The Warriors are shooting a blazing 61 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from the three-point line in order to help mitigate the loss of their first All-Star since 1997, David Lee. The Nuggets are shooting well in their own regard led by Ty Lawson, who has 13 points through the first two frames.
Surprisingly, Golden State is leading the rebounding margin, 21-14 without Lee thus far. If that continues, they will have an opportunity to steal a critical game at one of the toughest road venues in the NBA.
Our own Roger Sherman broke down some keys to the game in this excellent preview. Let's revisit them at the half:
1. How do the Warriors adapt to the loss of David Lee?
The Warriors went small to start the game with Jarrett Jack serving as the third guard. Head coach Mark Jackson is platooning Carl Landry and Draymon Green to fill the void down low, and it's working to an extent. the pair have a combined eight points and five off the bench.
Andrew Bogut stepped up to help mitigate the loss of Lee and finished the half with a strong performance, notching four points and grabbing six boards.
2. What will Kenneth Faried do in his return?
The Manimal is a complete non-factor at this point, and is still feeling the effects of his ankle injury in his first playoff action. He didn't draw the start as George Karl is easing him back into game action and finished with zero points and one steal in 11 minutes.
3. Can Golden State stop Denver's guards?
You can only contain a player with incredible speed like Ty Lawson, and that's exactly what the Warriors are doing to maintain the lead. He's still getting into the paint and has had a strong half with seven assists to go along with his 6-of-11 shooting performance. Evan Fournier drew the start for Faried and Andre Iguodala is starting as the small forward. They combined for 14 first half points.
So far, the Warriors are countering Denver's offense with more offense. The second half will provide the answer as to whether or not they can keep that up.