clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Utah Jazz pay a visit to the bottom dwelling Golden State warriors

No more Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. Can Utah take advantage of the injury-plagued Warriors?

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Times are hard for Warriors fans, because this season has forced them to unpack their Lakers jerseys. Combine that with the Yankees losing in the ALCS last month, the Patriots being dealt a crushing defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, and the Alabama Crimson Tide being dispatched by the LSU Tigers, and it’s been a rough month for bandwagon fans everywhere.

The general consensus among NBA writers and fans was that the Warriors were not serious title contenders, but were a lock to make the playoffs as a 6-8 seed. I certainly thought this, as the Warriors still had Steph Curry, Draymond Green, D'Angelo Russell, Kevon Looney, and Willey Cauley-Stein. Oh, and former Jazzman Alec Burks, of course. That's a pretty decent core. Not a championship core, but definitely good.

Problem is, four of those guys are injured, and the Dubs look more like the Warriors who play in Santa Cruz than the guys in San Francisco. The Jazz should crush this team. Key word being "should."

Game Info

When: Monday, November 11, 2019 • 8:30pm MT

Where: Chase Center • San Francisco, CA

TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain

Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone

What to Watch For

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Defense on D'Angelo Russell

The Warriors' only man left who can reliably score is D'Angelo Russell. The Jazz need to lock him down and dare the other Warriors to shoot. D’Angelo Russell is averaging 25.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 6.3 assist per game on an eFG% of 51.8%. He’s been amazing. He’s the Warriors main point of attack. He’s also motivated. He’s playing to get traded when the December trade date rolls around when contracts that were signed over the summer can be moved out.

While he is a fierce weapon and the Warriors are without Klay, Steph, and Draymond, he may not be the only point of attack.

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

A New Challenger Has Appeared

Eric Paschall—whom our editor was in love before the draft and Utah should have moved heaven and earth to get him—has been a revelation for the Warriors. He’s also Donovan Mitchell’s old teammate from his younger days before college. So far this season he is averaging 16.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists on 57.1% eFG% while going 31.6% from beyond the arc. He’s a rookie. He scored 34 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in a win against the Portland Trail Blazers just three games ago. Utah cannot underestimate this squad and part of the reason they can’t is because of Mitchell’s old teammate.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Utah Jazz Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Patrolling the Paint

In the middle, the Warriors have Willie Cauley-Stein and that's it. Remember when the Utah Jazz were playing the Adelaide 36ers and every other play was a lob to Rudy? That's what could happen tonight. Also, if the Jazz can't rebound tonight, they legitimately have a problem. The biggest threats they have on the glass are Kevon Looney, Glenn Robinson, Cauley-Stein, and Eric Paschall. Paschall is the darkhorse who could flex up on the glass. He has played up to his competition. Royce O’Neale, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Joe Ingles are all rebounding well this season at the four spot (5.0+ rebounds PER36 for all three).

Tony Bradley should feast against Golden State’s second unit. There’s a real chance Tony Bradley could leave this game with a double double as he’s going to be guarded by 6’6 Eric Paschall or 6’8 Omari Spellman. If this game turns into a good old fashioned blowout, it’ll because Utah is dominating on the defensive glass and not allowing any of the Warriors’ smaller guys to give the Warriors any additional opportunities on the offensive glass.

Mandatory Highlight

Not to kick a man while he's down, but I love seeing Draymond getting crossed into next week.

Game Thread Ground Rules

Welcome to the SLC Dunk Game Thread.

Dunkers know how this thing works, but for you lurkers ready to make the jump to Dunker, we have a few guidelines. Remember to follow our community guidelines (no swearing, trolling, excessive use of Jerry Sloan’s name in vain, no personal attacks, no debates about Utah liquor laws, etc.). Remember to have fun. Anyone who dare blasphemes that Tim Duncan was a Power Forward (this means you, Pounding the Rock), Ben Simmons can hit threes, Gordon Hayward should not be booed, Exum Island isn’t a 5-Star resort, Donovan Mitchell is Monta Ellis 2.0, men should never cry, or John Stockton is not the best point guard of all-time will receive an automatic ban. Just kidding. But seriously.