matchup
Fans can catch the matchup nationally in America on ESPN while it will also be shown locally in California on NBC Sports Bay Area. With an NBA League Pass you can watch it live at anytime.