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With David Lee out, Stephen Curry becomes even more important in Game 2

Apr 23, 2013, 1:35 PM EDT

Golden State Warriors v Denver Nuggets - Game One Getty Images

The playoffs are all about adjustments, but even though the Warriors find themselves down 1-0 to the Nuggets they really don’t have to change too much heading into this all important game two.

Missing David Lee certainly hurts. When looking at the match ups in this series, he was one player who clearly had an advantage for the Warriors. His ability to space the floor as a shooter, score from the low post, and act as a facilitator have been staples of the Warriors’ offense all season. Replacing those things won’t come easy and several players will need to find a way to chip in a bit extra to make it happen.

First on that list is Stephen Curry. His 7-20 shooting from game one simply wasn’t good enough, even though he did find a way to sort out some of his issues in the 2nd half. The Warriors need a more efficient scoring effort to go with the playmaking Curry flashed in game one. Getting him into spots on the floor where he can get better looks — be it through isolation or working off picks — should be a high priority for head coach Mark Jackson and I expect him to have some wrinkles in place to do just that.

Another player who needs to raise his game is Carl Landry. Landry will need to find a way to be effective from the post and as a mid-range threat, providing some of the balance Lee has offered the Warriors’ offense all season. Landry will never be the passer that Lee is, but if he can hit the open jumpers he’ll get out of the pick and roll while doing some damage from the low block in isolation, the Warriors will take it.

Landry’s bench mate, Jarrett Jack, will also need to be better than he was in game one. Jack was badly outplayed by Andre Miller and if the Warriors are to be competitive in this series they’ll need that match up to be much more even (or even won by Jack) in the coming games.

If the Warriors can get those contributions from those players and combine them with the solid defense they flashed in the first contest, they should be able play another close game. The, key, however is to not get overwhelmed early by a Nuggets team who surely gained some confidence after getting a win when they clearly weren’t at their best either.

This may prove difficult with Kenneth Faried likely returning, the Nuggets’ role players (at least ones not named Andre Miller) likely to shoot better than they did in game one, and the home crowd spurring them on. They’ll be energetic and will attack relentlessly. It’s what they always do.

But if the Warriors simply keep their heads about them, find a way to maximize Curry’s touches, and do as good a job of getting back in transition and they did in game one, they should be right there. Of course all those things are easier said than done, but that’s the task at hand.

They’re the underdogs for a reason, right?

  1. broncobeta - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    This is a great article.

    I think I’ll reblog it on Higher Ground.

  2. broncobeta - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    But really though. This article was bad.

    Here’s the summary.

    “If everyone on the Golden State Warriors play better than they did in the previous game then they’ll have a chance to win.”

    Geez, I agree, Darius. But what happens if the Nuggets players play even better than the Warriors players!? Man, this is just some crucial analysis.

  3. 4thquartermagic - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    “…the Warriors really don’t have to change too much heading into this all important game two.”

    Golden State wouldn’t have change too much IF David Lee was playing and IF Kenneth Faried wasn’t returning. Bottom line is this game will be an entirely different game then game 1. Everything will be different in game 2.

    Steph Curry WILL shoot better.
    Denver WILL rebound better.
    Golden State WILL use the zone more to disrupt Denver’s half court offense.
    Denver WILL shoot the 3-ball better (shot 3-of 23) to disrupt the zone.

    Too much to overcome for Golden State on the road.
    You can’t re-invent yourself in the playoffs and GS has to do that with their all-star injured.

    Nuggets win this one going away.

  4. baymac408 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Really would be nice to steal one of these home games from the nuggets.. It just got tougher with D.Lee hurt, he will be missed… Time for everybody to step up!! GO WARRIORS!

  5. 13arod - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    i want to see the warrios and heat or knicks to face the warios best nba finals in a while

    • 4thquartermagic - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:42 PM

      Said no one outside of San Fran or Oakland

  6. bstroum - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    OK – this is off-topic – but – are the Nuggets’ orange uniforms the ugliest thing ever seen on an NBA court?

    • 4thquartermagic - Apr 23, 2013 at 7:25 PM

      Orange nugget uniforms don’t exist.

      But if your referring to the yellow ones as being the ugliest thing ever seen on an NBA court,
      you would be wrong. Reggie Evans is.

      (p.s. The yellow uni’s are awesome)

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