The Utah Jazz are coming into a Sunday Matinee game against the Golden State Warriors looking to play much better than they did in their win Friday night against the Houston Rockets. They are going to have to play better against a much better Warriors team if they want to pull out the win. I expect the Jazz to have a lot more urgency and to play better but it this game is no gimme against Steph Curry and the resurgent Warriors.
Despite the Jazz letting their foot off the gas against the Rockets and almost letting the game slip away in the fourth quarter, the team still got a big game out of Donovan Mitchell who put up 28 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. Also six players were in double figures and the jazz shot almost 50% from the field which was pretty good. The problem was that the Jazz got out hustled and embarrassed on the defensive rebounding front giving up 19 offensive rebounds to the Rockets. That can’t happen against an opportunistic and far more talented Warriors team or else they will almost assuredly lose the game. That, along with figuring out how to slow down Steph Curry are going to be the two main keys to the game.
Speaking of Steph Curry, he is having an MVP caliber season again and doing a masterful job of leading a young team into the playoff picture. The Warriors sit at 19-19 and 9th in the western conference playoff picture. They are coming off two straight road losses and are going to be looking to get back on track at home. Steph Curry could be seen leading his young teammates during a timeout during their last loss vs. the Clippers. “That was the first I’ve really seen him that animated” Warriors rookie Nico Mannion said after the game. Even though the Warriors are having a better season than last year and are in the playoff hunt, it has got to be hard for a competitor like Steph Curry to not be at the top of the league like his teams were for so many years.
This will be an entertaining game because both teams are looking to “right the ship” so to speak and get back to playing better ball. For the Jazz it will be a good opportunity to start off the road trip with a statement that they are not backing down from anyone and they are not letting go of that #1 seed anytime soon.
When: 2PM MST
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
TV: AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountain, NBAtv
Radio: 97.5 FM/1280 AM
What to watch for
As was mentioned previously, the Jazz really got hammered by offensive rebounds from the Rockets. Which was surprising because the Rockets only played one player that was taller than 6’6” and the Jazz are normally solid in terms of rebounding. The whole team struggled but the two specific players to watch in this game are Derrick Favors and Bojan Bogdonovic. Favors only had two rebounds the entire game Friday night and although Bogey had 5, he was noticeably lackadaisical on a few occasions and gave up an offensive rebound. It will be interesting to see if those two players focus on the defensive rebounding end a little more intensely today.