Warriors focus: Jarrett Jack

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Warriors focus: Jarrett Jack

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the sixth installment in a seven-part series that spotlights the seven new Warriors.
Part 1: Harrison BarnesPart 2: Kent Bazemore
Part 3: Andrew Bogut
Part 4: Festus Ezeli
Part 5: Draymond Green

Of all the moves the Warriors have made in the past six months, you could argue that trading for Jarrett Jack was the most necessary of them all. With Stephen Curry coming off an injury-plagued 2011-12, it was mandatory that the Warriors go out and get some insurance at that position and thats what they did by acquiring Jack for Dorell Wright this offseason.For a while this summer, it didnt seem like acquiring a point guard was a priority for the Warriors as they appeared to show little interest in free agents such as Andre Miller, Kirk Hinrich and Jason Kidd.But rather than find a point guard in free agency, which most expected, the Warriors moved Wright to Philadelphia and acquired Jack from New Orleans as part of a three-team trade.In addition to upgrading the point guard spot, the move also balanced out the roster some. Small forward, the position Wright plays, isnt exactly an area of need.Jack was brought here to back up Curry, no doubt about it. And who could fault that?Curry played in just 26 games last year because of ankle issues, and if the ankle starts acting up again this season the Warriors will have a competent veteran player behind him.And if Curry does stay healthy, then having Jack gives them a quality backcourt player coming off the bench. Jack is a versatile guard, capable of playing both backcourt positions and he also possesses toughness and veteran know-how. Over the course of his career, Jack has started 249 of 532 games so the assumption is that if Curry gets hurt Jack will step in.Jack is probably more of a combination guard than true point guard, but hes the closest thing to a traditional point guard the Warriors have. Jack played almost exclusively at point guard last season for the Hornets, pairing in the backcourt with former Warrior Marco Belinelli.Jack averaged a career-high 6.3 assists in 2011-12. He also had a couple of big games against Golden State last season, including a triple-double in which he finished with 17 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and zero turnovers.What makes Jack a good fit for the Warriors is his ability to play both guard spots. That will allow him to play alongside either Curry or Klay Thompson, the Warriors projected starting backcourt.RELATED: Who subs for Klay Thompson?
Having Jack should also allow Curry to play some shooting guard, taking advantage of Currys ability to move without the ball and come off screens.Jack averaged 34 minutes per game last season for the Hornets, but its tough to see him getting that many for the Warriors in 2011-12 not if the team is essentially healthy.Ideally, Jack would play somewhere in the mid-20s minutes-range, but with Jack its not so much how many minutes he plays as when he plays. Its not hard to see him logging his share of crunch-time minutes.Jack is a better defender than either Curry or Thompson, and on top of it, hes often able to defend either backcourt position. Hes a steady presence late in games and a solid decision maker. Like Curry and Thompson, Jack is an excellent free-throw shooter.Hes also just one of six players on the roster with any kind of playoff experience. If theres one thing Jack has proven over the course of his career, its that hell find a way to get playing time. Thats not going to change with the Warriors.

Warriors pushed late by Jazz, still come out on top in Utah

Warriors pushed late by Jazz, still come out on top in Utah

BOX SCORE

SALT LAKE CITY — The Golden State Warriors needed less than nine minutes to open a 24-point lead over the short-handed Utah Jazz on Thursday night.

Stephen Curry scored 26 points and the Warriors controlled the Jazz from start to finish in a 106-99 victory.

Curry had 14 points during a 29-1 run that made it 29-5. The Jazz's only lead of the game was 4-2.

"Loss of focus," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said about the second half. "Our first quarter was great, we pushed the ball and our defensive intensity was fantastic. I think we let down. We started turning it over some careless, purposeless plays.

"We didn't really have an idea of what we were trying to accomplish. Some defensive mistakes not getting out on shooters and they took advantage."

Kevin Durant added 21 points and 11 rebounds for Golden State.

Jazz center Rudy Gobert had 20 points and 17 rebounds, Joe Ingles scored a career-high 21 points, and Shelvin Mack added a season-high 19.

The Jazz have four starters sidelined by injuries, including their top three scorers.

"I didn't do a good job of attacking throughout the game and I thought that was a good opportunity for me to attack," Durant said about the fourth quarter.

Golden State led 65-46 at halftime as the second unit allowed the Jazz to hang around and, technically, remain within striking distance. The urgency from the first quarter disappeared in the second half and the Jazz crept within five in the fourth quarter thanks to buckets from Mack and Ingles, but Durant closed the game with 11 in the final period.

"What we've discussed is just roles," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said about surviving the injuries. "They can morph. They widen, they can narrow, they can do anything. Hopefully, on a team, guys are willing to evolve and adjust to what the team needs. That's really all we emphasized."

TIP-INS

Warriors: Rookie Patrick McCaw scored a career-high 10 points, all in the first half. ... Shaun Livingston took the night off to rest. ... Draymond Green was two assists shy of his 15th career triple-double. ... Green tweaked his ankle, but he and Kerr didn't seem overly concerned.

Jazz: Utah started the combination of Joe Johnson, Mack, Dante Exum, Gobert and Boris Diaw for the first time this season. ... Ingles hit a career-high five 3-pointers.

INJURED JAZZ

The Jazz were without four starters — Gordon Hayward (finger), Rodney Hood (hamstring), George Hill (toe) and Derrick Favors (knee). Utah has been dealing with injuries all season, but Thursday was their most depleted lineup to date.

"It's easy to be frustrated," Snyder said. "That's something you have to just fight against and make a decision to do the best with where we are.

"It's a credit to our guys really. We've got a group that has character. Over a longer period of time it becomes more challenging. ... Hopefully, there's a silver lining. We've got some guys that are getting minutes that may not be getting otherwise."

QUOTABLE

"This team, my first year was kind of a surprise and everybody seemed to love us. Now maybe it's changed a little bit. It honestly makes no difference to us." — Kerr.

ROLES

Snyder said roles morph, but Joe Johnson added that shouldn't be a difficult thing night-to-night.

"This is our profession, man," Johnson said. "This is what we signed up for. This is what we do. When you're number's called, you've got to be ready regardless of the circumstances."

UP NEXT

Warriors: Golden State travels to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday in the third game of a five-game trip.

Jazz: Utah hosts a Sacramento Kings team on Saturday that has lost eight of 12 on the road.

Warriors recall first-round pick Damian Jones from Santa Cruz

Warriors recall first-round pick Damian Jones from Santa Cruz

The Warriors recalled center Damian Jones from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced on Thursday.                             

During his most recent assignment, which began Nov. 30, Jones averaged 2.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.00 blocks in 19.3 minutes over three games with the Warriors’ D-League affiliate.

The Vanderbilt product, who was selected 30th overall by Golden State in the 2016 NBA Draft, grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds in 17 minutes on Dec. 3 at Maine.

The 7’0”, 245-pound center has appeared in five games (two starts) with Santa Cruz this season, holding averages of 2.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.20 blocks in 19.0 minutes.

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