Fast Forward: Warriors will be scoreboard watching in Denver

Fast Forward: Warriors will be scoreboard watching in Denver
April 16, 2014, 1:00 pm
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Stephen Curry averaged 40 minutes per game during the team's recent stretch of four games in five nights. He will reportedly not play Wednesday night. (USATI)

KEYS TO VICTORY:

1) Good health: When winning is not imperative, the goal becomes keeping everyone healthy.
2) Naked aggression: This game involves a lot of players who are not stars and are playing to impress.
3) Steve Jordan: Steve Blake and Jordan Crawford will get considerable playing time and are capable of winning.

Over his last seven games Harrison Barnes is averaging 9.7 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 43.8% from the field. (USATI)

UPDATE: Stephen Curry, David Lee and Andre Iguodala will not suit up tonight, while Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are most likely not going to play as well, according to a report form the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Programming note: Warriors-Nuggets coverage tips off tonight at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live (Territory restrictions apply) Channel locations

With a postseason berth assured, locked into the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, Warriors coach Mark Jackson concedes the final game of the regular season is his first and last chance to rest those players that need it.

"I'm going to talk to my guys and then make a decision," he said after the Warriors secured their seeding by beating the Timberwolves on Monday night. "But I would imagine a good amount of them will not play."

There are plenty of candidates who would stand to benefit from being spectators when the Warriors (50-31) face the Nuggets on Wednesday night at Pepsi Center.

One is power forward David Lee, who had a poor start but a strong finish against Minnesota, has played the last three games while still feeling the lingering affects of nerve irritation in the strained right hamstring that caused him to miss the previous seven games.

"He battled," Jackson said. "What I see is a guy that got over the hump, got his rhythm. And we're going to need him (in the playoffs)."

Point guard Stephen Curry described Lee is being "fundamental to our success as a team."

Center Andrew Bogut will not play and is out indefinitely with a fractured right rib. He is expected to miss the first round of the playoffs and maybe more.

[RELATED: Warriors trying to move on without Andrew Bogut]

Small forward Andre Iguodala, who has missed six of the past 13 games and did not play against the T-Wolves, is certain to sit Wednesday night. The tendinitis in his right knee is not going away soon, but he will be helped by the playoffs schedule, which avoids games on successive nights.

Curry is another who could use some down time. He averaged 40 minutes per game during the team's recent stretch of four games in five nights – five minutes more than iron man Klay Thompson.

Even though the Nuggets (36-45) should hold a special place in the hearts of the Warriors – Denver swept two games at Oracle Arena – Wednesday is a night when they don't matter nearly as much as what follows.

The Warriors playoffs destination will be determined Wednesday. If the Thunder somehow lose to Detroit and the Clippers win at Portland, the Warriors travel to OKC. If the Thunder win or the Clippers lose, the Warriors are off to Los Angeles.

[RELATED: NBA playoff picture: Warriors' opponent TBD]

So this will be that rare night when the Warriors will pay more attention to the other games than to their own.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH

Harrison Barnes vs. Quincy Miller -- Barnes has progressed from being awful to reasonably productive. Yet everything he does seems to affect his confidence. A strong game would do wonders.

Draymond Green vs. Kenneth Faried -- Manimal embarrassed Green last week in the Warriors' loss to Denver. Faried is the better athlete, but both base their games on energy. Green needs a bounce-back game for his own state of mind.

INJURY REPORT: For the Warriors, SF Andre Iguodala (right knee tendinitis) and C Jermaine O'Neal (knee and wrist soreness) are day to day. C Andrew Bogut (fractured rib) and C Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery rehab) are out indefinitely.

For the Nuggets, PF Darrell Arthur (left knee strain) and SF Wilson Chandler (left groin strain) are probable. SF Danilo Gallinari (left knee surgery rehab), PF J.J. Hickson (right knee surgery), PG Ty Lawson (left ankle sprain), C JaVale McGee (left tibia fracture), SF Anthony Randolph (personal reasons) and PG Nate Robinson (left knee sprain) are out.

LAST 10: Warriors 6-4, Nuggets 4-6.

SERIES HISTORY: The Warriors lost two of the three previous games this season and is seeking only their third season split with Denver over the last 10 seasons. The Warriors have lost 14 of the last 19 regular-season meetings.

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