What invasion?

Adam Ida turned up to Ball Arena expecting strength in numbers. Surrounded by his own people. That if the going got tough, the crowd was going to have his back.

Did we mention Ida’s a Golden State Warriors fan?

“I thought it was going to be like, one in 10 (Golden State supporters), maybe,” Ida, a California native who moved to Castle Pines last year, told The Post about an hour before the Nuggets and Warriors tipped off Game 3 of their NBA playoffs series Thursday night.

“But it seems like this is closer to a home game.”

A Warriors home game?

Not hardly.

“I’m a little embarrassed for Nuggets fans,” Ida continued.

Don’t be, pal.

They showed up.

Big-time.

“I (was) like ‘Wait, you guys aren’t even going to the game?’” Ida wondered, incredulously. “I don’t understand. They’re just like, ‘Yeah, whatever, we’ll wait for Broncos season.’”

Only they didn’t.

I mean, did you hear those roars when Nikola Jokic got silky in the lane? And the boos when the refs missed Draymond Green’s Hack-A-Joker act for the umpteenth time?

Seriously.

What invasion?

The Golden State takeover that Nuggets coach Michael Malone had feared on Wednesday — “I imagine this place is going to be half-filled with Warriors fans,” he declared, and the wonks by the Bay giggled — never quite materialized.

According to SFGate.com, 52% of StubHub.com buyers looking for Game 3 tickets on the secondary market hailed from Colorado. But based on the eye and ear tests, that expected incursion of Warriors faithful appeared to account for about 30-35% of the crowd at the outset. At best.

Not that they didn’t make themselves heard, mind you. After all, for Dub Nation, at least the ones who live east of Stockton, Thursday wasn’t just cheaper than a ticket to San Francisco’s Chase Center. It was more drivable.

Natalie and Michael Buchanon hopped up from Albuquerque wearing matching blue Warriors jerseys. Their pair of tickets — snatched up for around $150 apiece — were a present from the former to the latter.

“It’ll go five (games),” Michael said of the Nuggets-Warriors showdown. “I think (Thursday’s) going to be super-cool.”

It sure as heck wasn’t boring for the Brave family, who arrived after a 6-hour car ride from South Dakota as a two-man party with split loyalties.

Father Troy grew up here and sported a dark navy Nuggets sweatshirt. His son Riley, 12, came to Chopper Circle in a blue Warriors jersey.

“When he was little, he wasn’t a (Golden State) fan,” Troy explained. “But once they got (Steph) Curry and they started winning, you know, the kids are just Curry fanatics.

“(Warriors) fans are just everywhere now, especially the younger ones, just because of the run they had, with their championships.”

Naturally, Riley’s become a trash-talker par excellence.

“He’ll say, ‘Dad, look at the score,’” Troy said with a laugh.

Father and son rarely miss a game. Mind you, because they also live in South Dakota, they can watch the tilts on Altitude TV whenever they like.

“Which you can’t get here — it’s just crazy,” Troy said, shaking his head. “It’s ridiculous.”

Isn’t it though? The Nuggets have no one to blame for that but themselves on that front. The legal scrum with Comcast has kept a young, exciting, competitive roster with the franchise’s first NBA MVP off too many home television screens in the market for three years now.

If Jokic played in Boston or Los Angeles, he’d have a highway named after him by now. It’s awfully hard to build a following when you’d prefer to pick a fight over cash than cultivate a fan base.

From a branding standpoint, there’s no reason why the Nuggets couldn’t be more like the Warriors, the very definition of NBA new money. A franchise that, despite its market size, wasn’t much sexier nationally, 15 years ago, than its oft-mocked neighbors in sleepy Sacramento.

That is, until Steph hit the scene.

His Warriors are the team of the decade, Gen Y’s Bulls, powered by a shooter (Curry) who could match Larry Bird in his prime and a defense-first big man (Green), a 6-foot-6 Bill Russell who’s seeking his fourth ring over 10 seasons in Northern California.

It also doesn’t hurt that the locals can find them on local TV. The most Comcast and Dish Network subscribers around here have seen of Jamal Murray on the tube in recent months has been through those Orchard.com home finance commercials, huddling up and giving high-fives to an imaginary local family.

Who, once they settle into that new home and set up their 4K television there, can’t find the Nuggets game — unless they also happen to have Direct TV.

Their team down 2-0, those fans showed up anyway.

Loud and proud.

“If there’s a game to win, it’s gonna be (Thursday),” Troy said. “Because we’ve got our backs against the wall.”

A team. A town.

What invasion?



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