The Warriors are winners of 10 straight at Oracle Arena in first or second-round playoff games. They look to continue the streak as heavy favorites versus the Jazz in Game 2 Thursday night (10:30 p.m. ET)
Following their 4-0 first-round sweep of the Trail Blazers, the Warriors enjoyed a week off before hosting the Jazz in the Round 2 opener Tuesday night. They showed little rust in return, knocking off Utah 106-94 handily. How sharp was Golden State? It tied a franchise playoff low for turnovers with seven, which is amazing considering the amount of passes and ball movement in the free-flowing offense. Steph Curry and company assisted on 32 of their 40 field goals. The stat is even more impressive when one factors Utah owns the NBA’s sixth-best opponent assist-to-turnover ration at 1.49. In five postseason contests, the Warriors total 50 giveaways to 141 helpers. Remarkable.
Head coach Steve Kerr remains out indefinitely due to symptoms related to back surgery. Assistant Mike Brown stuck to a familar script in Game 1, using a swarming defense and calculated offensive game plan in the victory. Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and others took turns hassling Jazz leading scorer Gordon Hayward. They held the small forward to 12 points on 4-of-15 shooting in 35 minutes. Rudy Gobert didn’t get ample time on the ball either, with Warrior defenders collapsing down on the star center every time he touched it down low. The Jazz are 5-15 SU and 3-16-1 ATS when Hayward scores 16 points or fewer this season.
Offensively, Golden State turned it on when Gobert, leading candidate for NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, went to the bench. The Jazz played even with the Warriors with Gobert on the court (-3), but the big man needs his rest. The Warriors took advantage, going on a 20-2 run in 6 minutes with Gobert benched at the start of the second and fourth quarters. Still, Jazz fans hope to see Gobert’s plus-minus on the positive side if they stand a chance in the series. At zero or less in a game, the Jazz are 5-22 SU and 4-22-1 ATS this season.
Since Kerr took the reins in 2014, the Warriors are 11-1 SU and 4-8 ATS as double-digit chalk in the postseason. The totals wager is the bet flummoxing the market. The UNDER is 10-2, staying south of a 212.4 average total by 10.8 points per game. The average score is 106.1 to 95.5 in favor of the Warriors. Golden State plays more deliberate in this spot, particularly if jumping out to a comfortable lead—which is often the case. The team total has also remained below market projections in 10 of the contests.
Since 2002, the top seed is 12-1 SU and 10-3 ATS in Game 2 versus No. 5 in the second round. Still, it’s tough to lay double-digit points in any NBA game, yet alone against good teams in the playoffs. Aim towards the total again with a lean to the UNDER. The Jazz are not hitting the century mark, but are too good defensively to let Golden State run away with the contest.