Posted April 29, 2013 on AP on Fox
The Denver Nuggets left behind a hole in the wall just inside the visiting locker room at Oracle Arena, courtesy of frustrated forward Kenneth Faried's size 16 sneaker. Escaping the hole they're in against the Golden State Warriors won't be so easy. The sixth-seeded Warriors have won three straight games since losing All-Star David Lee, the league's leader in double-doubles, to a season-ending hip injury in the series opener. They're one win away from closing out George Karl's third-seeded band of speedsters who rolled into the playoffs on a 23-3 run and an NBA franchise-best 57-win season that included 23 straight home wins. Denver, which is facing the prospect of getting bounced from the first round for the ninth time in 10 years, had designs on a deep playoff run like they had in 2008-09 but have been outsmarted, outhustled, outshot and outrebounded this entire series. Only Andre Miller's twisting layup with a second left in Game 1 stands between the Nuggets and a four-game sweep. Golden State coach Mark Jackson surprised Karl with what was essentially a four-guard starting lineup for Game 2 and the Warriors haven't missed Lee - or many shots, for that matter - ever since. The Warriors were 3-18 when playing without Lee over the last three regular seasons but are 3-0 without him in the playoffs as Jackson's rotations have messed up Karl's matchups and many maneuvers. ''We're not doing things right and they're doing everything right,'' Miller said. Andrew Bogut's pre-eminence in the post after an injury-filled regular season in which he didn't play in any of Golden State's four games against Denver has been among the biggest surprises of the series. ''He's brought a defensive physicality to their front line,'' Karl said. The Nuggets have found no answers for Stephen Curry and the rest of the uncannily accurate Warriors, whose barrage of 3-point baskets, high shooting percentages and surprising dominance in the paint and on the glass have sapped the Nuggets' energy along with their vaunted transition game. ''When they come down and just hit 3s when you've just crossed halfcourt, you can't scheme around that. You can't stop that,'' Faried said. ''We just have to find a way to not let them do that.'' When someone suggested in the aftermath of Denver's 115-101 loss Sunday night that the good news is the Nuggets were heading back to the Pepsi Center for Game 5 Tuesday night, the flustered forward retorted, ''There's no good news.'' That about sums it up for Denver, which is on the verge of yet another early exit from the playoffs. This is the Nuggets' 10th straight trip to the postseason but they've advanced past the first round just once during that decade. Karl's counting on the homecourt helping the Nuggets snap out of their funk, noting ''it usually takes one game to turn around your confidence.'' Exhibit A in that argument is Golden State's Game 2 win when they handed the Nuggets their first home loss in three months, then rode that wave of momentum to two wins in Oakland. ''We do got them at home and I hope our crowd can get as loud as their crowd was,'' Faried said. ''It was deafening. You really can't hear much and their crowd really gets behind them. I respect that. Our crowd really gets behind us when we get going. Hopefully we can feed off ours and show them a thing or two.'' A Nuggets win might also finally put some pressure on the Warriors, who have relished the underdog role so far while showing not a bit of nerves despite being the playoff newbies they are. Faried has an idea of what has to change Tuesday night, besides the venue. ''Everything,'' he said. ''We just need to throw everything out the book and come back with a better game plan. Right now we're not playing Nuggets basketball. We're not looking for the open man. It just looked bad out there.'' Curry is leading the charge for Golden State. He has swished 18 3-pointers, more than any player in NBA history in the first four playoff games of his career. And he scored 22 of his career playoff-high 31 points in the decisive third quarter Sunday night. By no means is he a one-man show, though. ''I'll probably start on him the next game,'' Andre Iguodala said. ''We'll try that. But when you look at it, he's not the only one hurting us. He's making a lot of plays, making some great shots. Give him credit but Jarrett Jack's playing really well for them. Bogut was incredible for them in the first quarter. (Harrison) Barnes has hurt us, as well. It's not just one guy. ''Our team defense needs to improve and we have to trust one another. It comes down to the basics of basketball.'' Curry keeps springing free no matter who's guarding him, and Karl said he's not ruling anything out for Game 5: ''I think everybody's an option. That's the way it has to be when you're down 3-1. Two minutes here, two minutes there, you have to be ready. Whatever buttons we push, everybody has to be ready to go.'' While Faried had a heavy wrap around his left ankle and foot when he walked through the hotel lobby Monday, Curry is sporting a puffy right eye, which was accidentally poked by Corey Brewer late in the last game, to go with a sprained left ankle of his own. ''It's the playoffs. You don't have time for excuses,'' said Curry, who got a pain injection in his ankle before tip-off. ''As long as you can play and suit up you got to take advantage of the opportunity.'' There's no reason to think Curry will be hampered Tuesday night. ''I saw him in the lounge, and he's doing fine,'' Jackson said Monday. ''Obviously, he's not going to be doing much today, but it's important for him to get treatment, get ready and be ready for tomorrow night because we certainly need him.'' Jackson knows a close-out game with a young team is going to be an adventure, and the Warriors are certainly expecting the Nuggets' best shot in Game 5. ''We have to treat it as if it's a Game 7 situation because that's what they're going to (do),'' Jack said. ''They have a great coach. George Karl is going to have them prepared too, so we're anticipating the biggest fight of the season we've had all year on our hands.'' --- AP Sports Writer Antonio Gonzalez contributed. --- Arnie Stapleton can be reached at:

