Warriors Vs. Nuggets Watch Guide: Lineups, Injuries and Player Usage

[CSNBY] Warriors vs. Nuggets Watch Guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage
Logan Murdock

Three days removed from the worst loss of the Steve Kerr era, the Warriors have an opportunity to keep their place atop the Western Conference with a win over the Nuggets Friday evening. 

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:00 with Warriors Outsiders Pregame, followed Warriors Pregame at 6:30 and a 7:30 tipoff from Oracle Arena. 

The last time the Warriors took the court, the reeling Celtics put a 128-95 beat down on the champs Tuesday night. The Dubs performance was lowlighted by poor defense and an overall lack of interest. 

Now, nursing a one-game lead over the Nuggets in the Western Conference, the Warriors hope to expand that margin Friday night. 

PROJECTED LINEUPS
Warriors
F Kevin Durant
F Draymond Green
C DeMarcus Cousins
G Alfonzo McKinnie
G Stephen Curry

Nuggets
F Paul Millsap
C Nikola Jokic
G Jamal Murray
G Gary Harris
G Will Barton

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Klay Thompson (right knee soreness) is probable, G Shaun Livingston (neck spasm) is probable, F Kevon Looney (right pelvic soreness), C Andrew Bogut (personal reasons) out, Damian Jones (left pectoral surgery) 

Celtics: F Trey Lyles (left hamstring strain) is out, F Michael Porter Jr. (lower back surgery) is out.

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors

With Thompson, Livingston and Looney back in the lineup, the Warriors should get a boost. 

However, for the champs to get back to their winning ways, their defensive effort needs to improve. 

Over their last five games, Golden State is giving up 111.4 points per contest, posting a 109.5 defensive rating. Throughout the stretch, the Warriors have looked disengaged on the defensive, routinely leading to easy buckets for the opposition. 

If the Warriors want to stay atop the Western Conference, those defensive habits will have to cease. 

Nuggets

Jokic is having a fantastic season, averaging 20.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists. He's also posted a 12 triple-doubles this season, second-highest total the league, including a 12 point, 17 rebound, 8 assist performance against the Lakers Wednesday evening. 

Millsap has also played well as of late, averaging 15.9 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.8 assists over his last eight games. 

Balancing the Nuggets attack is Murray, who has been a catalyst for Denver, averaging 18.3 points per game, shooting 37 percent from 3-point range. 

However, the Nuggets have struggled on the road, posting a 16-15 record away from Pepsi Center entering Friday. 
 

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