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OPEN THREAD: Game 53 - Warriors @ Jazz

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Warriors (W-L): 32-20

Jazz (W-L): 34-19

Time: 6:00pm PST

TV: FSN Bay Area

Radio: KNBR 680

With the Warrior's 5 day vacation coming to an end, (where they enjoyed some sun and relaxation), we now embark on the second half of the season. Tied in 7th place with Houston and Denver, it's now time to determine whether or not this season is a success. As cliché as it sounds, every game is do or die and unfortunately we have to square off with the one team I fear the most ... the Utah Jazz.    

But before I begin, if you were on vacation, working, or stuck in a hole, then I understand if you haven't had a chance to see the video replays of the 2008 All Star Dunk competition. In layman's terms, Dwight Howard was absolutely sick! He made this year's dunk competition one to remember and it was sure as hell fun rooting for such a great guy. But the highlight of the video clip below is the evidence that we actually did have a Warrior present at the all star game. At 5 minutes and 40 seconds you can see that our very own Warrior Mascot "Thunder" was there sporting a Baron jersey.

Jump!

Positives about our Warriors not playing in the All-star game? We needed the rest. While it feels like we're playing an 8 man rotation, it's nice to know that Baron and company had time to relax to make a strong push to secure a playoff position. But we are facing the Utah Jazz in their home court who, incidentally, have a 12 game win streak there. Losing the two previous encounters earlier this year, it's going to take a lot to control Boozer and Williams if we want a fighting chance. But the way I look at it, we're going to have to beat very good teams like these to be considered a good team ourselves. Might as well start here!

With the vacation however, I'm worried the Warriors might come out playing like this: (Warning, this might not be suitable for people who just ate)

I can't really laugh, these guys are better then me!

All jokes aside, I really can't stand the Jazz. It's not just the way they beat us in the playoffs last year, it's a combination of how they always beat us and Carlos Boozer. While I don't hate Boozer as much as I hate Joaquim "Can't Play" Noah, I can't stomach the fact the Jazz are a game and a half ahead of us in the standings. But one thing is clear; it's always fun watching these two teams battle it out.

Key matchups for tonight will be Baron vs. Williams. While I think Williams is a fantastic player, I'm still bitter over the fact that Baron didn't make the All Star team so I'll be looking to him to come out strong. I also want to see Monta continue to dominate and keep up the high percentage shooting. I can't wait to see what Nellie does to use Webber and Beans to control Boozer. Most importantly, I can't wait for this game; let's do this Warriors!

YaoButtaMing's Prize: With the success of my last preview, I'm going to start tallying the winners of my predictions in every preview, to hand out awards at the end of the year. ON THE RUN won the first ever award so here's tonight's challenge: Total combined team rebounds for the game. Add up the Warriors and the Jazz. If there is a tie, please tell me how many points Baron and Monta will score combined. Good Luck and GO WARRIORS!