Golden State is entering the second half of the NBA season tonight in Utah. That may not sound like much of a reward for a team that finished the opening stanza of the season on a hot buttered roll. The Warriors won their last three and took the All-Star weekend break, 12 games over .500, a dazzling stat considering the locals were 0-6 to start the year
But the road to the next level begins where it ended last season hard by Salt Lake City.
The Goldies got smacked by the Jazz to end their playoff run last year and coughed up two to the Utes early this season. Not that the Warriors lack for billboard material. Check out the words of Utah point guard Deron Williams who rubbed a little Salt into the wounds, telling the press, "We just kept (the games) to our pace and drove them into the ground."
The Utah Jazz website is filled with goodies like that - serving to remind Golden State that the Beehive boys have more than held serve; winning 13 in a row against all comers, and seven straight at home against Golden State. The site notes that while Golden State is the highest scoring team in the Association, the Jazz have also scored at least 100 points in their last nine against the Warriors. Tonight's game will be a good diagnostic for the homestretch. If Golden State can exorcise the ghost of Utah they might be able to pass the Jazz in the standings for the playoffs and get the ultimate reward - one less night in Salt Lake City in May. — K ibby Kleiman