Can the Utah Jazz capitalize on the Warriors before Draymond Green gets back into action?
Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz
Saturday, January 01, 2022 – 09:00 PM EST at Vivint Arena
The Golden State Warriors will take on the Utah Jazz in what could be a preview of the Western Conference Championship later on this year. The Suns have something to say about that, but realistically, once the Warriors get all of their pieces back, Golden State is going to be dangerous.
Unfortunately, the Warriors won’t have Draymond Green back yet as he’s out due to COVID. Sharpshooter Klay Thompson isn’t available just yet after recovering from an injury but should be back soon. That’s when the Warriors will really take off. However, a 27-7 record isn’t so bad after all without an all-star player in the lineup to start the season.
Meanwhile, the Jazz are 26-9 and have been just as good as the Warriors this season. Utah hasn’t been hit with the illness at this time, but Hassan Whiteside, Eric Paschall, and Joe Ingles are all questionable for this game against the Warriors. Let’s break this game down.
The Warriors relied heavily on Draymond Green offensively, and without Green, the Warriors scored just 86 points against the Nuggets in an 89-86 loss at home. Many didn’t want to reflect on what Green’s absence could do to the Warriors. But we saw it against the Nuggets a few days ago.
The offense will have Jordan Poole back along with Andrew Wiggins. So now, Curry has his other two big-time scorers playing alongside him. That’ll help as the offense has shot a 55.8 percent effective field goal percentage this season. Turnovers are a bit high but Utah, on the other hand, rarely forces turnovers. They’d rather defend and rebound while limiting fouls. And Utah does an incredible job doing that.
Meanwhile, the Jazz is one of the best offenses in the NBA, scoring 118.6 points per 100 possessions while also shooting a 56.9 percent effective field goal percentage. Utah crashes the glass hard on the offensive end and gets to the line at a very high rate. On the other hand, Golden State is ranked as one of the best defenses in the league, but it won’t help that Green is out of the game.
Golden State has held teams to a 50.1 percent effective field goal percentage and just 102.8 points per 100 possessions. The Warriors are terrific at forcing turnovers and dominating the defensive glass by allowing teams to just get 24.1 percent offensive rebounds.
Defensively, Draymond Green is in the conversation to win the Defensive Player of the Year every single season. But with him out, the defense should lag against a very difficult offense in Utah.
The Jazz, on the other hand, has many guys that are questionable, but I’ll assume that the guys mentioned above will play and give the Jazz solid minutes at home against the Warriors.
So give me the Jazz -5.5 in this game, at home, for my NBA pick here. The Warriors are going to need Green back in the lineup. Eventually, the Warriors will be a tough team to beat so the Jazz better take advantage tonight.
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