Warriors (W-L): 0-2
Jazz (W-L): 1-1
Time: 6:00pm PST
TV: FSN Bay Area Plus | Radio: KNBR 680
Vegas Odds: Jazz by 8.5 (as of 9:23am)
The Warriors are coming off a somewhat expected loss to the Utah Jazz in the season opener in Oakland (best Warriors loss eve experienced though!) and a completely inexcusable loss to the LA Clippers who I had pinned as the worst team in the Western Conference this season. It's only been two games, but just like early last year with Murphleavy the roster flaws on this team are obvious. They can't rebound, they can't defend, they get out-muscled especially in the paint way too easily, they don't have any low post options, they don't shoot the ball consistently well, their margin of error is extremely slim, and they're inexperienced. For two straight games they've played like they're one of the worst teams in the league.
So given this flawed assemblage of players how can the Warriors possibly win in a hostile and racist environment that's home to some of the league's worst fans? A few keys that I could only put together by stretching my imagination to its ultimate limits:
Get on Fire: Easier said than done of course, but the Warriors must shoot lights out. The Warriors can trade buckets with the Jazz (who they simply can't defend because of the poor matchups down low), but they have to be trading their 3's for the Jazz 2's. If they can't knock down their shots this game will be over faster than you can say "Kyrylo Fesenko".
Zone up the Jazz and feast on deflections and thefts: Make every entry pass difficult and keep those hands active. The Warriors were able to utterly confuse the Jazz with their 1-2-2 zone early last season for a big win at the Oracle even with Murphleavy. Zoning up the Jazz might be the only chance Nellie's team has tonight. My only worry is that Boozer really seems to know how to start his damage from the elbow this season. He was out-quicking and out-speeding (if those are words) Biedrins from the high post, so the Warriors will have to deny him that high.
Get the Jazz into Foul Trouble: They like to foul a TON. Sloan's squad led the league in fouls last year and I don't expect that to change this season. BD has to try to post up and be physical with Deron Williams and the Warriors have to penetrate and draw fouls on Carlos Boozer. The less minutes these two Jazz stars play, the better of a chance the Warriors have of pulling off this shocker.
- Go Smaller than Small: There's no point in trying to match the Jazz bigs by throwing out Andris Biedrins (Carlos Boozer's runway to the basket in the opener) or Patrick O'Bryant (he'll get eaten alive and frustrated easily). I'd trot out a starting 5 of BD, Monta, Matt Barnes, Kaz, and Harrington and just live and die by the jumper and a 1-2-2 zone defense with Matt Barnes at the top. Hopefully MP2 (5 for 10 on 3's this season) and Belinelli can knock down some 3's and create some turnovers off the bench. If the Warriors can get Boozer into foul trouble and on the bench, Biedrins should be able to step in and be effective.
- Warriors by 1 (longtime GSoMers know what that means)
- Baron Davis drops 20 points and 10 dimes.
- Matt Barnes (our prayers are with him and his family) bounces back from his early season struggles.
- The Warriors' D continues to shut down Jazz center Kyrylo Fesenko and hold him scoreless again in this rematch.
- Carlos Boozer goes for 30 points and 12 boards.
- The Warriors surrender over 115 points.
Let's get this W... somehow.
What are your predictions for today's game in Utah? Post them as well as your live game thoughts in the comments.
UPDATE: Warriors lose another "close" one 110-133.
Final Box Score
Stay tuned for the recap...