Nuggets-Warriors Game 3 preview

Jack: 'I can't wait to see this place going crazy'

Nuggets-Warriors Game 3 preview
April 26, 2013, 7:15 am
Share This Post

Stephen Curry rolled his left ankle in Game 2 and said he would be unable to play if the game was Thursday. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Oracle Arena will be rocking on Friday night and it will be something the Nuggets must deal with.
—Matt Steinmetz

Programming note: Warriors-Nuggets Game 3 coverage begins on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live at 7 p.m. Channel listings.

Through two playoff games between the Warriors and Nuggets, much has been discussed. We’ve talked about the Warriors’ ridiculous outside shooting in Game 2, their penchant for turnovers and that they’re playing without David Lee.

We also now have Stephen Curry’s ankle injury to talk about, and whether or not he’ll be 100 percent come game-time.

We’ve talked about the Nuggets’ effective uptempo pace, their subpar perimeter shooting and that they’re playing without Danilo Gallinari.

But on Friday night, when the Warriors host their first playoff game in six years, another factor will come into play: Oracle Arena.

Back in 2007, the last time the Warriors were in the postseason, the crowd at Oracle Arena was so loud and so boisterous that it became part of the story.

Coach Don Nelson, point guard Baron Davis and forward Stephen Jackson were the ones who orchestrated that first-round upset of the Dallas Mavericks, but it’s difficult envisioning that upset taking place without the raucous home crowd behind them.

The Warriors won all three of their home games during that series.

Warriors fans will try to duplicate that 2007 playoff environment Friday night in Game 3, and if they can – or even come close – it will be an advantage for the home team.

Make no mistake, the Nuggets will have to deal with the crowd noise and the emotion of the game. In Denver, the Nuggets have an advantage because of the altitude; in Oakland, the Warriors have an advantage because of the decibel level.

The most important part of tonight’s game very will could be the game’s first six minutes. Can the Warriors start strong, get that crowd behind them and ride it to victory?

Or will the Nuggets be successful in taking the crowd out of the game early by getting off to an early lead and perhaps forcing turnovers and igniting their running game?

The Warriors are coming off a game in which they shot 65 percent from the floor, including 56 percent from 3-point range. That helped them to a 131-117 victory in Denver that evened the series at 1-1.

During the second half of that game, Curry tweaked his left ankle. He finished the game, but afterward the ankle swelled up and it is now an issue.

[RELATED: Curry 'wouldn't be able to play' Thursday]

Curry said on Thursday that if the game were played on that night, he likely wouldn’t have been able to play. There will certainly be a lot of talk leading up to tip-off about the strength of Curry’s ankle and whether or not he’ll be able to play.

It seems unlikely that Curry would miss Game 3, but the real question might be: How strong will the ankle be? That is a great unknown heading into the game.

What’s for sure, though, is that Oracle Arena will be rocking on Friday night and it will be something the Nuggets must deal with.