Archive for December 2008

The Stupidest ‘T’ Ever?   2 comments

Yeah… he (Reggie Evans) actually got T’d up for that.

Posted December 30, 2008 by Sujal in PHI 76ers

Booze To Undergo Arthroscopic Surgery   Leave a comment

Well, the absence will continue

After having tried to conservatively rehabilitate his left knee, which has not responded satisfactorily, and reviewing all of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test results, Dr. Richard Ferkel and Jazz team orthopedist Dr. Lyle Mason have decided to perform an arthroscopic procedure on Boozer’s left knee joint.

He’ll undergo the surgery on January 9th, and be out for at least a month. That makes for early/mid-February. The trade deadline is a bit after that, if the Jazz were to try and trade him… though that looks even more doubtful now.

Posted December 30, 2008 by Sujal in Carlos Boozer, Injuries

Jazz Pound Sixers To End 2008   Leave a comment

The Jazz sent 2008 out (well, it’s not over yet, but the Jazz don’t play any more games until after the calendar has turned to January) on a high note, bouncing back from the Houston 2OT loss to beat the Sixers down at the ESA, 112-95. It got to the point where we finally saw Ronnie Price (it had been a couple of games)… and Fesenko even got 1:46, proving that good games against Dallas & Houston mean jack as soon as someone returns from injury. What exactly is the point of stepping up when you get time then? Anyhow, enough with that. The Jazz won, and they won in blowout fashion. I guess what’s most surprising is that the Jazz were ahead by 15 after 3, and yet only 3 players on the bench seemed to get any real burn. Almond, Price, Fesenko… shouldn’t they be getting some time in blowouts? And it’s not like the Sixers had any huge run in the quarter to make it close. But eh… I guess that’s how J-Slow coaches.

Why the Jazz won…

  • Deron woke up, and seemed motivated last night for some reason. And he exploded. He went 11-18 from the field, and finally found his 3-point touch as well (4-6), finishing with 27 points & 6 assists. What’s surprising is that he only took 1 FT… either he’s still not driving (therefore settling for jumpers, which are always a more risky shot), or the refs don’t seem to be calling fouls no matter what. And while it’s not totally on him, Andre Miller ended up fouling out, being held to 5-12 shooting for 13 points in the game. Deron also only had 2 TOs, which is huge.

  • AK finally found some semblance of a shot, going 6-12 from the field. He also went 5-7 from the line, finishing with 16 points. He also added 13 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 assists & 3 blocks. On the other side, Thaddeus Young (8-14) & Andre Iguodala (6-12) each had 17 points on at least semi-good shooting nights. How much of that falls on AK, I have no idea.
  • Okur was strong in his return, going 7-14 from the field (1-2 from downtown), finishing with 19 & 10. He also had 3 assists & 2 steals. On the other side, Sam Dalembert missed a double-double with 7 & 10, going just 2-5 from the field. Marreese Speights had 10 points (4-7 shooting) and 3 fouls (nothing else on the stat sheet), I’m guessing some of that came at the 5-spot, given that Dalembert only got 22 minutes.
  • CJ & Brewer combined to go 9-16 for 22 points, with CJ having the better day stat-wise. Well, save for his 1-4 night from downtown, and the 5 fouls.
  • Korver & The Koof were both solid off of the bench. Korver was 3-7 from the field (2-4 from long range), finishing with 12 points & 5 assists. He also had 5 fouls against his former team. The Koof went 4-8 from the field, finishing with 9 points & 6 boards. The 3 TOs are a bit disappointing, but seeing him finish with 0 fouls is nice. The rest of the bench (save maybe Brevin, who went scoreless and had a 3:2 assist:turnover ratio while being the 3rd of 3 bench-guys to get double-digit minutes) played seemingly inconsequential minutes.

Why it was a blowout…

  • The Sixers shot 48.7% from the field, which really isn’t that bad. But the Jazz shot 51.2%, which is better. As it is, the Jazz took 4 more shots than the Sixers… and made 4 more as well.

  • The Sixers were 1-9 from downtown (Iggy’s 0-3 “led” the way); the Jazz were 8-18 (Deron’s 4-6, Korver’s 2-4).
  • The Jazz were 20-23 from the FT line, the Sixers were 18-25.
  • The Jazz had 4 more boards, and 5 more assists. Oh, and 1 less turnover… the 14 turnovers for the Jazz seems surprisingly low as compared to recent games.
  • The Jazz had 6 blocked shots, the Sixers had 0. 4 of the Jazz starters got in on the action, paced by AK’s 3.

