Utah Jazz: 3 Keys to Defeat the Warriors


The Utah Jazz have their home opener tonight against the Golden State Warriors. They played well against the champs last year– is this year different?

It seems like it is safe to say that the jury is still out on that, but tonight will tell us a lot of things. Not only will we know how the Jazz will start their home defense, but also a glimpse at if they are the type of team that can crack the Warriors and by how much.

With that in mind, here’s a look at three keys for a Jazz win in tonight’s home opener.

Photo Courtesy of Los Angeles Times

The Jazz need to throw the hammer down

Surprisingly, Golden State was one of the teams that Utah completely demolished in their regular season clashes. Not only did the Jazz blow past the two-time defending champs multiple times and with their enemy healthy, but they did it with a weird sort of ease.

Following their initial struggle in Sacramento to start the season, getting a win on their home floor is just what they need to get the right gears going.

When it comes down to how they’ll actually go about it, that’s another story. One of the things that we learned from the first game of the season was that the Jazz are going to have to get used to winning ugly — that’s not going anywhere.

While they lost the first head-to-head match up last season, the Jazz won the next three games by an average margin of 29 points per game.

Not to mention that the last time these two teams met in a game that mattered, the Jazz won 119-79. A similar performance is due for Donovan Mitchell and the rest of the crew tonight.

Photo Courtesy of Business Insider

Figuring out how to play by the new Golden Rule

With DeMarcus Cousins on the team but not exactly in the equation just yet, there are still some things that the rest of the league needs to get ready for. What this means for the Jazz is that they need to win against the Warriors while they can.

There is no telling exactly how the Cousins things will really play out, but they can’t afford to lose winnable games. Personally, I think they have enough in the tank to handle the Warriors even when Cousins becomes fully healthy and able to play, but that is something that only time will tell.

In case we’re forgetting here, the Utah Jazz still need to prove themselves. A dominant win over the Warriors to start the season at home would do just that and put some of the major concerns from the first game to rest.

If you want some added comfort in addition to the scores from the last three times the Jazz and Warriors have played, here’s another reason to be hopeful– Oklahoma City hung around with the Warriors in Oracle Arena without Russell Westbrook, only losing by eight points.

Photo Courtesy of AP

Rudy Gobert needs to have a big game

This will become increasingly more important once DeMarcus Cousins is actually on the floor, but for now, the x-factor that is definitely in Utah’s favor comes on the heels of their French big man.

He’ll be the best big on the floor and will have no room for excuses if he plays poorly. The Warriors are a threat every time they step on the floor because they are incredible shooters from long range — they are not known for implementing a big as a major part of their offense, and that will come back to haunt them eventually.

Gobert won’t have to do it all by himself, but the Jazz could use all of the help that they can get from their core starters.

However, the Jazz have that advantage of a star center and plenty of shooters. Even if this turns into a shootout, the chances of the Jazz getting a win ride or die on number 27.


About Keith Rivas

Keith is based In Salt Lake City and covers the Jazz for TLSM. Follow him on Twitter @mrkeithrivas for all things Utah Jazz.

Recommended for you

Powered by themekiller.com