A season is comprised of numerous hurdles a team must overcome. Those seasons within a season that, when you add them up, make the difference between success and failure. Golden State got over one of those with Thursday’s 106-105 win over Denver.
It wasn’t just any old victory. It was a win over a team that had broken their spirit twice already. It was a win over a team many consider a lock to make the playoffs. The Nuggets, in many ways, are a barometer of where the Warriors stack up. And after Thursday, they can say they’re right there.
STEPHEN CURRY: “This is a team that’s had our number the last two games. They’re a playoff team and we have to beat those teams that have been there before. They have experience and talent and besides the last 15 minutes of the game in Denver, we’ve been pretty neck-and-neck.”
The Warriors and Denver likely won’t be a playoff match-up, unless one of these teams becomes a top four seed. But they’ve engaged in a playoff-caliber series. The Nuggets challenge the Warriors in a unique way. Denver is everything Golden State is not — long, athletic, explosive. They challenge the Warriors to be more physical, to play at a higher tempo, to overcome their weaknesses.
Kenneth Faried challenges David Lee. Stephen Curry has to bring it against Ty Lawson. Klay Thompson is the underdog against Andre Iguodala. Carl Landry is undersized against their two centers, Kosta Koufos and JaVale McGee. The Nuggets’ bench — Andre Miller, McGee, Corey Brewer, Jordan Hamilton, is good enough to challenge the Warriors’ claim of being deep.
The Nuggets are a tough match-up for Golden State.
JARRETT JACK: “It seems as if we’re developing a little bit of a rivalry with them. Two out of the three games have kind of been a dog fight game and battling tooth and nail. Even at their place, even though they kind of ran away with that at the end. But prior to that, it was a rough and tough game. Almost like an East Coast basketball game, guys throwing punch after punch after punch and luckily we were able to have the last one tonight.”
More on Thursday’s victory …