The Jazz are now off until January 2nd, when they will be in LA playing the Kobes. The Kobes are on a 4 game winning streak, with road wins in Memphis & New Orleans being followed by home wins against Boston & Golden State (on Sunday). They’ll have an extra day of rest as compared to the Jazz… which could be either good or bad. The Kobes are averaging 107 points a game, aided a lot by the 17 ppg by Pau Gasol. As a comparison, the 4 players they gave up in the NBA approved highway robbery are averaging 16 points a game… but only 1 of the 4 players is even getting semi-good minutes. And that’s canceled out by the fact that another of the players isn’t even in the league… and wasn’t even in the league during the trade. It’s a good precedent though… I’ve always wanted to 1-up the Mailman for leaving us… maybe we can trade him with others to land LeBron. And the NBA can’t say no… because of the prior precedent set by the Kobes trade. Oh, and as no surprise… the team on top of each conference is the team that pulled off a NBA approved highway robbery. And they’re in big markets with teams that had glory years back in the ’80’s. Hm…

Enjoy the new year. And to the Jazz… please get healthy!

Jazz Host Sixers   Leave a comment

The Jazz come back home after the disappointing loss in Houston, as they host the Philadelphia 76ers tonight. The Sixers lost in Denver on Friday, and today’s game is the 3rd road game in a 6 (!) game road-swing. The Sixers will still be without Elton Brand & Jason Smith… the Jazz will be without Booze & ‘Sap, I think. Finally, another team that has some injuries. The Sixers come in at 12-17.

Three Key Players

  1. Andre Miller: He scored 25 in the last meeting between the 2 teams (a Jazz win), and had 19 & 8 in the loss to the Nuggets on Friday. He’s solid at finding the open teammates, and while he’s not exactly a long-bomb threat, he can occasionally drain the trey. He only shot 2 FTs in the loss to Denver, so maybe he won’t drive in on the Jazz bigs too often. Hopefully Deron is healthy enough to avoid being dominated by Miller.

  2. Mehmet Okur: He’s missed the last couple of game, but should be back tonight. While The Koof & Fesenko filled in admirably the last 2 games, having Okur back will be huge. Plus, it should me no more pick-and-roll with AK, which is huge (13-45 shooting in the last 3 games). And he’ll be going up against Samuel Dalembert, who has been a huge disappointment this season.
  3. Andrei Kirilenko: Again, look at his shooting over the last 3 games. Ugh. Maybe he got too used to the bench? Anyhow, he needs to play much better. And if he’s starting, he’ll be on either Thaddeus Young or Andre Iguodala… he’ll need to be a presence defensively while showing back up offensively.

Carnival of the NBA, #62. Check it out… some of the biggest stories of the year.

Posted December 29, 2008 by Sujal in PHI 76ers, Pregame Thoughts

Nowitzki Suspends, Mavs Still Win   Leave a comment

Well, David Stern decided to suspend Dirk the Jerk for his hit on No Knees in the Jazz/Mavs game. Which I think is a really stupid call… it wasn’t an intentional hit or anything. And, in some great planning, it wasn’t announced until just a bit before the Mavs game today.

Lucky for the Mavs, it didn’t seem to have much of an impact, as they rolled over the Clippers (in LA), 98-76.

Flagrant-2? Fine, I guess that’s the rule for hitting with a fist. But a suspension for that? There have been many things worse that haven’t resulted in suspensions.

Posted December 28, 2008 by Sujal in DAL Mavericks, David Stern blows it, Matt Harpring

Jazz Travel To Houston   Leave a comment

Update: Artest will play, but T-Mac won’t. In that case, make Artest player #2 down below, in place of T-Mac.

The ‘Texas two-step’ comes to an end (in Texas, no less), as the Jazz head on the road to face the Rockets just one night after beating Dallas in the Valley of Salt. The Jazz are coming off of that win, while the Rockets are coming off of a road loss in New Orleans. The Rockets enter at 19-11, the Jazz at 18-13. There is some recent history between the 2 teams (see the first round of the last 2 playoffs), but the teams will be a bit different this time… especially the Jazz, who will probably be without all 3 leading scorers & rebounders yet again. The Rockets aren’t exactly injury-free (Ron Artest is hurt and might miss the game), but compared to the Jazz, they’re healthy. Very healthy.

