When the main title contenders are coming into town, obviously there are major story lines to watch out for. Key match-ups, Xs and Os, and, ehrm, who plays (if anyone)?
- Will Golden State rest some players?
Aye, the Warriors are on the road, and they’re on the tail end of a back-to-back, and when you’re dominant, you start to exhibit Spurs like behaviour. Mind you, the “tonight” in this tweet meant last night (the Clippers game):
Steve Kerr says Warriors will likely rest a couple players at some point on this road trip, but not tonight.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) December 7, 2016
Don’t get your hopes up though, because earlier today, this was the breaking news in terms of sitting players out.
Golden State Warriors will hold out guard Shaun Livingston (rest) for tonight's game against the Utah Jazz.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) December 8, 2016
And rightfully so, because you don’t want to underestimate the red hot Utah Jazz!
2. Will Utah be able to field a team
Quin Snyder, on the other hand, is pretty confident the outcome is pretty much set as is, so why not give some players time to heal up and get their strengths back?
In conclusion: George Hill, Rodney Hood, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Alec Burks are all out for the Jazz tonight against GSW.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) December 8, 2016
Which means that the bench will be the starting line-up, the front row will be the bench, and the starters will all be on the front row. I heard Mrs. DeMille from down the road is eager to make the highlight reel with some killer razzle dazzle and some nice misdirection plays.
3. That First Quarter Though
The Warriors played the Clippers last night, and positively trounced them in the first quarter, winning that one 37-19. That was against Chris Paul, J.J., Mbah a Moute, Blake, and DeAndre.
I’m sure that Exum, Ingles, Johson, Diaw, and Gobert will give them more of a fight though.
The main question perhaps is, if they run away with it, are both coaches just going to treat it as an exhibition match? Because the Warriors can perhaps take the opportunity to get some rest in, and the Jazz might as well throw some stuff out there to see if it sticks. Because, why not?
4. No break for Hayward
In two ways, really. Because A) the Jazz, and Hayward individually as well, can’t seem to get a break and actually stay healthy. And B) he didn’t re-break the finger, something which apparently at first was a genuine fear he had.
Doesn’t mean he’s not hurting, though.
Gordon Hayward's injured left ring finger is swollen and looks painful. pic.twitter.com/DR6BgeQ13S— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) December 7, 2016
5. Who is going to watch this one?
I mean, we all love the underdog, and we all think about the little engine that could.
With that said, if you kind of know you are in for a whooping because 5 of your main 6 guys are sitting out, who is voluntarily going to watch that? If you are going to watch it, do tell me what you hope to get out of it.
Which also begs the question, until the play-offs arrive and we’re going to see some best of 7 action between the Warriors and some of the top teams out there, is Golden State really one of the most exciting teams in the NBA to watch? Or do people skip and fast forward their games until the point that either the lead is insurmountable, or it turns out they’re actually in for a fight?
Prediction: Jazz 76 Warriors 126
Basically a 10 point difference per injured player as mathematical equation