Warriors-Nuggets: What to watch for

Warriors-Nuggets: What to watch for
April 9, 2012, 4:08 pm
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Programming note: Warriors-Nuggets coverage begins tonight at 5:30 p.m with Warriors Pregame Live followed by tip off from Denver at 6 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!

The Warriors and Nuggets conclude their home-and-home series on Monday night in Denver. The two teams played at Oracle Arena on Saturday which wound up being a 112-97 Golden State win.The Warriors have lost most of their games since trading Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh to Milwaukee in mid-March. Including the win over the Kings in Sacramento on the night the deal was made but before it was officially announced the Warriors are 5-12.But theyve hung in a bunch of those games and most recently have won two of their past three games. As of today, the Warriors currently have the ninth-worst record in the NBA. If the Warriors wind up with the No. 1 through No. 7 pick, theyll keep it. If they end up with the No. 8 pick or worse, the pick will be conveyed to Utah.RELATED: NBA Conference standings
Here are some things to watch for when the Warriors play the Nuggets in Denver on Monday:Afflalo-Thompson: Denver shooting guard Arron Afflalo knocked down five of his first six shots on Saturday and looked to be on track for a big game.But he made just one field goal the in the games last three quarters and finished with a harmless 16 points in 39 minutes. Meanwhile, Warriors rookie Klay Thompson crammed 15 points into 22 minutes and made shots in the second half that allowed Golden State to stay comfortably ahead.Thompson has been a nice surprise since the Ellis trade, but hes still looking for consistency.Will bench travel?: The bench has been one of the best parts of the Warriors this season. Among Brandon Rush, Dominic McGuire, Thompson (before the Ellis trade), Charles Jenkins and Nate Robinson, Warriors coach Mark Jackson has usually found more than one player to rely on.That was the case on Saturday, when the Warriors substitutes combined to score 57 points against Denver, establishing a season-high for bench points.Tylers improvement: Rookie Jeremy Tyler has given the Warriors some productive minutes over the past three games. Can he continue to give the Warriors production as the season winds down?That may go a long way toward determining whether or not Tyler is a viable candidate to be the first big man off the bench next season behind Andrew Bogut and David Lee.Tyler had 10 points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes against Denver on Saturday, and 14 points and five rebounds in 20 minutes the game before that against Utah.

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