Deseret News - Jazz opponent Golden State has gone from NBA’s best to worst in a short time

Discussion in 'Jazz Newz' started by Mike Sorensen, Nov 10, 2019 at 6:04 PM.

  1. [​IMG] Golden State Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell brings the ball up during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) | AP

    SAN FRANCISCO — It used to be one of hardest tests of the season for the Utah Jazz, trying to knock off the Golden State Warriors on the road. Over the past six seasons while the Warriors were building their championship dynasty, the Jazz were only able to win two of 10 games in the Bay Area and both came at the end of the regular season when Golden State was resting players for the upcoming playoffs.

    Now as the Jazz are on the road to play the Warriors for the first of two meetings here this season, they are playing one of the NBA’s — let’s face it — worst teams at the Chase Center (8:30 p.m. MT), their shiny new arena near Pier 54 on the San Francisco Bay.

    The fact is, the Warriors come into Tuesday night’s game with the Jazz with the NBA’s worst record this season at 2-8. It’s not surprising considering the lineups the Warriors are using these days, guys like Ky Bowman, Omar Spellman, Eric Paschall and Jordan Poole. Give yourself a star if you’ve heard of more than one of these players.

    The only player to start all 10 games is Glenn Robinson III, who you probably wouldn’t know if his father didn’t play in the league for 11 years up until 2005, averaging more than 20 points a game for his career. Robinson III is a sixth-year journeyman, who is playing for his fifth team and has never averaged more than 6.1 ppg in a season.

    The Warriors, who dominated the NBA for most of the past five years when they won three NBA titles and finished second twice, are just a shadow of their former selves this season.

    Gone are Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, DeMarcus Cousins and Shaun Livingston, the former trio to new teams and the latter to retirement. Klay Thompson is sidelined, likely for the whole season with an ACL injury. Steph Curry is out for at least three months because of a broken hand suffered nearly two weeks ago. Draymond Green has sat out the last three games with a sprained finger. Kevon Looney, who started 24 games last year at center, has played in just one game and will be out at least a couple of more weeks with a hamstring injury.

    So who’s left?

    The best player is D’Angelo Russell, who was acquired from Brooklyn in a deal for Durant, as he showed over the weekend when he dropped 52 points in a loss to Minnesota, after missing three games with a sprained ankle. Russell, who started his career with Lakers, signed a four-year $117 million deal and is considered an integral piece to Golden State’s future.

    Jazz fans know all about Alec Burks, who spent seven seasons with Utah before being sent to Cleveland last year in a trade that brought Kyle Korver to Utah. Then a couple of months later he was shipped to Sacramento, where he played out the 2018-19 season.

    The 6-foot-6 Burks recently moved into the starting lineup and has put up good numbers in his last three games, scoring 28 against Houston with eight rebounds and a couple of steals, 18 points and nine rebounds against Minnesota and 23 in the loss to Oklahoma City Saturday night. In those three games he made 24 of 45 field goals.

    After a becoming a free agent last summer, he signed a one-year deal with Oklahoma City, only to get out of the contract when OKC traded Paul George to Los Angeles.

    In their most recent game Saturday, a 114-108 loss at Oklahoma City, the Warriors’ starting lineup was Burks, Robinson, Russell, Poole and Willie Cauley-Stein. They’ve already had 11 different players start a game this year.

    JAZZ NOTES — The Jazz are coming off the high of Friday night’s 103-100 win over Milwaukee when Bojan Bogdanovic sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send Vivint Arena fans into a frenzy. It marked Utah’s fifth straight home victory against no defeats. ... After Monday’s game, the Jazz will return home to play Brooklyn Tuesday night. Then it’s back on the road for a game at Memphis Friday night in what will be a homecoming game for Mike Conley. ... This one of 11 single road games for the Jazz this year. ... Donovan Mitchell leads the team with a 24.8 ppg scoring average, followed by Bogdanovic at 21.8. MItchell ranks 16th in the NBA in scoring average, while Bogdanovic is 20th. ... Rudy Gobert ranks fifth in the league in rebounds at 13.0 rpg, but is clear down at 40th in blocked shoots at 1.0 per game. ... The Jazz play Golden State again Nov. 22 and Dec. 13 at home and come back to San Francisco for a game Jan. 22.

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