Golden State Vs. Utah
TWO - Western Conference
Golden State Warriors Vs. Utah Jazz
The eighth-seed Golden State Warriors (42- 40)—a feisty, run-and-gun club—took it to the first-seed, heir-apparent Dallas Mavericks (51- 31) in the opening round, defeating them in six games and humiliating them in the final contest 111- 86. The fourth-seed Utah Jazz battled the fifth-seed Houston Rockets in what was billed as and proved to be a good old-fashioned knockdown, drag out NBA contest. The Jazz won their first-round series in seven.
The Warriors are loaded with point scorers. Point guard Baron Davis (20.1 PPG. 8.1 APG, 4.4 APG) is nursing a strained hamstring but thus far has not let that slow him down. Along with being a potent offensive force, he’s got good defensive skills, averaging 2.1 SPG and .46 BPG. Shooting guard Monta Ellis (16.5 PPG, 4.1 APG, 3.2 RPG) also brings some good hands, averaging 1.71 SPG.
Jazz point guard Deron Williams (16.2 PPG, 9.3 APG, 3.3 RPG) runs a solid game and brings some good defensive tools. He averages .98 SPG. Guard Derek Fisher (10.1 PPG, 3.3 APG, 1.8 RPG), who has 1.01 SPG, also possesses an accurate foul shot, hitting frees 85% of the time.
The Warriors’ frontcourt includes swingman Stephen Jackson (15.5 PPG, 3 RPG, 3.8 APG), who can hit from the court (.433), three-point land (.322) and the free throw line (.813). He averages 1.12 SPG and .45 BPG. Al Harrington (16.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.9 APG) is another frontcourt player with range, hitting field goals 46% of the time, threes 43% and frees 69%. The third swing in front, Jason Richardson (16 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.4 APG), provides fine defense with 1.06 SPG and .63 BPG.
Utah’s Carlos Boozer (20.9 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 3.0 APG) is a forward/center with the ability to take away the ball (.95 SPG). From the court, he’s a 56% shooter. Forward/center Mehmet Okur (17.6 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.0 APG) can bang inside, while forward Andrei Kirilenko (8.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.9 PG) offers exceptional “D”, averaging 1.06 SPG and 2.06 BPG.
The Warriors feature a flexible frontcourt, with three guys who can hit from just about anywhere. They are fast and bold. Their backcourt knows how to play defense. Utah possesses some good firepower and fine upfront defense. The question is—can the Jazz stop the streaking Warriors? The first game of this series tips off at 10:30 pm ET, Monday, May 7 in Utah.
Maddux Sports Series Prediction:
Utah Jazz in 6 Games
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