As the Nuggets look towards tonight’s Game 2 a big key will again be limiting the damage Stephen Curry does, especially now that David Lee, the team’s second leading scorer this season and thorn in the Nuggets side, is out for the rest of the season. On the Nuggets side of things Kenneth Faried is expected to play in Game 2, though he probably will not be in the starting lineup.
As a look ahead for Game 2, I went back to Game 1 and took a look at all of Steph Curry’s shots to see if what the Nuggets did was replicable or if it was more of a matter of Curry just missing open shots. Below is a short breakdown of each shot.
Shot 1: Missed Off Balance Runner from outside paint
The Nuggets trapped a high pick-and-roll on this play forcing the shot clock down a bit and Curry into a tough shot. Good Job by Denver.
Shot 2: Missed Runner from the middle of the lane
The Nuggets switched a dribble handoff between Curry and Jarrett Jack leaving Andre Miller a step behind Curry. But Wilson Chandler was in the area and rotated properly contesting the runner Curry attempted. Good Job for Denver.
Shot 3: Missed 3 from right wing
Curry shook away from Ty Lawson off the ball and caught a pass on the right wing. Kosta Koufos rotated off his man who threw the pass and semi contested the shot. Ok Job by Denver.
Shot 4: Missed 3 from right wing.
Andre Miller was trailing Curry through a screen and thanks to a bit of a bad pass was able to give a decent contest to the shot that missed long. Ok Job by Denver.
Shot 5: Missed jumper from left elbow
Curry caught the ball after coming off a Bogut screen and immediately used a screen from Carl Landry. But Anthony Randolph was there to contest the shot. Good job by the Nuggets.
Shot 6: Missed stepback jumper from left wing
Lawson stayed with Curry well inside the arc, forcing Curry to try a stepback jumper that he missed. Good Job by Denver.
Shot 7: Miss 3 from the left corner
Curry caught the ball in the left corner free in transition. After a pump fake sent Corey Brewer flying by, Curry got off a wide open three. Denver got lucky.
Shot 8: Stepback 3 from top of the key
Curry caught Lawson leaning and pulled a nice through the legs stepback but Lawson was able to recover and contest the shot. Good job by Denver.
Shot 9: Missed runner from right side of lane.
Curry tried to use a pick from David Lee and was hounded by Lawson. He eventually got by Ty but Chandler stepped in and helped, forcing Curry to take the runner over his outstretched arms. Good job by Denver.
Shot 10: Made 3 from left corner
The Nuggets got hit with the elevator screen play and Curry got wide open in the left corner. Corey Brewer made an effort to contest but it was way too late. Bad Job by Denver.
Shot 11: Made 3 from left corner
Curry started the play with the ball before giving it up and going to set a screen for Klay Thompson in the corner. Ty Lawson switched the screen and trailed Thompson to the block but Evan Fournier stayed with Thompson leaving Curry wide open for the three. Bad Job by Denver.
Shot 12: Made 3 from right wing.
Curry dribbled around for a while in transition before launching a jumper over the outstretched arms of Iguodala, who picked him up mid play. Good Job by Denver.
Shot 13: Made floater from in front of rim
Lawson let Curry catch the ball in the left corner after penetration from Jack and closed out a bit too hard. Curry took advantage driving to the middle of the floor and beating Wilson Chandler before lofting a floater that he swished. Bad Job by Denver.
Shot 14: Made 3 from right wing
Curry broke down Corey Brewer after a gorgeous behind the back dribble and nailed the wide open three. Bad Job by Denver.
Shot 15: Missed floater in middle of lane
Curry got Lawson on a switched pick-and-roll and broke him down into the paint. But Kosta Koufos rotated up and contested the Curry floater. Good Job by Denver.
Shot 16: Made layup
After a missed Brewer three Curry ran out and got a wide open transition layup when Denver didn’t balance the floor. Bad Job by Denver.
Shot 17: Missed floater from right side of lane coming middle
Curry got Chandler on him after a switch and was able to beat him but Koufos came over in time to make Curry have to settle for a tough floater.Good Job by Denver.
Shot 18: Pull-up jumper in transition.
Curry pulled-up and shot a three over Wilson Chandler in transition. Chandler did well to not get caught backing up and was able to contest the shot. Good Job by Denver.
Shot 19: Missed 3 from right wing.
Curry came off a double screen and got a pretty good look on the three. The Nuggets switched the initial screen leaving Chandler on Curry and tried to switch the second to have Iguodala pick him up. But Iggy got stuck in the screens and Curry got a semi-clean look. Ok Job by Denver.
Shot 20: Made 3 from left corner
The Warriors tried the elevator doors screen again and Lawson did a good job to get through it. But when Jarrett Jack penetrated the middle Lawson got caught in no man’s land allowing the pass to Curry. He then compounded the issue by biting on the pump fake and gave up the made three. Bad Job by Denver.
The final numbers based on what I saw came in this way:
Good Job: 10
Ok Job: 3
Bad Job: 6
So the Nuggets did a pretty good job of making Curry’s life difficult in Game 1. Curry will eventually hit some contested jumpers but the Nuggets must make as many of his shots as possible contested. Their Game 1 effort is definitely replicable and they actually should improve a bit. Now that the Nuggets second toughest matchup in Lee is gone the series may very well come down to how Curry shoots.