The Golden State Warriors are on the road in Salt Lake City on Saturday night for a date with the Utah Jazz. The Warriors are coming off a 119-104 loss against the New York Knicks at home in San Francisco. I think that might have been a surprise to some people, but I warned you about how good the Knicks can be.
We were on the Knicks in that game, and continue to kick myself for not grabbing a piece of the moneyline. I thought the Knicks had a good chance in that one, or I wouldn’t have taken them plus the points. Having said that, don’t expect the Knicks to run through the Eastern Conference. They will be up and down, so they are best selected as a spot play.
The Warriors are going to continue to be an up and down team as well. I backed the Warriors against the Lakers this past Monday, and that paid off with a win. That was another instance of maybe I should have played the moneyline, but will gladly take the profit in the 115-113 win for the Warriors. They followed up for another impressive performance in a 121-99 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
Stephen Curry and James Wiseman showed up big in that one, as Curry netted 26 points and Wiseman went for 20 points. The Warriors have a star on their hands with Wiseman. He was rightfully selected with the No. 2 overall selection out of Memphis. Wiseman is only a 19-year-old, so has plenty of time to learn and grow. Draymond Green is acting as a mentor to Wiseman, though his approach against the Knicks got him kicked out of the game.
They have a tough matchup on the road against the Jazz on Saturday night. Maybe a bit tougher than some people would expect. Never mind the Mavericks or Trail Blazers, the Jazz may be the real dark horses in the Western Conference. The Jazz finished 44-28 for sixth last season, ahead of the Mavs and Blazers. This is a good team, but playing in the West does them no favors. That said, they’re better than they often get credit for. Head below for our free Warriors vs. Jazz pick on January 23, 2021.
Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz NBA Betting Odds:
Warriors vs. Jazz Prediction:
The Warriors are going to be hot and cold this season. That’s just the nature of the beast when they’re relying on Steph Curry and James Wiseman offensively. Curry can be good every night, but he has to be exceptional to carry the Warriors. And then with Wiseman, he’s good, and he’s going to be very good in the future, but this is still a 19-year-old that will still go through growing pains.
Wiseman got cursed at by Draymond Green against the Knicks and got kicked out of the game for it. The official believed that it was directed towards him and he was gone from the game. Wiseman has scored 11.6 points and 6.1 rebounds as a rookie thus far. Utah is on fire right now with seven straight wins. In their latest victory, the Jazz dispatched the New Orleans Pelicans by a score of 129-118.
Despite what Shaq might believe, Donovan Mitchell is a very good player, and is one of the more underrated players in the NBA. Mitchell scored 36 points, 7 boards, and 5 assists in the win against the Pels. He is averaging 24.3 points per game, and really hitting his stride from deep. Mitchell is connecting from three at a 40.8% clip. If he were to stay on this path, Mitchell will set a career-high in 2020-21.
He has helped the Jazz score an average of 112.3 points per game for 13th in the NBA. The defense has been the main stretch of this Jazz squad, though. They are an aggressive bunch and don’t give up much room. Wiseman better be ready to bang in the paint or the Jazz are going to have their way in this game.
Utah is third in the NBA with 106 points conceded per game. The Warriors have gotten exploited for just over 120 points per game defensively. That’s way too much, and doesn’t mean wins when the offense is averaging 110.3 points a game on the road. Golden State isn’t going to go away and fold in this one, but I could still see a pesky Jazz team pulling away in the fourth quarter for a ten-point win or thereabout.