- May 27, 2006
Courtesy of Warriors.com
The Warriors will go for their first win of the season on Saturday when they take on the Jazz in the back end of a back-to-back. The contest will mark the second contest between the two clubs in less than a week, as Utah handed Golden State a 117-96 defeat on Tuesdays Opening Night at ORACLE Arena.
Saturdays match-up will tip off less than 24 hours after the conclusion of the Warriors 120-114 loss to the Clippers on Friday night in Los Angeles. In order to succeed against a bigger and more physical Utah team, the Warriors will need to fight through any fatigue caused by arriving in Salt Lake City in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
In addition to the late arrival, another likely storyline will be the playing time of Baron Davis. The Warriors point guard played nearly 46 minutes on Friday, and in the process tallied his second-straight double-double to open the season with 22 points and 11 assists. Golden State will again rely on Davis to lead the team, but whether or not hell be able to play 40-plus minutes remains to be seen.
Should Davis need more rest on Saturday, other players will need to step up and shoulder some of that load. Kelenna Azubuike proved he is more than capable of doing so on Friday with a career-high 33 points. The second-year swingman out of Kentucky shot 12-of-17 from the field and made all seven of his free-throw attempts. Furthermore, he scored 13 points in the final quarter and finished with eight rebounds, also a career-high.
The Warriors (0-2) will need another big game from Azubuike on Saturday, as the Jazz (1-1) have proved to be a tough match-up for Golden State. With Utah featuring a punishing frontline highlighted by Carlos Boozer, the Warriors will need to take advantage of their speed and athleticism to make up for their lack of bulk inside.
Warriors Head Coach Don Nelson has been known to exploit advantageous match-ups, and hell be needed to do just that to overcome a Utah squad that has won 22 of its last 24 games against the Warriors at EnergySolutions Arena.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORSAzubuike - Barnes - Belinelli - Biedrins - Croshere - Davis - EllisHarrington - Hudson - Jackson - Lasme - O'Bryant - Perovic - Pietrus - Wright