After a one-week absence from the court to attend Camp Kerr, the Warriors (2-1) return to action Friday night against the Nuggets (2-2) at Pepsi Center in Denver.
In their last game, on Oct. 6, a 105-96 win over Sacramento at SAP Center in San Jose, the Warriors were vulnerable in the paint, with Kings center DeMarcus Cousins generally having his way with Zaza Pachulia and all other defenders.
That area will be spotlighted again Friday, as Denver has two talented young big men in Jusuf Nurkic and Nikola Jokic. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the team spent considerable time working on defensive strategies, presumably to keep shooters away from the rim.
While Kerr has settled on a starting lineup, Nuggets coach Michael Malone continues to experiment with his shooting guards, though Will Barton, the sixth man last season, is expected to start on Friday.
Warriors by 7.5
Warriors: F Kevin Durant, F Draymond Green, C Zaza Pachulia, G Klay Thompson, G Stephen Curry.
Nuggets: F Danilo Gallinari, F Nikola Jokic, C Jusuf Nurkic, G Will Barton, G Emmanuel Mudiay.
Warriors: G Shaun Livingston (rest), C Damian Jones (R pectoral surgery) and G Elliot Williams (R knee surgery) are listed as out.
Nuggets: F Darrell Arthur (knee) and G Gary Harris (groin) are listed as out.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
1) While the Warriors over the past week went back to work on offensive and defensive principles, guard Stephen Curry missed two full practices with flu-like symptoms. Will the rust show?
2) The Warriors committed 65 turnovers in their first three games, a total indicative of their efforts to integrate new starters Kevin Durant and Pachulia. It’s another area they’ve worked on. Will there be visible improvement?
3) The Warriors, as they always do, will unleash the Death Lineup, a sleek unit featuring Draymond Green at center and Durant at power forward. Will the Nuggets respond by going small, or will they stay with their strength, which is playing Jokic (6-foot-10, 250) and Nurkic (7 feet, 280) together?