#701 Golden State Warriorsvs.#702 Utah Jazz
Written by Chuck D
Golden State Warriors 74-15 (44-32 ATS) at Utah Jazz (43-45 ATS)
When and Where: Monday, May 8, Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah 9:00pm EDT (TNT)
Spread: Golden State -8; Total: 206.5
The Warriors are just doing their thang. Since beginning the playoffs, they have stream-rolled through seven games and seem to be on a collision course with their nemesis, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are now 8-0 during the National Basketball Association playoffs. There was initial talk of Golden State going 16-0, but maybe now some are wondering if the Cavs might be on that path, considering they are the defending NBA Champs and all and did beat the Warriors in last year’s finals. The reality is, they may be on a collision course, but neither team is likely to complete this postseason without defeat. Meanwhile, Golden State owns a 3-0 lead against Utah in their best-of-seven series in the Western Conference Semifinals. The winner of this series will be facing off with the victory in the Spurs-Rockets series in the Western Conference Finals.
There was much debate in the offseason as to whether or not all-star forward Kevin Durant would mesh in Golden State’s star-studded lineup. Durant had injury stint’s this season and during one of those at the end of the year, the Warriors went on to win 14 straight games without him. His return before the playoffs brought up some questions, but it seems like all of those have been answered, as Golden State, and Durant, have both represented themselves quite well. As a matter of fact, in Game 3, Durant busted out with a game-high 38 points in his team’s 102-91 win.
The squad jumped out to a 10-point lead after a single quarter, yet found themselves down by one at the break. It was of no consequence, however, as the squad would go on to outscore the Jazz by 12 in the second half en route to the 11-point win. Stephen Curry pitched in 23 points, and Andre Iguodala was the other Warrior with double digits, with 11 points. The team as a whole shot 44 percent, and 30 percent from beyond the arc.
Utah is a solid basketball team and showed as much in their first-round victory over the Clippers, where they won three games in Los Angeles. However, the Warriors are not the Clippers, and that has shown for this series. It looks like the team can stay competitive, and they have done so in every single game, but to this point, they have lost each contest by double digits. After two losses in Oakland, many believed that the trip back to Salt Lake City would be just what the doctor ordered. Unfortunately for the Jazz, that did not work out, and the team fell once again.
Gordon Hayward scored 29 points to lead the team and center Rudy Gobert added 21, but there was not much help from the rest of the team. Joe Johnson, who had looked like a stud, had his age possibly catch up with him, as he scored just seven points on 3-of-12 shooting. Shelvin Mack (11) and Joe Ingles (10) each reached double figures, as did Boris Diaw (10), but it was simply not enough to keep up with defending Western Conference Champions. Gobert was the only Jazz player with a double, adding 15 rebounds to his total.
Golden State is:
If you have been paying attention to my picks, I have said since Game 1 that the Warriors should win every single one of these games by 10-15 points. If you have been paying attention to the series, then you know I have been correct through three games. There is no reason to think this time around will be any different. Golden State is, literally, just “all that,” and you can probably throw in the bag of chips too. Utah is a quality basketball team. The Jazz are better than a lot of teams in this league, but the Warriors are not one of them. That being said, they should still be competitive at home, just not enough to cover.
The Over is 6-2 in the Warriors’ last eight games after an against the spread win. It is also 7-2-1 in the last 10 Conference Semifinal games that the Jazz have participated in. Those are interesting, but the reality is that both teams tend to heavily trend towards the under. The Under has hit in 20 of the last 26 Golden State games against a team with a winning record, and seven of Utah’s last nine games against a team with a winning record. The Under is also 25-8-2 in the last 35 head-to-head meetings between these two sides.
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Chuck Dowling is a 30-something University of Florida J-School alum that lives in his mother’s basement. Just kidding... there are no basements in Florida (the ground is too moist). He has been in the “biz” for his entire adult life and specializes in NCAA football and basketball, as well as soccer, boxing, and MMA. When not writing, Chuck moonlights as a high school athletics radio and internet-television broadcaster.