The Golden State Warriors (53-29, 31-10 home) host the Denver Nuggets (48-34, 25-16 away) in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs. The Western Conference matchup features the three-seed Warriors in a best-of-seven series against the sixth-seeded Nuggets. Denver got the best of Golden State during the regular season, winning three of four matchups.
Saturday’s tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. EST inside the Chase Center in San Francisco, CA. The Warriors are a 6.5-point favorite, and the over-under total is at 223 points.
What to Know – Denver Nuggets
Denver wrapped up the regular season with a 6-4 record over their final ten games. The Nuggets are back in the postseason for the fourth year in a row, looking for the franchise’s first NBA title.
The Nuggets were sixth in the West, scoring 112.7 points per game, shooting 48.3% from the field and 35.3% from beyond the arc. Denver’s defense allowed 110.4 points per game, 47.0% shooting from the floor and 34.6% from the 3-point line.
Nikola Jokic leads a balanced scoring attack for the Nuggets, with seven players averaging near double-figures. Jokic is the headliner, scoring 27.1 points while also pulling down 13.8 rebounds and dishing 7.9 assists per game. Aaron Gordon (15.0 ppg) and Will Barton (14.7 ppg) are right behind Jokic in scoring for Denver.
Denver is 6-12 against the spread over its last 18 games and 3-9 ATS over its previous 12 against the Warriors.
What to Know – Golden State Warriors
The Warriors return to the postseason, winning their final five games of the regular season. Golden State missed the playoffs the last two years but is back and searching for their seventh NBA title and fourth in the last ten years. All-Star Steph Curry hasn’t suited up for the Warriors since March 16th but is expected to be in the starting lineup Saturday night.
Golden State was eighth in the conference averaging 111.0 points per game behind 46.9% shooting from the floor and 36.4% from deep. The Warriors’ defense limited foes to 105.5 points per game, 43.9% shooting from the field and 33.9% from three.
With Curry in the lineup, the Warriors get their leading scorer back for the postseason. Curry averaged 25.5 points per game before the injury. Klay Thompson missed half of the season but is also healthy, and the veteran guard poured in 20.4 ppg over 32 games.
The Warriors are 5-1 ATS over their last six games and 5-2 ATS in their previous seven games against Denver at home.
The Pick is In
Jokic versus Curry is the matchup NBA fans are clamoring to see as two of the league’s best scorers go head-to-head. Denver had the Warriors’ number during the regular season, and the Nuggets have the depth and talent to match up well against Golden State.
The Warriors are a tough out at home, but Denver keeps this one close thanks to Jokic’s offensive production.
The Pick: Denver Nuggets +6.5