Kenneth Faried Kicked A Hole In Wall After Sunday’s Loss Against Golden State (Photo)

Denver Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried should feel frustrated, after all he returned – from an ankle injury – to the Nuggets lineup just as David Lee – who suffered a season-ending injury – left the series. Denver is the no. 3 seed, but you wouldn’t know it if you turned into Sunday’s night game between Denver [...]The post Kenneth Faried Kicked A Hole In Wall After Sunday’s...

Nuggets Forward Kenneth Faried Kicks Hole in Wall After Game 4 Loss to Warriors (Photo)

Opposing players must really hate the walls at Oracle Arena. Much like the oil cans stacked behind Steve Martin in The Jerk, the walls at the arena in Oakland have suffered some incidental damages over the years as a result of the pesky Warriors. First, there was Dirk Nowitzki opening up a gash with a trash can after the Dubs upset the top-seeded Mavericks in the 2007 playoffs...

Kenneth Faried kicked a hole in locker room wall

Kenneth Faried was none too pleased with his Nuggets losing to the Warriors 115-101 on Sunday and the visitors locker room at Oracle Arena was the unfortunate recipient of some misguided anger.  Kenneth Faried reportedly did some kicking of the locker room walls and he left his mark.  Golden State leads the playoff series 3-1. #bbpBox_328738620766822400 a { text-decoration:none...

Faried kicks hole in locker room wall

The Nuggets' Kenneth Faried is a fiery guy, known by many as the team's emotional leader. So with him team suddenly down 3-1 to the Golden State Warriors in their first-round playoff series, it wouldn't be surprising if Faried wanted to give some teammates a swift kick in the pants. But after Sunday night's postgame display, he may not need to kick any butts -- we...

Andrew Bogut pushes Kenneth Faried in the neck for flagrant foul

There are flagrant fouls and then there are flagrant fouls… During game five between the Golden State Warriors/Denver Nuggets, Warriors center Andrew Bogut was called for a flagrant one foul when he pushed Denver forward Kenneth Faried in the neck/throat region:

Andrew Bogut Gets A Flagrant-1 For Shove On Kenneth Faried (Video)

Denver Nuggets are in an elimination game atmosphere during Game 5 of the Golden State Warriors of the Western Conference quarterfinals on Tuesday in Denver; Denver looked like a completely different team as they came out of the game with defensive pressure, a new starting lineup, and precise execution.  The increased effort may have gotten to Andrew [...]The post Andrew Bogut...

Nuggets avoid elimination with win

Kenneth Faried brought the energy and the Denver Nuggets rediscovered their toughness in time to stave off elimination Tuesday night with a 107-100 win over the Golden State Warriors.

Kenneth Faried kicked hole in the wall after Nuggets loss in Game 5 (Picture)

The Denver Nuggets are facing elimination after losing their third straight game to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night, giving the Warriors a 3-1 series lead. After David Lee was lost for the year with an injury during the first game of the playoffs, it seemed like Denver would have the upper hand. That has not been the case. Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried has played well...

Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried left a hole in the wall after playoffs loss to Warriors

The hole in the visitor locker room wall, courtesy of Denver’s Kenneth Faried. — Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 29, 2013 Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried took out his anger following Game 4′s 115-101 loss to the Golden State Warriors by kicking a hole in the visitors locker room according to USA Today’s Sam Amick. Asked if he kicked it with his ailing left...

Warriors, Nuggets accuse each other of playing dirty in Game 5

Game 5 saw tempers flare on several occasions from both the Nuggets and Warriors, and the emotions spilled over into the postgame press conferences. While giving the Nuggets their due for outplaying the Warriors, Mark Jackson also dropped this, uh, nugget, per Marcus Thompson: “They were the more physical team. They were the aggressor. … They tried to send hit men on (Curry...

Mark Jackson: Denver Nuggets sent ‘hitmen’ on Steph Curry

Mark Jackson complained after the Golden State Warriors’ 107-100 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night that Denver sent “hitmen” at his best player, Steph Curry. “[They] tried to send ‘hitmen’ on Steph [Curry],” Jackson said after the game. When asked to elaborate, Jackson did. “There were some dirty plays earlier. It’s playoff basketball, that’s alright...

Warriors, Nuggets Accuse Each Other Of 'Dirty Plays'

Mark Jackson accused the Denver Nuggets of taking cheap shots at Stephen Curry during the Golden State Warriors' loss in Game 5. Jackson said that Denver people warned him of what would take place with "inside info". "They tried to send hit men on Steph," said Jackson. "It wasn't magic, they outplayed us." Curry agreed that he seemed targeted...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.