The Golden State Warriors were as good as we expected them to be on Tuesday. The presumptive favorites for the 2017 championship haven’t proven they’re simply “better than everyone,” but they have certainly been better than everyone they’ve had a chance to play so far. The rest may — or will — come in time.
In Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Utah Jazz, the Warriors often only lead by about 10 points and still felt like they controlled the game for 48 minutes. They ended up with a 106-94 win thanks to Stephen Curry’s 22 points on 11 shots and the rest of the starters each pitching in double digits. On their home court, freshly rested off a series that went over four games, the Warriors put on a performance all night. It was hard to miss.
In theory, Utah is a team that could bother Golden State, but in reality, there wasn’t much the Jazz could do. Not against an offense that executed with 49 percent shooting from the field and 32 assists on 40 made field goals, and not when they turned the ball over just seven times. When Rudy Gobert was cooked by Curry, it was a startling reminder that even the best laid plans, even ones involving a center you hoped you briefly stay with your perimeter player in a desperation move.
Steph puts Rudy Gobert in the spin cycle pic.twitter.com/1PeFcvBMQf— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) May 3, 2017
This series isn’t over by any means, but it doesn’t feel like there’s much drama, either. We know how favored the Warriors will be, regardless. Golden State can crush you in a hundred different ways, and they did exactly that against Utah to open up the series.