Playoff basketball is upon us and there are some intriguing series to watch in the opening round. In the Western Conference, the sixth seed, Denver Nuggets take on the third seed, Golden State Warriors where health and determination will be on display. A series where the availability of Stephen Curry is a question as the Big Three in Northern California are trying to rekindle that magic NBA Championship magic.
Meanwhile, Nikola Jokic has been everything for the Nuggets but he could use some help against one of the favorites in the league. The Nuggets took three out of four regular season meetings from the Warriors but never against the big three together.
The Joker in the Nuggets
A year where no Jamal Murray all season and no Michael Porter Jr. after nine games into the season, how did the Nuggets make the playoffs? The answer, reigning league MVP, Nikola Jokic. Jokic putting up similar numbers as last season has put him in the race for league MVP again as well as the Nuggets in the playoffs.
“The Joker” averaged 27.1 points on 58.3% shooting with 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists this season. Just tremendous production from the big man who led his team to a 48-34 record and the sixth seed in the West. No question that this team goes through The Joker and will even more in this first round series with the Golden State Warriors.
Take a look at the X-Factors for Western Conference Teams.
Splashing Health in the Golden State
If there was any team in the NBA that the world was looking forward to seeing the most, that would the Golden State Warriors. Back-to-back disappointing seasons where they missed the playoffs, mostly due to injuries to the Splash Brothers, everybody was looking for a big return to NBA title contention from the Warriors.
Klay Thompson returns from a two-year absence with multiple injuries. Stephen Curry broke his hand in the 2019 season thus missing three months. Now back in the playoffs, Thompson looks to be in rare form after going for 41 points in the season finale at New Orleans.
Draymond Green is just about fully healthy from his back injury. More importantly, the latest report from Golden State is that Curry is probable for Game One. The golden boys are back and the world will be watching with much anticipation to see how they will look in these playoffs.
Hail to The Joker, But Golden State is the Team
This series begins as the night cap to Saturday’s slate of playoff basketball at 8:30PM on ABC. According to Caesars, the Warriors are a 6.5 favorite at home for Game One with an over/under of 223. The moneyline currently sits at +210 for the Nuggets and -260 for the Warriors. ESPN’s Basketball Index gives the Warriors a 68.4% chance of winning Game One.
Shout out to Jokic for another stellar season which might grant him another MVP award. However, the Golden State Warriors are back and that’s scary. The Splash Brothers with an emerging Jordan Pool, Jonathan Kuminga, with Draymond Green manning the defense. With respect to Jokic, the Nuggets may get two games out of this series, but Warriors win this series in six games including Game One with Curry expected to play.