DENVER -- There was noticeable energy at the Warriors' first playoff practice, held at a fitness center inside their hotel.

"You can tell it's different," point guard Stephen Curry said. "Hopefully our preparation today and tomorrow leading up to the game will be as normal as possible."

Eve-of-playoffs adrenaline or did the scheme to combat the altitude issue work?

The Warriors attempted to adjust to the thin air by coming to Denver a day early. Normally, Golden State would fly the day before the game. This time, they flew two days early, even though they had just gotten back from Portland the night before.

They had a meeting Thursday night, ate dinner together, and got to breathe the cold, mountain air for an evening. Friday, they got to practice and break a sweat to try to get accustomed.

"I don't know how you prepare for it," guard Jarrett Jack said. "You just need to be in it to get used to it."

Whether it makes a difference remains to be seen. But it fits Mark Jackson's anti-establishment approach to coaching.

Many a coach would probably have stuck to the process that got them there. Center Andrew Bogut said the last time he went to the playoffs, in 2006 with Milwaukee, they didn't do anything differently.

But Jackson, as he has said repeatedly, is not your traditional coach.


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  • The other day, forward David Lee tweeted a picture from ESPN magazine. It was their NBA predictions. The Warriors were predicted to have 27.7 wins and finish 13th in the Western Conference. ESPN gave the Warriors a zero percent chance of making the playoffs.

    But now, it seems the Warriors are ESPN darlings. Curry sat down with Mark Jones and Doris Burke, the broadcasters doing Game 1, before practice. Curry was then scheduled to go on the Scott Van Pelt show and Lee went on Mark Schlereth's show.

    And to top it off, Skip Bayless picked the Warriors to win the series in seven games.

  • On Thursday, when asked if his left ankle was ready to run with the Nuggets, Bogut said "we'll see." Friday, his tune changed.

    "I'm here, so I'm ready," Bogut said. "A lot of guys come into the playoffs banged up."

  • Words of wisdom from Richard Jefferson, the most experienced player on the team. He said the Warriors are prepared:

    "Our coaching staff has done as good a job as I've seen since I've been in the league. We had to fight for the sixth spot, and sometimes that's good because you get a mentality of aggression very early, before the playoffs even came. When you're fighting the last two weeks, you understand the severity of losses. Obviously it increases, but we didn't clinch the spot and the rest our guys the last three games. We were fighting the very last game to get wins."

  • Curry echoed his coach's high praise of Nuggets veteran guard Andre Miller. Jackson called him the most underrated point guard in league history.

    "He's just smart," Curry said. "He's efficient. He knows how to get to where he wants to go on the floor. He's good at deception. Pump fakes, change of speed. That's a big deal in basketball -- if your IQ is great and you're in the right spot, no matter how fast you got there or how athletic you are."