Three Key Players

  1. Yao Ming: He’s one of the best centers in the league (if not the best). He’ll be going up against the terrifying duo of… The Koof & Fesenko. Oh man. Though there was some talk that Flop could be back… not that that makes anything better. If anything, his gameplanning skills will kill the Jazz, because Whiny Little Girl is a much better FT shooter than Shaq. WLG is averaging 20.1 ppg and 9.7 rpg. The Jazz are probably going to need to double him quite a bit tonight.

  2. Tracy McGrady: He’s averaging 15.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg & 4.7 apg this season. He did go 2-11 last night though (11 points), proving that he can occasionally have a bad game. The Jazz need to hope for another bad game from him as well, maybe like in the playoffs, where he was jacking up ugly trey after ugly trey, and missing badly. If not that, a 2-11 night works just fine. Brewer, CJ, AK, Almond, No Knees… they could all see some time against him. If it’s all of them, hopefully it’s due to everyone playing well & therefore needing time, and not because the D is horrible.
  3. Deron Williams: The injury still seems to be affecting him greatly… you can tell that whenever he starts towards the hoop. He’ll drive in, but instead of attacking strong, he settles for short jumpers (and misses quite a few of them). This is unfortunate. The Jazz need him to be healthy and draining his shots… an off-night is never good. And with all the leading scorers out, he’s going to need to step it up even more. Settling for treys isn’t going to work… we’ve seen that the last couple of games. Drive in. Draw the fouls if need be. Find the open guy (hopefully it’s no AK settling for a jumper). Oh, and please… please! Cut down on the turnovers.

The Dream Shake, where grungedave has enough hatred for the Jazz to make it seem that the Jazz did some very bad, unmentionable things to him in his childhood.

Posted December 27, 2008 by Sujal in HOU Rockets, Pregame Thoughts

Jazz Beat Mavs, 97-88   2 comments

Surprise! As a late Christmas present to all the fans, the Jazz came out and played some solid basketball at home, overcoming the absence of a couple of key guys to beat the Mavs, 97-88. So much for the doghouse expanding after the Bucks game… the absence of most of the bigs required J-Slow to play his 2 young bigs, and he did. Of course, there’s only 9 healthy players on the team (8 of them played, plus 1 who’s always injured), so it’s not like J-Slow has any other options. The same player that played way too many minutes against the Bucks was back again, playing the most minutes off of the bench. This time though, it was only good for the 6th most minutes on the team, and it did kinda end up being useful for the Jazz.

Why the Jazz won…

  1. Deron, while still hesitant to drive hard to the hoop (he kept settling for short jumpers/runners), played better. He went just 6-16 from the field, but he only took 3 treys (missed them all). He got 17 points… pretty much duplicating the Milwaukee line (except with 1 more shot made last night, and 4 fewer treys taken). But he threw in 13 assists and 3 boards, and only had 5 turnovers. He also got 4 steals, twice as many as anyone else on the team, and 1/3 of the Jazz total. Meanwhile, the opposing PGs (Jose Juan Barea, Jason Kidd) went a combined 5-19 from the field (2-9 from downtown), which is partially due to some sort of defensive presence by Deron. Of course, Kidd also played some 2-guard, and the Jazz were relatively lucky that Kidd kept launching treys and missing badly… open or not.

