Insider offers a breakdown of every playoff series using an expert combination of scouting from Amin Elhassan and advanced metrics from Bradford Doolittle to answer three crucial questions. Also included are predictions from the writers and the classic Log5 formula for determining matchup probabilities.
Both Denver and Golden State experienced wildly successful seasons, relative to their recent histories. The Nuggets won a franchise-record 57 games (NBA), secured their first home-court advantage since 2010 and highest seeding since 2009.
The Warriors secured their second playoff berth in the past 19 years and their first since 2007. Both teams want to push tempo and get up and down the court, and as such both are underrated defensive teams (since the All-Star break Denver and Golden State have ranked sixth and seventh in defensive efficiency, respectively). Offensively, between the Nuggets' aerial acrobatics and the Warriors' 3-point abilities, this figures to be one of the most entertaining series in the first round.
Golden State Warriors (6) at Denver Nuggets (3)
Western Conference playoffs