Friday, November 04, 2005

Will the real sleeper please stand up?

The Warriors are a very popular dark horse pick to make the playoffs this year. Not as popular of a pick, the Utah Jazz are, however, seen as a team with some high hopes as well.

These two "sleepers" square off tonight in a battle of youth and potential.

After seeing the results of their Opening Night manhandling of the Dallas Mavericks, one cannot help but wonder just how much sleep is really in the Jazz.

Younger than even the Warriors, the Jazz will rely heavily on players in their 4th years or less of experience. Their frontcourt of Mehmet Okur, Carlos Boozer (when he returns from injury), and Andrei Kirilenko is a dangerous one, and from the looks of the game vs. the Mavericks, rookie Deron Williams may be a significant contributor right away, tallying 18 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds in the Jazz' first game. Kirilenko is the most experienced of that group in his 4th season, while both Boozer and Okur are in their 3rd years.

Their bench could be a problem, though, as the Jazz don't seem to have a lot of firepower beyond their starting five besides Matt Harpring. Both Greg Ostertag and Jarron Collins provide some veteran stability, but neither are going to do more than provide rest for the emerging frontcourt, while the rest of the bench has unimpressive careers thus far, though many of them have two years or less of experience.

So, who's the real sleeper? While Utah's frontcourt is intriguing and there is high hopes for Deron Williams, the Warriors have two bonafide stars in Baron Davis and Jason Richardson, potential youth in Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy and Ike Diogu, and solid bench contributers in players like Derek Fisher, Mickael Pietrus, and Calbert Cheaney, each of whom has a year or more in the past where they have proven what they can do. Unless their bench steps up or their starting five really clicks, the Jazz look like they'll be sleeping for another year or so, to me.

The Warriors could be wide awake this very season.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Golden State Warriors!.. and check out more Warriors gear at

9:49 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home