  2. The Koof & Fesenko aren’t your normal center rotation. In fact, if they are, you might be in trouble quite often. Last night was not one of those nights though. The Koof got the start, and was solid, going 8-11 for 18 points. He threw in 1 block, 8 boards, 2 assists & 2 steals, while only getting 2 fouls, which was huge with the dearth of bigs available. Fesenko, meanwhile, didn’t play as much (12 minutes, to 30 for Kosta), but threw in 8 points (4-5 shooting), along with 4 boards & 3 blocks. Erick Dampier didn’t go off as I feared, getting only 2 points, 8 boards & 2 blocks. The Koof also had a nice block on Dampier at one point, while Fesenko was partially behind the frustration that caused an ejection (more later).
  3. CJ was feeling it early, draining a couple of treys on his way to a 6-12 night (14 points) in 37 minutes. Brewer, meanwhile, was 8-15 from the field, getting 21 points to lead the Jazz, and throwing in 7 boards & 2 steals and assists in the process. He also finished the 3rd quarter on a high note, slipping behind the Mavs D and catching the inbound pass from Korver for an easy flush with less than 2 seconds left. That made up for an attempted buzzer-beater at the half… one that fell but left his hands just a touch too late.
  4. The Jazz were 23-27 from the line (15-17 for the Mavs). No player on the Jazz missed more than 1, and the 7-8 night for AK really saved his game offensively (he did have 14 rebounds). Brewer was 5-5 from the line, and Deron was 5-6.
  5. The ejection of Dirk the Jerk seemed to revitalize the Mavs near the end, but it ended up being that it was just the Jazz playing their normal D. After the FT for the flagrant (only 1, because the basket by Fesenko before counted), the Jazz were up 83-68. The Mavs promptly went on a 12-2 run, but again… that was really helped by the Jazz leaving the Mavs open at times. And since the Mavs weren’t really revitalized all that much, they never really threatened the Jazz late. After they cut the lead to 5 on that run, the Jazz built it back up and relatively cruised (I mean, there was no “Hack-A-(anyone)” late to reduce the Jazz to a FT shooting bunch, implying that it was over and that the Mavs just wanted to get out.

What kept the Mavs in it…

  1. Josh Howard went off for 18 points. Of course, the fact that his stat sheet is bare (other than the points, 2 steals, 1 block & 3 fouls) can’t be good for the Mavs.

  2. Jason Terry was on fire, getting 26 points on 10-18 shooting. Luckily for the Jazz, he was only 2-6 from downtown, because he had more than 2 good looks.
  3. The Mavs bench outscored the Jazz bench, 39-18. Of course, that can partially be explained by the fact that the Jazz don’t have much of a bench right now.
  4. Dirk did have 17 & 8 before his ejection early in the 4th quarter, and he was 6-10 from the field.
  5. No Knees played 16 minutes, and was more-or-less a negative impact save for the fist to the mouth that he took. That play near the end of the 1st quarter where the Jazz ran the clock down and then attempted a long jumper by No Knees (between the FT line and the 3-point line)… yeah. Never again. Please.

What caused Dirk’s ejection…

  1. Well, the play went as such. After a missed, Fesenko went up for the ball, and might’ve gone over the back on Dirk. He didn’t appreciate that. Then Dirk & No Knees were battling for position under the hoop, and No Knees kinda grabbed Dirk’s hand, moved it and let it go… getting the ball (which had just gone through on the Fesenko shot) in the process. Dirk didn’t take too kindly to that though, and seemingly elbowed No Knees in the arm. His arm continued though, moving backwards, and in the end, his fist ended up nailing No Knees in the mouth. Mavs HC Rick Carlisle…

    “It appeared to me to be accidental, but they said his fist was closed so it’s an automatic Flagrant-2,” Carlisle said.

    I guess that’s the rule or something, so it’s an automatic ejection, intentional or not.

  2. Before, Dirk was having an alright game (again, 17 & 8). He only had 3 fouls, so he wasn’t getting called for too many bad fouls. Just the one offensive one earlier (first half, I think). Dirk had the ball up at the top of the key (you know, ball up by the head, elbows out). Anyhow, he moved his right elbow down. AK, fearing for his life or something (remember last year… see below), decided to act a bit, jumping UP and falling backwards. The whistle blew, the offensive foul was called. Now, I’m not a genius, but generally, if someone elbows you in the face with the elbow moving DOWN, you definitely won’t be going UP. Eh, I’m not complaining. The refs have been generally bad to us anyways.
  3. It’s what Dirk does. Even last year, he got tossed in a game after a hard foul on AK. Dirk might be better off just avoiding the games in Utah.

The Jazz don’t get much rest… the flew off after the game and will play the Rockets in Houston tonight. For more from the Mavs side, head over to Mavs Moneyball. The Rockets will be coming off of a road loss to the Hornets last night. And unlike last night, that game obviously won’t be on KJZZ. More on that game later though.

“Jazz” Host Mavs Tonight   Leave a comment

This could get ugly. Very quickly. Of course, the same could’ve been said about the game last year against the Lakers where Fesenko was starting for the first time ever… and the Jazz rolled there. But will we see such magic again?

The players the Jazz will be without… ‘Sap, Booze, Okur & Flop. Yep… all bigs. And the Jazz-sters top 3 scorers. Kosta gets the start, as does AK (making his first start of the season). The Mavs are coming off of a win in Portland last night, and are 17-11 (17-13 for the Jazz).

