How Golden State killed the Utah Jazz 101-68 on Friday night

Last year, the Utah Jazz played a relentlessly defensive brand of basketball — running defense in an Indiana-like, aggressive manner. They may have taken the league by storm, entering the 2016-17 season with the sixth-best defensive rating in the league and continuing to rank among the Top 10 even after a summer of departures and playing without Rudy Gobert.

It’s become a habit, it seems.

Nick Nurse’s work as the Cleveland Cavaliers head coach and now as the head coach of the Toronto Raptors has shone a light on the Jazz’s offensive style. Players such as Joe Ingles, Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors are well known for their skill on the defensive end, but it was surprising to see how competent the Jazz could be on the other end as well — much to the chagrin of the NBA’s statistically strongest teams. Cleveland, Golden State, Houston, Philadelphia and the Cleveland Cavaliers all ranked among the Top 3 defensively in the league in 2016-17, the highest of any franchise since 2011.

But the Warriors took that to a new level on Friday night.

They killed the Jazz 101-68 on Friday.

Instead of entertaining the Jazz and their offseason strategy of invading the paint and being physical, the Warriors simply toyed with the Dubs’ method of thinking. They jumped back on the weak side defense and found themselves surrounded by defenders. Utah defenders couldn’t find a hole for the high pick-and-roll to execute their offense, and Golden State swiftly executed in transition. In the first half, Golden State recorded 33 points in transition.

By the third quarter, the Warriors’ approach of getting back and defending the basket was ineffective as well.

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