That defense led to 29 transition points from the Warriors, which led to a fast start and eventually a comfortable 106-94 Warriors win over the Jazz Tuesday night. Assistant coach Mike Brown, former head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lebron James, has filled in for Kerr and is a leading force behind the team’s defensive strategy and execution.
Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in action against the Utah Jazz during Game One of the NBA Western Conference Semi-Finals at ORACLE Arena on May 2, 2017 in Oakland, California.
Despite the fact that Curry sat out a relatively light Warriors practice Wednesday to rest a slightly strained left ankle, neither team reported any injury issues in the wake of Game 1. Based on Game 1, somewhere in the vicinity of “doubtful”.
“We weren’t clicking with making shots early on, but our defense just really gave us an opportunity to kind of find that [running] flow”, Curry said.
The Golden State Warriors were the hare, and the Utah Jazz were the tortoise. Golden State is reputed as a deadly three-point team that has often absolutely buried teams by racking up points from behind the arc. Gordon Hayward is averaging 22.3 points and 6.9 rebounds while George Hill is averaging 15.6 points and 3.6 assists.
You sometimes worry about a team with a long layoff before a playoff series against an opponent that’s in a rhythm from playing more recently, but this Warriors squad always felt above all that.
Prior to encountering the surging Warriors, Jazz notably edged the No. 4 seeded Los Angeles Clippers as the result of a grueling seven-game opening round series.
“This is the best time of the year”, Draymond Green told reporters.
Klay Thompson added 15 points for the Warriors, who never trailed. Golden State shot 49% from the floor and outscored the Jazz by ten at the free throw line, hitting 91% of their foul shots too! “Sometimes it just means getting back and finding the closest guy, no matter who it is”. The Utah Jazz are averaging 98.3 points on 47.5 percent shooting and allowing 98.8 points on 47.5 percent shooting. “One of the things about Golden State is how quick they think”, Jazz coach Quin Snyder lamented, after his team committed 13 turnovers and found itself trailing by 20 points in the fourth quarter. They did a good job trying to limit his looks.
The Warriors reserves were also big factors. They combined for just 30 total points. “Hopefully, we’ll make a few more next game”. If they don’t, then especially when Golden State catches fire from deep themselves (which is essentially inevitable) then Utah will more than likely be buried offensively even more than they were in Game 1.