Gordon Hayward

Game Info

  • Tip Off: 7:30 PM PST
  • Television: CSNBayHD

Utah Jazz Team Profile

  • Offensive Efficiency: 91.7 (30th in NBA)
  • Defensive Efficiency: 104.3 (27th in NBA)

Scope the Opposition: Salt City Hoops.

Preview: Fresh off a late-game victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder (5-3) at Oracle Arena, the Golden State Warriors (6-3) will host the Utah Jazz (1-9) tonight in a game that may prompt a bit of a letdown.

The Jazz opened up the season by losing eight straight games before finally getting a win against the New Orleans Pelicans (3-6). They followed up that effort by losing to the San Antonio Spurs (9-1).

Utah has three intriguing players on board in Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors. The trio is in their early 20s and likely represent the future of the franchise. Not so coincidentally, they are respectively the top-three minutes leaders on the team.

The front office has made the decision to take its lumps with them in an attempt to let them grow and develop as players. Mind you, their youth serves as an impediment at least in the immediate future.

Hayward, Kanter and Favors are the team’s best players, which means that the roster is not incredibly talented. That’s not a knock on the threesome, but rather an assessment on where they stand in the hierarchy of great players in the league.

Thus, the Jazz have surrounded their best with a bunch of players that were deemed as unwanted parts by their previous teams. For instance, Golden State essentially dumped the contracts of Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush (he had value as a sixth man but concerns over his health made him expendable) on this team.

Also, the Atlanta Hawks basically gave up Marvin Williams for not much of anything when they swapped him for Devin Harris. The remainder of the roster is not all that interesting quite frankly and as a result, the Jazz are projected to win the lottery and draft Andrew Wiggins in the 2014 NBA draft according to NBADraft.net.

This begs the question: is Utah tanking?

Well, based on the roster, the answer is an unequivocal yes. However, when one looks at the overall play on the court, the response is a bit more clouded. The Jazz play hard and submit terrific effort on a nightly basis.

Obviously it’s still early in the season, but they care. That may change as the season progresses, but until that time comes, Tyrone Corbin’s group must be taken seriously.

The Warriors are talented enough that they can get away with a less than stellar effort and still win in a head-to-head encounter versus the Jazz. But that’s obviously a risky proposition given that the longer a game unfolds with an underdog staying within striking distance, the better the odds of an upset.

One might expect the Dubs to come out and wipe the floor with their opponents tonight, but in truth that will not be easy. Golden State just defeated a tough Thunder team and might not be all that interested in tonight’s matchup.

If Mark Jackson gets his guys to reproduce the effort from the previous contest, it’s more than likely that Golden State wins convincingly. Anything less than that opens up the door for a shocker.

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at [email protected].

About The Author

J.M. Poulard is the Warriors World editor. He is also a contributor to ESPN TrueHoop sites Forum Blue and Gold (Los Angeles Lakers), Piston Powered (Detroit Pistons) and Raptors Republic (Toronto Raptors). He has a particular fondness for watching Eastern Conference ball games and enjoys the history of the sport. Feel free to reach out to him on Twitter (@ShyneIV).

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