It’s been a tough couple of weeks for both the Utah Jazz and Golden State Warriors. It won’t be any easier tonight. Both the Jazz and the Warriors will have key players missing in this game. For the Warriors, they’ll be missing Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.
Andre Iguodala is out tomorrow against the Jazz. Warriors already missing Draymond Green. Utah is without Donovan Mitchell. Rudy Gobert currently listed as questionable.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 23, 2022
The Jazz will be without Donovan Mitchell and so this one may be a bit of a war of attrition. The Warriors have struggled lately winning 4 of their last 10. The Jazz have also won just 4 of their last 10. In their last matchup, the Warriors came from behind late to beat the Jazz. The Jazz had Donovan Mitchell in that game but he struggled from the field going 4/19 against a stingy Warriors defense. Tonight, they won’t have Mitchell and it will be interesting to see if the Warriors’ defense was the thing that made the Jazz’s guards struggle or if it was just a bad shooting night.
The thing that needs to be better for the Jazz has to be their defense. Utah has struggled for weeks, and the whole season if we’re being honest, to get stops at the end of games. Seemingly every night the Jazz will get some sort of lead, sometimes a big one, only to see teams come from behind and get the win. It’s a trend that has shown no real sign of ending any time soon. Perhaps, tonight can be the night they change that? With this roster, probably not, but maybe they’ll show they’ve been not playing defense well all season, and tonight they somehow figured it out. There were some positive signs in the last game against the Pistons. Maybe that’s something they can build on.
One thing the Jazz have learned is how important Rudy Gobert is to everything they do. Gobert is the cornerstone of the Jazz defense. Without him, it’s literally the worst in the league, with him, it’s been in the top 5 in defensive efficiency. It’s also apparent that Gobert’s effect on offense is massive. Yes, it would be nice for Gobert to get more touches when he’s inside and open, but even if he’s not, when he’s setting screens in the pick and roll there’s no one better at creating openings for the Jazz’s guards, whether it’s a lane to the hoop or a pullup three.
Whatever happens, it’s a tough matchup for the Jazz with no easy answers.
When: Jan 23, 2022 - 6:30 PM MT
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
Radio: 1280/97.5 The Zone