Warriors-Nuggets: What to watch for

Warriors-Nuggets: What to watch for
February 9, 2012, 5:17 pm
Share This Post

Programming note: Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. today with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area with host Greg Papa, Garry St. Jean and NBA Insider Matt Steinmetz.

After consecutive losses, the Warriors (8-14) are in need ofa pick-me-up and nothing would serve that purpose better than a road winagainst a good team.That would be the Denver Nuggets, who have struggled latelybut are still 15-11. The Nuggets boast a great deal of depth and right now theyneed it. Theyre banged-up and are missing Danilo Gallinari. Also, startingcenter Timofey Mozgov and key bench player Corey Brewer missed Wednesdays gameagainst Dallas because of a sprained left ankle and personal reasons,respectively.Here are some things to watch for:
End-game situations: Its no secret theWarriors have struggled in the last two minutes of games this year, with MontaEllis failing more often than not when it comes to making game-winning playsand shots.RELATED: Steinmetz -- Crunch time stats for Warriors players
In the Warriors loss to the Thunder on Tuesday, Ellis had apotential 3-point shot to win it with five seconds remaining, but the shotmissed. Afterward Warriors coach Mark Jackson said hed take that that shotall day, meaning he had no problem with Ellis shot selection.Maybe not, but the Warriors are likely going to findthemselves in that situation again and again and again and they need to getbetter when theyre in it.Center trouble: The Warriors seem to be gettingless and less out of center Andris Biedrins. He is averaging 2.6 points and 4.7rebounds per game, and against the Thunder on Tuesday he played 14 minutes,scored zero points, grabbed zero rebounds and committed five personalfouls.Jackson continues to maintain hes not thinking of makingchanges to the starting lineup and, in fairness to Jackson he doesnt havemany options at center but push is coming to shove when it comes to thenon-production at five.Ellis vs. Afflalo: Monta Ellis is comingoff a 48-point game and is one of the most difficult matchups at the shootingguard position. Arron Afflalo is one of the best defenders at the two spot inthe league.The goal for Afflalo isnt to shut down Ellis, its doubtfulthat can be done. But Afflalo clearly would like to turn Ellis into a volumeshooter.Nene-Koufos tandem: The Warriors did morethan hold their own on the glass against the Thunder, but that certainly hasntbeen the norm this season. Too often the Warriors have been dominated on theinterior and theyll have to guard against that against Denver.Kosta Koufos is a big-bodied 7-footer and Nene is anotherbig presence at the four position. If the Warriors dont get anything out ofBiedrins, and Jackson is forced to go in another direction likely with EkpeUdoh theyre going to have to gang-rebound to hang in on the glass.