Warriors vs. the West: How Dubs match up against Jazz in 2019-20

Warriors vs. the West: How Dubs match up against Jazz in 2019-20

For the first time in five seasons, the Warriors find themselves in new territory entering the 2019-20 season. With Kevin Durant gone to the Brooklyn Nets, Klay Thompson rehabbing his surgically repaired left ACL and eight new players on the roster, the Warriors are not the preseason NBA title favorites. 

As the Warriors reconcile a new reality, the rest of the Western Conference has retooled with superstar talent. Over the next seven days, NBC Sports Bay Area will examine teams that are expected to challenge Golden State's Western Conference throne.

Monday's edition: The Utah Jazz.

Offseason transactions

A month after losing in the first round of the postseason, Utah traded Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder and two draft picks to the Memphis Grizzlies for guard Mike Conley, a move that puts the Jazz among the best teams in the Western Conference. 

Conley, 32, is one of the best point guards in the league, averaging 21.1 points, 6.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. More importantly, paired with rising star Donovan Mitchell in the backcourt, the move gives the Jazz one of the best backcourts in the league. 

In addition to Conley, Utah signed guard Bojan Bogdanovic, who averaged a career-high 18.1 points on 49.7 percent from the field last season with the Pacers, which included a career-high 42.5 percent from 3-point range. Rounding out the summer, Utah signed guard Emmanual Mudiay, forward Ed Davis and Jeff Green. 


With a starting five of Mitchell, Conley, Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert, the Jazz have one of the best first units in the league. 

Last season, Utah's offense was criticized for its overreliance on Mitchell, who shot just 41 percent from the field. Conley's addition is expected to take pressure off Mitchell, while Bogdanovic will help spread the floor for the 23-year old. 

Helping Utah's starting five will be its defense, which ranked second in the league in defensive efficiency last season. The unit, anchored by Gobert in the middle, was third in the league in blocks and held teams to just 45.2 percent from the field. 


The Jazz had an average bench last season, but with Mudiay, Green and Dante Exum, the second unit could struggle to find scoring with any of the starting unit on the bench, which would require Mitchell or Conley on the floor for the majority of of the game. 

Additionally, for the Jazz to take the next step as a team, Mitchell has to be more efficient. Over his career, he's shooting just 43 percent from the field on 18 field goal attempts per game. However, he showed promise towards the end of the season, averaging 24 points on 46 percent from the field over his last 14 games.

How the Warriors stack up

Utah's summer moves put them among the best teams in the Western Conference on paper. As it pertains to the Warriors, Utah presents a number of challenges due to their length and shooting. 

[RELATED: Warriors rookies Poole, Paschall itching for season to start

With eight new players on the roster, Golden State will have little idea of how cohesive they will be through the first few months of the season. The one constant in the matchup has been the play of Steph Curry, who averaged 29.0 points on 51 percent from the field in three games against Utah last season. 

If the Warriors can summon enough to make a late-season playoff run and the Jazz can live up to expectations, this could be an intriguing playoff matchup. 

Seven records Warriors stars Steph Curry, Draymond Green could break

Seven records Warriors stars Steph Curry, Draymond Green could break

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.

The juggernaut Warriors of the last five years are no longer, but some key star holdovers have a chance to reach some NBA records this season.

With the departures of Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and the injury to Klay Thompson, the playmaking and scoring for the Warriors will mostly fall on the shoulders of Steph Curry, Draymond Green and newly acquired D'Angelo Russell. So as the construction of the team changed dramatically, the Warriors now potentially face a struggle to play the same suffocating defense most have come accustomed to.

Instead, they will rely on a high-powered offense and individual key defensive players to lead the charge. Here are some records that they could break this season.

Most 3-pointers in a regular season: Steph Curry 402 (2015-16)

The biggest key to Curry toppling his own historic 3-point season will be staying healthy and in the lineup. Curry has not played over 70 games in a season since 2016-17, and played 79 games when he shattered the season record.

Since the Warriors might have to outscore teams in shootouts with their defense less reliable, Curry will be able to fire away with abandon. Curry hit 354 3-pointers in just 69 games last season. If he played 10 extra games and maintained his average 3-point rate, he would have broken his record.

So what else could help Curry break 402? Well, just keep reading ...

3-point attempts per game: James Harden 13.2 (2018-19)

When Curry made 402 3-pointers, he averaged 11.2 attempts per game. Last season, he averaged a career-high 11.7 3-point attempts per game. Shooting two more 3s per game is within reason, and definitely a welcome proposition for all Warriors fans. 

Most consecutive games with 5+ 3-pointers made: James Harden 12 (2018-19)

The more Steph shoots, the more he makes. Harden might be watching a few of his milestones surpassed this season.

Most 3-pointers attempted in a game: Klay Thompson 24 (Oct. 29, 2018)

Most 3-pointers made in a game: Klay Thompson 14 (Oct. 29, 2018)

Curry already jokingly (probably) proclaimed that he would shoot 22 3-pointers on opening night against the Clippers. So would you be surprised if he had a few games this season in which he launched endlessly from long range? Unfortunately for Klay, he will have to sit idly on the bench for most of the season while Curry goes after his record.

[RELATED: Steph Curry primed for another MVP season]

Most steals in a game: Larry Kenon 11 (Dec. 26, 1976), Kendall Gill 11 (April 3, 1999)

The defensive category belongs to Draymond Green, and after signing a $100 million extension and getting into the best shape of his life, he is primed for a breakout season. If last playoffs are any indicator of how he will play next season, then there are several defensive records and milestones that can be within his sights.

On Feb. 10, 2017, Green recorded a triple-double in Memphis. But it was not just any triple-double, it included 10 steals, one away from the single-game record. There will be many games next season that he will carry the team defensively, so perhaps he approaches the record again.

200 steals plus 100 blocks in one season: Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen

In 2016-17, Green set a career-high 154 steals and blocked 106 shots -- down from his previous career-high of 113 the year prior. Remaining healthy and in the lineup for most of the season will be imperative for Green to even have a chance at approaching a 200-100 season.

It still is a long shot for Draymond to reach those totals, but when he is in shape, motivated and playing with fire, there's always a chance. 

Kevin Durant rocks Nets jersey for first time since leaving Warriors

Kevin Durant rocks Nets jersey for first time since leaving Warriors

Slowly but surely, Kevin Durant is moving on from the Warriors. 

After electing to sign with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency. Durant expressed his feelings on his time in the Bay, including the elation of winning the NBA Finals and the belief that he never would be accepted in the same way Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala were.

The next step in Durant's quest to move on from the Warriors came Thursday when he donned the black and white of Brooklyn for the first time in a promotional shoot.

Seeing KD rocking a No. 7 Nets jersey is ... a little weird.

Those jerseys are clean, though,

Durant won't see the floor this season as he continues to rehab from the ruptured Achilles he suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Once Durant is back to 100 percent, he'll join Kyrie Irving and a band of young Nets trying to take over the Eastern Conference.

[RELATED: Steph fires back at KD after criticism of Warriors offense]

As for the Warriors, they remade their roster after Durant's exit and will be looking to go back to their roots with a ball-movement centric attack that lets Curry, new addition D'Angelo Russell and Thompson -- when he returns from his torn ACL -- torment opposing defenses.