It wasn't so long ago that the Warriors would visit Salt Lake City and routinely find ways to lose to the Jazz. Who could forget how Utah muscled its way through the "We Believe" Warriors of 2007?
Times, however, have changed. And so have the rosters.
The current Warriors (36-7), who meet the Jazz on Friday night at Energy Solutions Arena, were not with the team in '07. The same applies to the current Jazz (16-30). These Warriors have the best record in the NBA and, more to the point, are making a habit of silencing Utah.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr is looking forward to the quick trip – not only for himself but for point guard Stephen Curry, who facing more off-court requests than ever.
"We've been home this whole month," Kerr noted. "Steph's got all kinds of stuff (going on). He's the hottest player in the league, the No. 1 vote-getter. You can imagine how many people are coming after him to try to get a piece of him. So getting out on the road will be good for Steph.
"It'll be good for all of our guys just to get to the hotel, shut the door and relax."
[RELATED: Home loss to Bulls sends Warriors back to school]
Warriors by 10.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
Klay Thompson/Harrison Barnes vs. Gordon Hayward: Hayward is Utah's most dangerous scorer (19.0 ppg), with five games of 30 or more points. He can catch and shoot but usually runs off screens. Thompson and Barnes, and maybe Andre Iguodala, will take turns chasing him. All three are capable of scoring on Hayward.
Andrew Bogut vs. Enes Kanter: Kanter is an improving big man who is playing well (averaging 19.6 points and 10.8 rebounds over last five games). Bogut, who missed the previous game with an illness but is expected to return, will have his hands full with a player who is starting to realize his potential.
Draymond Green vs. Derrick Favors: It's a physical mismatch, as Favors has three inches and 35 pounds on Green. That only makes it perfect for Green, who relishes every opportunity in which he's the underdog. If he drops in a couple 3-pointers, somebody will have to come out. Favors would not enjoy such duty.
KEYS TO VICTORY:
1-Get out fast: The Warriors thrive when they set a fast pace. Nothing beats a sizable lead over Utah, which doesn't have the firepower to overcome big deficits.
2-Crank up the D: Utah is prone to committing turnovers; only Sacramento has a worse differential. The Warriors are capable of forcing a few more.
3-Bombs away: Only the Knicks allow a higher 3-point shooting percentage than Utah. The Warriors, with all their shooters, ought to be able to exploit that.
Warriors 8-2, Jazz 3-7.
Warriors: C Andrew Bogut (illness) is listed as questionable is but was cleared to play during Friday morning shootaround.
Jazz: G Alec Burks (left shoulder surgery) and F Rodney Hood (left foot inflammation) are listed as out.
C Festus Ezeli is on assignment with D-League Santa Cruz.
The Warriors won all four meetings last season to achieve their first ever season sweep over the Jazz and only their third series victory in 20 years. By winning the first two meetings this season, the Warriors have won six straight against Utah – the last three by double digits.