This should be a very interesting series.Â It’s the brawn of the Utah Jazz against the hectic speed attack of the Golden State Warriors.Â Here’s a closer look at the matchups in this series:
POINT GUARD:Â This will be an epic matchup between two outstanding playmakers.Â Baron Davis played the first round like he was the MVP of the NBA.Â Against the Mavericks, Davis averaged 25.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.83 steals per game.Â Davis also shot 54% from the floor and 45.5% from three-point range against the Mavs.Â The Jazz can’t afford to let Davis play that well if they want to win this series.Â The Jazz also have an outstanding point guard in Deron Williams who was one of the most improved players in the NBA this season.Â Williams is more of a pure point guard than Davis is.Â Williams averaged 16.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 1.14 steals in the first round against the Houston Rockets.Â EDGE:Â EVEN
SHOOTING GUARD:Â This is an area where the Warriors should have a small edge.Â Monta Ellis had an off series against the Mavericks but he should retain his starting job against the Jazz.Â Ellis only shot 39.6% in the first round against the Mavericks and he averaged 8.2 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steal per game.Â Look for him to play much better against the Jazz in this round.Â Derek Fisher is the starter but he didn’t have a good series against the Rockets.Â He averaged 9.4 points, 1.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.0 steal per game.Â Â EDGE:Â WARRIORS
SMALL FORWARD:Â This will be a contrast in styles as Jason Richardson will likely be matched up against Andrei Kirilenko.Â Richardson is one of Don Nelson’s fastest horses on the basketball court.Â He was outstanding against the Mavericks in the 1st round as he averaged 19.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.33 steals per game.Â He also shot 51.1% from the floor.Â Andrei Kirilenko had a rough start to the playoffs in round #1 against the Rockets.Â He averaged 5.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.3 blocks per game.Â EDGE:Â WARRIORS
POWER FORWARD:Â Carlos Boozer will likely have a size advantage as the Warriors will likely match him up with Stephen Jackson.Â If that is the case, look for the Jazz to get the ball to Boozer a lot in this series.Â Boozer was awesome against the Rockets in the first round of the playoffs as he averaged 24.6 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.0 steals per game.Â Boozer also hit 50.3% of his shots from the floor.Â Jackson will try to run the court and make Boozer work on defense.Â Jackson averaged 22.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game against the Mavericks in Round #1.Â EDGE:Â JAZZ
CENTER:Â Mehmet Okur and Al Harrington are very similar players in style so this should be a fun matchup to watch unfold.Â Okur had problems in the first round with Yao as he only shot 35.4% from the floor.Â Okur wound up averaging 11.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.Â Look for Okur’s numbers to improve as he’s playing against a player a little smaller than him this time around.Â Al Harrington had an awful first round of the playoffs as he only averaged 4.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while shooting only 25.8% from the floor.Â Look for him to have a much better series this time around.Â EDGE:Â SLIGHT FOR JAZZ
BENCH:Â The Warriors have only been playing 8 players and I don’t think they’ll change that in this round of the playoffs.Â G/F Matt Barnes has been outstanding off of the bench for the Warriors in the playoffs.Â He averaged 10.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game against the Mavericks.Â He also hit 40% of his 3-pointers in round #1.Â Center Andris Biedrins played in all 6 games in round #1 (4 starts) and he played pretty well.Â He averaged 6.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.0 block per game against the Mavs and he hit 71.4% from the floor.Â Mickeal Pietrus only shot 30.6% in round #1 but he still averaged 7.0 points and 5.3 rebounds.Â Pietrus is known for his defense and he made some really big plays against the Mavericks in first round.Â Look for more of the same against the Jazz.
Matt Harpring has been outstanding in the playoffs so far for the Jazz.Â He averaged 10.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists in the first round agains the Rockets.Â Harpring’s all-out hustle often inspires his teammates on the court and that will come in handy against the Warriors.Â Gordan Giricek was the gunner off of the bench against the Rockets as he hit 8 of 12 shots (66.7%) from three-point range.Â He only played in 17.9 minutes per game but he averaged 7.1 points and 1.9 rebounds.Â Rookie Paul Millsap will likely play a bigger part in this series as he only averaged 12.3 minutes per game in round #1 against the Rockets.Â Millsap still averaged 5.0 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in his limited action.Â C/F Jarron Collins played in every game against the Rockets but he didn’t do much as he only averaged 1.0 point and 1.9 rebounds in 10.9 minutes per game.Â Rookie Ronnie Brewer only got to play in one game in the first round, but the Jazz will likely need him against the Warriors.Â EDGE:Â WARRIORS
PREDICTION:Â The Jazz are a great rebounding team and they have home-court advantage.Â I think that’s why they will beat the Warriors in an outstanding 7 game series.