NBA Gameday: Jazz will be without several starters vs Warriors

NBA Gameday: Jazz will be without several starters vs Warriors

Programming note: Jazz-Warriors coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

OAKLAND -- With the No. 1 overall seed locked up, the remaining games are less about results than process for the Warriors. Tune-up time begins Monday night when they face the Utah Jazz at Oracle Arena.

Though Stephen Curry will return after a one-game absence, the Warriors (66-14) will be without shooting guard Klay Thompson, who is given the night off to rest.

Though Utah (49-31) is locked in a battle with the Clippers to determine home court advantage in their upcoming first-round series, several key players will be missing from the roster, including All-Star forward Gordon Hayward.


Warriors by 10.5


Zaza Pachulia vs. Rudy Gobert. Gobert is a contender for Defensive Player of the Year, as the 7-foot-1 center with the 7-9 wingspan leads the NBA in blocks and ranks fourth in rebounding. Pachulia’s job will be to keep Gobert from dominating in the paint and on the glass. In other words, getting physical will be the order of the day for Pachulia as well as backups David West and JaVale McGee.

[POOLE: Analyzing Draymond Green's case for Defensive Player of the Year]


Warriors: F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) is listed as doubtful. G Klay Thompson (rest) and F Matt Barnes (R ankle/foot sprain) are listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Jazz: G George Hill (R groin strain) is listed questionable. F Gordon Hayward (L quad contusion), F Derrick Favors (L knee soreness), G Rodney Hood (R knee soreness) and G Raul Neto (L ankle sprain) are listed as out.


Warriors: 10-0. Jazz: 6-4.


The Warriors won the first two meetings this season, Dec. 8 in Salt Lake City and Dec. 20 in Oakland, and have won 13 of the last 14 dating back to the 2012-13 season. They have won the last seven meetings in Oakland.


KD’S RHYTHM AND TIMING: Upon his return last Saturday, Kevin Durant looked rusty for a half but seemed to find his stride in the second half. He played 31 minutes, an impressive total for someone who had missed 20 games. The minutes may be similar as he continues to chip off all elements of rust.

TREY TIME: The Jazz own one of the league’s better defenses but often lack the quickness to provide strong defense beyond the arc, ranking second in overall field-goal defense but 16th in 3-point field-goal defense. Stephen Curry, Durant and others will have opportunities to launch from deep.

MORE TREYS: Utah’s Joe Johnson (1,932) and Curry (1,906) rank 6-7 on the list of 3-pointers made by active players. Though Curry has no realistic chance of catching the venerable forward, it’ll be interesting to see if the two can stage a few shootout moments.

Draymond Green knocked out of game vs Spurs with pelvic contusion


Draymond Green knocked out of game vs Spurs with pelvic contusion

Already down three All-Stars, the Warriors lost their fourth midway through the first half on Monday night.

With just over nine minutes remaining in the second quarter against the Spurs, Draymond Green took a knee from a driving Danny Green.

Draymond was in immediate pain and left the court for the locker room.

Just before the end of the first half, NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke reported that Green was ruled out for the rest of the game with a "midsection issue."

Early in the second half, the Warriors diagnosed that Green suffered a pelvic contusion and that x-rays were negative.

The Warriors are currently playing without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. All three are dealing with injuries that will keep them out several games.

What if they don't win the title? Joe Lacob says Warriors 'looking at different options'


What if they don't win the title? Joe Lacob says Warriors 'looking at different options'

The Warriors were the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

That is probably going to change this season, as they trail the Rockets by three games (although it's really four because Houston has the tiebreaker) with 12 games to play (and only lead the Raptors by one game).

What does owner Joe Lacob think about his team right now?

“We’ve had our best team we’ve ever had this year,” Lacob recently told Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group (read the full story here). “We have to go prove it on the court, but we have enough to win it.

"It doesn’t mean we will, but we are certainly set up to have the opportunity potentially to do that. That’s about all you can ask.”

Things can change in an instant and Lacob understands that.

That's why he's constantly discussing scenarios with Warriors GM Bob Myers and the rest of Golden State's decision-makers.

“We’ll build around that core until we decide maybe we shouldn’t," Lacob told BANG. "But right now it feels pretty good. These guys are all performing at a great level. We love them as part of our organization.

"I don’t really see doing anything major. But you never really know. We have to evaluate when the season is over. It’s very hard when you’re in the middle of it all to see it objectively.”

What happens if the Warriors don't win the championship this year?

We will leave you with this quote Lacob gave BANG.

“Maybe we will emphasize continuity. Or maybe we will make a big move. We’re looking at different options, given different things playing out in different ways.

"I think you should always be doing that.”

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller