With a week off after sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers, I think everyone expected a little rust from the Golden State Warriors. Now, when you look at the final score (106-94) you may think the Warriors beat the Utah Jazz without any rust at all.
However, the Warriors made up in defense for what they lacked in getting their offense going, which ultimately balanced out their game.
Now, take a look at thebox scoresfor this game. The Warriors entire starting 5 scored double digit figures, which to me means the entire starting line up bested this team. How can the Jazz go back and prepare for something like this for a game 2?
To make matters worse for the Jazz, even the Warriors' bench played really well. Every player for the exception of 3 players got on the scoreboard, which is impressive considering the entire roster played. Now, as much as the offensive performance can be praised, it's the Warriors defense that won this game.
After game 1 of round 2 goes down into the record books, if you weren't wondering already if the Jazz could steal a game--you're definitely doing that now! Especially, since the Warriors are doing it in an unprecedented way that they're use to doing things--at least commonly.
Chances of the Utah Jazz Winning a Game
Speaking completely optimistically, the Jazz do have a chance to win a single game. Just not more than that.
For the Jazz to be such a young core of guys playing together, they actually give the Warriors more of a problem than we realize. They make scoring a little harder than usual compared to other teams in this league, which explains why they're a 5 seed in the playoffs.
As a result, the reason why I give the Utah Jazz a chance is out of pure desperation. Granted, they won't win any game that's played in Golden State. However, since they can be a defensive problem for the Warriors, I think they have a chance to win a game when this series go to Utah.
There they'll get a lift from their home crowd and their bench will produce some points and so will starting line up role players. That's their only shot to win a game though.
I'll admit, it's a long shot, but I do give the Jazz a weak chance to win a game at home in this series. And, it's a weak chance because to me the Jazz don't look hungry enough to win a game. They're probably just too young of a team.
With this series prediction to the side, watch out for this...
The Warriors have a feared offensive team! Now, Head Coach Steve Kerr may not come back for the rest of the playoffs as well as the Finals, but this may be a bit of a good thing.
Assistant Head Coach Mike Brown is turning this team into a defensive machine, and it's not to the detriment of their offense. In fact, it's helping them on the offensive end. Now when the Warriors struggle on the offensive end of the court it's not as noticeable. Their defense is basically erasing failed opportunity on the offensive end, as long as they're not making any major mistakes, like turnovers.
Defense is a significant factor why the Warriors lost in last year's Finals against the Cavs. This adds to the Draymond Green factor.
The Jazz are a great opportunity for the Warriors to fully develop their defensive scheme before ultimately getting to the Finals. And, whether they play against the Spurs or the Rockets in the WCFs, one of those teams will be the defensive test--the exam if you will.
In the end, I look at this series as an opportunity for the Warriors to basically figure things out because of the lost of their Head Coach. If the Warriors sweep the Jazz this series, to me the series will end up being viewed as an exhibition match--it's just played in the playoffs.
The Warriors are already offensively well coached. Their offense clicks on all cylinders. Now, it looks as though the Warriors are getting therapeutic treatment on the defensive end to match their offensive performance.
After watching everyone of their games in the playoffs I begin to see more and more a team that will simply win a championship.