Playoff Recap: Game 1: Warriors 112, Jazz 116 - Within distance...

Yahoo! Final Boxscore

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Further proof of the Warriors' teamwork and chemistry in action.
(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

I can't think of the last time the Warriors had four players hit twenty points and NOT win.  Despite Barnes and JRich notching double doubles (20-10 and 21-10 respectively) and Harrington finally contributing on the defensive AND offensive end, pouring in 21 points on 4-7 shooting from way out, the Jazz's disciplined play proved to be a little too much for the Warriors this game.  In a battle of coaching masterminds, it was speed and athleticism versus plodding, physical half court sets.   It was a tough loss to witness, but, in my mind, the Warriors lost this one on their own.  Not to sound like the bitter Mavs fans, but the unforced errors were equally costing to anything the Jazz did.

Warriors Jazz Basketball
Jazz continue to be a physical team.
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

To to the credit of the Jazz, they were, however, able to limit the Warriors' bread and butter: fast break points and points in the paint.  The Jazz were active on defense, collapsing on driving Warriors-- with active hands either poking the ball out of their hands or straight up blocking it en route to a Jazz fastbreak.  Jax and JRich especially seemed prone to getting picked.  At one point, Jax was in the triple threat position in front of Boozer and Boozer just took it out of his hands, leaving Jax confused and complaining to the refs as the Jazz headed down the other way!  I was hoping for a JRich Rookie-Sophmore game move, with Jax bouncing it off Boozer's head, but alas... not tonight,

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Dee Brown putting a hex on the Warriors in the second half.
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Jazz also owned the Warriors in the rebounding department.  Boozer (20 rbs) and Okur (11)  ALONE accounted for almost as many rebounds as the Warriors had altogether (36).  The Warriors swarming defense on driving Jazz players led to some impressive blocks, but for someone reason the ball always managed to fall back into the hands of a Jazz player, leading to easy put backs.  As cliche as it may sound, the ball simply didn't bounce the Warriors way.

But as disappointing of a loss as it might seem, the Warriors hung tight almost the whole game and probably were in command for most of the second half though I wouldn't necessarily say that they controlled the tempo to the way they would prefer.  Barnes continued to drain some threes, dropping some pretty touch passes to a cutting Biedrins or open man in the corner.  But didn't it kill you to see him lazily drop a pass to an unexpecting Davis with Deron Williams standing right there?  Jax had some nice drives to the hoop, knifing through 2-3 Jazz defenders.  But didn't it drive you nuts that every other time he handled the rock, some Jazz player just took it out of his hands?  Our leader Davis owned the Jazz in the first half and for parts of the second, but why did he revert to pounding the ball and taking long jumpers in the 4th quarter?  Was he hesitant on driving on the Euro towers?  Was it because he was hamstrung?  JRich hit some nice shots, but wasn't it prettier seeing him taking it strong later on in the second half?  The enigma that seems to be Warriors basketball-- something I may never understand-- is how they are equal parts dazzling and sloppy/short sighted.  The contradictions of the great defense and errant shooting or turnovers by dribbling it off their own foot (we've seen time and time again last series and today) seemed to keep the Jazz in the game long enough to mount their run in the last few minutes.

It's apparent that the Warriors can run (or not run actually) with the Jazz and even match up with them physically!  Funny, the Warriors ability to go head to head or toe to toe with the Jazz makes me think the Mavs are WAY softer than I once thought.  Hopefully, the Warriors will be more prepared for the next game and hopefully learn from what seem like easily fixable errors.  

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Only way to stop Harrington tonight...
(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Was by doing this!
(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)



TMNHarrington.  The guy came in a jumpstarted the Warriors in the first quarter then went on another tear in the second half keeping the Warriors close both times.  Although little shows up in the box score besides all his points, he played some tough defense against Boozer, getting a couple key blocks along the way.  Other Warriors are also definitely deserving, but I thought it might be nice to give it up to the guy after his first series struggles.  Here's to you, Harrington!


Also see: Playoff Open Thread-Game 1#: Warriors @ Jazz - This is Why I'm HOT!

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