The biggest benefactors of Utah’s game 7 victory over Houston? Well Utah of course. But Golden State was also thanking the basketball gods on Saturday night. While a match up with Houston would have been a nightmare, the Warriors are much better equipped to deal with this smaller Utah squad, and the result is going to be another closely fought series for both teams. There are question marks for each side. How will the Warriors deal with Utah’s big man duo? Dealing with Okur will be like dealing with Nowitzki, and as we’ve seen, the Warriors are well equipped to handle that. What about Boozer? An overlooked low post player for so many years (thanks to injuries), Boozer is coming into his own at just the right time. It is likely that Biedrins will see a lot of time guarding Boozer, and the young Latvian has shown that he is a more than capable defender. However, Boozer is so tough to guard because of he can score so many ways on the low block. With a reliable fade away, a solid dribble, and of course a huge build, Boozer reminds me in a lot of ways as a smaller, quicker, less skilled Tim Duncan. Needless to say, Golden State is going to have their hands filled down low. However, there are match up problems for Utah as well, namely, who is going to stop the ball and guard Baron Davis in transition? The best Utah defenders are their front line (which includes the versatile Kirilenko). But Kirilenko is not quick enough to guard Davis, and will likely be tasked with shutting down Stephen Jackson (a task for which he is very well equipped). Without a proper check, Davis might have free reign in transition, a huge problem for a team that’s trying to slow the tempo and control the pace. Both teams have pretty big issues, but considering the Jazz’s steadiness and the Warriors’ volatile nature, I’m gonna go with the higher seed.
Jazz in 7