Get Off to a Faster Start
The most blatantly obvious issue in both games so far has been Utah’s horribly slow starts. The Jazz have come out flat-footed and timid in each contest and the Golden State Warriors have been able to punch them in the gut right off the bat, going on large runs to open the game and forcing the Jazz to play uphill for the remaining three periods.
The Warriors went up immediately by a score of 9-0 in Game 1, then led by as much as 20 in the first quarter of Game 2. Utah fought hard in both contests after the initial hit they took, and did a decent job of weathering the runs from then on, but by that point it was too late.
Especially in Game 2, if you take away the dismal start that Utah had, it would have been a totally different contest. Nevertheless, the first quarters have been what they’ve been and now the Jazz have to simply move on from them and look to improve moving forward.
Rudy Gobert said it best after the Game 2 loss when he stated:
"“We play with attitude when we get down. We have to do it from the beginning. I think we need to play angry from the first minute.”"
He’s dead on about how he and his teammates have to approach each and every game against this red hot Golden State team. The Jazz have competed with the Warriors relatively well for about the final 36 minutes of both games, but they have to come out energized, confident and ready to compete for the initial 12 minutes of Games 3 and 4 to hopefully put themselves in the driver’s seat and not have to play from behind the entire game.
If Utah can simply put themselves in that position by starting out strong, their chances of evening the series will skyrocket dramatically.