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Warriors vs. Jazz Preview: Oh dear

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This probably won’t go well!

2021 NBA All-Star - MTN DEW 3-Point Contest Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors have only played one game since the All-Star break, but Steph Curry is more familiar with the Utah Jazz than just about any team. That’s because Curry spent the break with three members of the Jazz.

Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Mike Conley Jr. all made the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, leaving Utah with more selections than any other team. And now Curry — the Dubs’ lone All-Star — gets to see them all again, but this time in a game that matters.

Oh joy.

The deets

Who: Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz

When: 1:00 p.m. PT

Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California

TV: NBA TV and NBC Sports Bay Area

Projected starting lineups:

Warriors: Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney
Jazz: Mike Conley Jr., Donovan Mitchell, Royce O’Neal, Bojan Bogdanović, Rudy Gobert

The story

The Warriors have lost four games in a row, and they have not been particularly competitive in those games. The problem seems to be that the Warriors have faced really good teams, and don’t know how to compete against really good teams. That would be an issue.

Those four losses feature a 26-point loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, a 26-point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, and a 22-point loss to the Phoenix Suns.

That’s three of the top four teams in the Western Conference. The fourth (and best)? Utah.

So Golden State needs to do a gigantic 180 on Sunday and reverse a troubling trend.

Players to watch

Warrior to watch: Draymond Green.

Green’s first game out of the break was not good. Then again, no one’s first game back was good. The Jazz don’t play a traditional style of star-centric basketball, but they do have three players playing like stars. The Warriors have one, and they need a second. That’s where Green needs to come into play.

Jazz musician to watch: Rudy Gobert.

The Warriors have struggled with good centers all year, and Gobert is a very good one. Can Kevon Looney and James Wiseman keep Gobert from getting easy lobs at the rim? Will the Warriors offense be willing to attack the paint, or will they be scared into low-efficiency shots? Can anyone keep Gobert off the glass?

Matchup to watch: Steph Curry vs. Mike Conley Jr.

It’s rare that we get to see Curry match up with another strong point guard and have the two guard each other, but that’s likely what we’ll get this game. It should be a treat.

Keys to victory

  • Don’t play like the game is lost before it is actually lost
  • Hold Donovan Mitchell to an inefficient game
  • Shoot a better three-point percentage than Utah
  • Don’t get massacred on the glass

Good luck everyone.