The Warriors and Jazz begin their second round playoff series in Oakland on Tuesday night. But, this is not the matchup they wanted. According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, the Dubs wanted the Clippers and it has nothing to do with basketball. Los Angeles has considerably better night life options than Utah and a few of the Dubs’ players pointed that out.
Backup forward Matt Barnes was among the more vocal players saying:
No comparison. There’s no such thing, man. There’s no nightlife in Utah. Obviously, as players, you want to be able to have a little bit of a nightlife, but the main focus is winning games. Me personally, I want to get out there because I want to beat the Clippers. That’s my former team, and my kids are out there. But as far as nightlife, there’s no comparison to nightlife in Utah and L.A.
Can’t say I blame Barnes, having been to both Utah and Los Angeles, I have to agree. NBA players are creatures of habit and for all intents and purposes are shift workers. Meaning they don’t do a traditional 9-5. Games in the playoffs after media responsibilities don’t wrap until late. After work people often like to go out with their co-workers and unwind. Not a whole lot of that going to be happening in Utah. Andre Iguodala agrees, saying:
The problem with Utah is that you’re just sitting there and your mind is, like, dead, because in L.A., you still got energy for the game. Because you’re in L.A., you’re like, ‘Man, this is just the vibe in L.A.’ but in Utah, it can kind of lull you to sleep. And then you’ve slept too long or I’m bored out of my mind and now you got to try to pump yourself up for the game. You know you’re in the playoffs and you’re supposed to be pumped anyway, but the vibe is just like, ‘Man, let’s just get out of here.
Another advantage to playing the Clippers would have been the 45 minute flight from Oakland to LA. Much better than flying to Utah, but not terrible, all things considered.
If the Jazz use this to their advantage, maybe they could…no chance. While the Dubs will be bored due to lack of nightlife options, it won’t bore them into losing to a far inferior team. Jazz get gamey and Dubs get bored for one game. Warriors in 5.