Previewing Game 6 of the Nuggets-Warriors first-round series.
1. Where We Are: Still pretty much where we were before Game 5. The Warriors have control of the series, up 3-2, and are headed back to the comfy confines of the asylum at Roaracle.
The Nuggets muscled the Warriors to an uncomfortable degree in Game 5, but the Warriors also missed shots most of the game. And when those shots fell in the fourth quarter, they closed it to a five-point lead with a few minutes left. Those shots will likely fall in Oracle, setting up a dramatic opportunity for Golden State to advance.
2. The Big Number: 50 percent. That's the number, via Synergy Sports, that the Warriors have shot on contested jump shots in this series. That shows you two things. 1) The Nuggets' contests aren't good enough to rattle or deter the Warriors, and 2) even when they are, the Warriors are hitting them anyway. Forget everything else -- that's the story. The Warriors hitting shots from everywhere often.
3. Key Adjustment: The Nuggets attacked the Warriors aggressively in pick-and-roll coverage and took away the jump shot. The Warriors couldn't adjust to getting the ball inside. That has to be the key in Game 6. They have to force the Nuggets to back off and protect the rim against Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green and Carl Landry. They have to react to the pick-and-roll coverage quickly. If open, shoot. If not, pass over and attack inside. Do that and everything opens and the Nuggets have no good options.
4. The Big Story: Hitmen and dirty plays and all of that nonsense. That's the only story going into this game. Mark Jackson's manipulation of the media by spinning a yarn about the Nuggets purposefully targeting Steph Curry and the Warriors being the victim will incite the crowd and, in his mind, hopefully influence the officials. It's masterful gamesmanship by Jackson, if totally disconnected from reality.
5. The Facts: 10:30 p.m. ET start time. Curry is probable with attempted assassination by the Manimal, Kenneth Faried.