The Golden State Warriors took advantage of the absence of Chris Paul, and cruised past the Los Angeles Clippers at home on Thursday. On Friday, the Utah Jazz will host the Warriors on the end of a back-to-back, as Golden State will look to win two games in a row for the first time since the end of their 10-game winning streak.
Frontcourt: Derrick Favors is not yet a well-developed offensive big man in the league, but his athleticism can certainly cause some problems every once in a while. The Warriors dealt with DeAndre Jordan pretty well defensively, and Andrew Bogut will likely draw the assignment on Favors.
Backcourt: Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke are the two main sources for points for the Utah Jazz, and both get a whole lot of touches and looks on offense. Neither have been particularly efficient, and knowing that they will take a lot of shots regardless, the Warriors will really have to focus on winning the backcourt battle in this game.
Keys to Warriors Victory:
The Warriors’ bench has been mediocre this season, but against the Clippers, the reserves certainly held their own. Even though Harrison Barnes only hit four of his 13 shots, he did score 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds, in what felt like a little bit of a bounce back game for him. He was doing what he does well — scoring off cuts and attacking the basket. The other bench players also did a good job playing around Barnes, and another consistent effort would take a lot of pressure off the starters on the end of a back-to-back.
Prevent ball movement
In 14 of Utah’s 16 wins, they have had more assists than their opposition, and they are 14-8 on the season when dishing out more dimes than their opponents. Closing passing lanes and forcing the Jazz to settle for jumpers is key.
Utah Jazz (16-29) vs. Golden State Warriors (28-19)
7:30 PM PST, January 31, 2014
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Radio: KNBR 680 AM
Jazz Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Trey Burke
SG: Gordon Hayward
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: Marvin Williams
C: Derrick Favors
Key Reserves: G Alec Burks, C Enes Kanter