Nuggets vs. Warriors: What to watch for

937385.jpg

Nuggets vs. Warriors: What to watch for

Programming note: Nuggets-Warriors coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area. Stick around after the final horn for Warriors Postgame Live!

The Warriors are coming off their most lopsided loss of the season a 101-77 defeat to the Lakers in L.A. They struggled in just about every phase of the game, but none more than shooting. As a team the Warriors shot 33.7 percent from the field, with both their inside and outside games failing them.The Nuggets have rebounded from an 0-3 start to win three in a row, and theyre coming to Oracle Arena on Saturday coming off a 104-84 blowout win over Utah in Denver.Here are some things to watch for in Saturday nights game:Depth on depth: The Warriors depth is certainly improved this year with Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry coming off their bench. But the Nuggets also have a solid bench, and they rely on it heavily.Andre Miller, Corey Brewer and JaVale McGee give the Nuggets plenty of weapons off the bench, and thats important on a night like Saturday when both teams are playing their second of back-to-back games.Find Faried: Kenneth Faried is a relentless rebounder and high-energy player and he had a career game against the Warriors a season ago.Faried had 27 points on 12-for-18 shooting and 17 rebounds in the Nuggets 123-84 victory over the Warriors last April. Faried, in his second year, might be a touch undersized for the power forward position, but his activity and effort mitigate any kind of size disadvantage.Warriors power forward David Lee is going to have to keep Faried off the offensive glass and occupy him fully at the offensive end.Curry vs. Felton: Stephen Curry and Ty Lawson are the long-term point guards for the Warriors and Nuggets, respectively. This offseason, the Warriors gave Curry four-year, 44 million contract, while the Nuggets gave Lawson a four-year, 48 million deal.BUCHER: Why'd they do it?
While Curry and Lawson are certainly different players, there is not much that separates them talent-wise. You could probably find just as many people who prefer Lawson over Curry as prefer Curry over Lawson.Last season Lawson averaged 16.4 points and 6.6 assists per game, while shooting 48.8 percent from the floor. Curry is certainly a better shooter than Lawson, but Lawson makes up that percentage-wise by getting to the bucket more.With Curry back at 100 percent after an ankle injury a year ago, this should be a good matchup to watch.

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.

“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.

“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).

“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”

This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.

As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.

“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”

Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.

A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.

The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.

All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Kevin Durant didn't forget about the taunts.

In February, when Durant returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a member of the Warriors, Thunder fans heckled him with t-shirts featuring cupcakes, a reference to Durant being soft for joining the 73-win Warriors.

On Saturday, the cupcake graphic made a return with one slight change.

Durant, playing in JaVale McGee's JugLife Celebrity Softball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, showed up to the stadium wearing a cupcake hat. But instead of a cheery on top, a championship ring was superimposed on top of the cupcake.

So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.