Warriors-Jazz: What to watch for

March 17, 2012, 4:39 pm
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Programming note: Catch all the action tonight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live at 5:30 followed by Warriors-Jazz at 6. After the final buzz, Warriors Postgame Live will have all the highlights and analysis.

For the first time since Monta Ellis was traded, theWarriors looked despondent and dispassionate in their play. There were blownout by the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, a game they were never reallyin.Afterwards, Warriors coach Mark Jackson called the Warriorsperformance embarrassing and insured the team would rebound Saturday nightagainst the Jazz in Utah.For Warriors players, it seems to be sinking in that withoutEllis and Ekpe Udoh also included in the trade and the injured Stephen Currythat wins are going to be difficult to come by. The bottom line is the Warriorshave 25 games remaining and they have to find something to play for.It seems apparent that making the playoffs is a farfetchednotion, and the players and coach appear to be realizing that. Here are somethings to watch for during Saturdays Warriors-Jazz game.Effort level: It was clear after theWarriors loss to Milwaukee that Jackson wasnt pleased at all with the teamsenergy and effort. But Friday was not the first time Jackson has called histeams effort embarrassing.In fact, its happened about a half-dozen times this season,which is getting to the point of too many.Its important that while the team waits for Andrew Bogutand Curry to return which might not be till next season that itcontinues to develop. Tough to see any advancement in that category againstMilwaukee.Klays play: Since been giving thestarting two-guard spot, rookie Klay Thompson has had a good game and a couplenot-so-good ones. Thompson has begun to get big minutes now that Ellis is gone,and its worth keeping an eye on how he handles it.Will he shoot the ball consistently well for the rest of theseason? Can he defend two guards and hold his own night in and night out? Is itrealistic to expect him to handle this heavy of a workload for the rest of the seasonand beyond?We should find out a lot of those answers in the final 25games of the season.Lees response: No player seemed moredisappointed with the Ellis trade than David Lee. Not only did it take away Leeshope to make his first postseason, but the loss of Udoh legitimately willaffect his game.Udoh was able to guard the opposing teams best interiorplayer much of the time and Udohs presence on defense was also beneficial toLee.Up until the trade, Lee had been having a nice season.Against the Bucks he had 22 points and nine rebounds, but it was lost becauseLuc Mbah a Moute and Drew Gooden still owned the interior.Lee is a professional, no doubt, but it will likely bedifficult for him to maintain the level of play he had established earlier thisseason now that the teams best player and starting point guard and center aregone.

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