The Jazz have averaged 22 turnovers/game in their last 2 games, both losses. The Mavs have won 3 straight, and 7 of their last 10. And they’re more-or-less fully healthy, which has to be good for them.

Three Key Players

  1. Dirk Nowitzki: Any doubt about this? He’s averaging 26 ppg & 9 rpg. And the Jazz will be countering him with AK, and then… No Knees? Uh oh. He’ll probably see many good looks (especially if No Knees or Koufos or the likes is on him), and if he’s knocking them down, the Jazz are in trouble.

  2. Kosta Koufos: He’ll get plenty of minutes, especially with Fesenko in the doghouse. Can he come through though? Or will Erick Dampier go off on the Jazz? Koufos will have to step up defensively (especially if he switches over to Dirk the Jerk), but will also have to help out offensively to make up for the loss of all the inside scoring.
  3. Deron Williams: He has to bounce back after the off-night (shooting wise) in Milwaukee. And with the pick-and-roll more or less negated with the fact that there’s no one to set the pick, he’s going to have to pick his game in all forms. More points. Better shooting. Fewer turnovers. More assists, if possible. He averaged 23+ ppg & 12.8 apg last year against the Mavs, including 41 points in 1 game.

Mavs Moneyball

Please, oh please… don’t run the pick-and-roll with AK. Especially if he’s not “roll”-ing.

Posted December 26, 2008 by Sujal in DAL Mavericks, Pregame Thoughts

‘Sap Out For 7-10 Days   Leave a comment

Yeah, read the title.

If Millsap is sidelined for 10 days, he will miss five games, starting tonight against Dallas at EnergySolutions Arena. Center Memo Okur, who missed the 94-86 loss at Milwaukee, is listed as doubtful against the Mavs because of recurring back spasms.

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said he planned to start Andrei Kirilenko in place of Millsap. If Okur can’t play, rookie Kosta Koufos will start at center.

Meanwhile, Carlos Boozer won’t play because of the quad tendon and knee injury he suffered Nov. 19. He is scheduled to fly to Los Angeles this weekend and will undergo another MRI exam on Monday. According to Jazz spokesperson Jonathan Rinehart, dye will be injected into Boozer’s joint so doctors can get a more accurate picture of his condition.

Meanwhile, Jazz point guard Deron Williams is listed as probable against Dallas despite a strained calf. Also, Jarron Collins won’t play but his sore elbow is improving and he will travel to Houston, where the Utah plays the Rockets on Saturday night.

As for tonight’s game… I agree with BBJ… time to turn on the burners and play like the Suns of old. Defense be damned… you don’t have enough healthy bodies to try and play physical defense. We know the team can run (at least when healthy)… might as well see how well it works now.

Posted December 26, 2008 by Sujal in Injuries, Paul Millsap

Jazz Fall To Bucks   Leave a comment

Well, the Jazz went into Milwaukee looking to put a positive end to the road trip. It ended up being anything but. Not only did they lose 94-86 in ugly fashion, they also saw yet another injury or two. The doghouse expanded. A certain played played 26:37… 26:37 more than he should ever see in a game, and 4th most minutes on the team. And we could go on.

Why the Jazz lost…

  1. Deron Williams went 5-16 for 17 points. He also had 8 boards & 8 assists. That doesn’t seem too bad (save for the shooting). But then you look a bit closer. 5 fouls. 7 turnovers. A night from downtown (1-6) that would make Chris Paul look like Reggie Miller. Yeah. Highly ineffective… and that’s after having 2 nights off. And late in the game, when the Jazz needed a 3… he was not the guy you wanted shooting it. Maybe CJ (not in), maybe Almond (not in), maybe AK or Korver… anyone but Deron. His shot was not falling, and yet he kept shooting. And it killed us.
  2. Mehmet Okur missed the game with an injury. ‘Sap played the 2nd most minutes on the team, but still missed time with the injury. Fesenko & Koufos really didn’t impress

    Sloan also wasn’t too happy with Kyrylo Fesenko, whom he described as not being ready to play, and Kosta Koufos, who went 3-for-10 and left Sloan with the impression he was more interested in shooting than anything else.

    To note… Fesenko started, but only played 3:45 before hitting the bench for good. Koufos took 10 shots (hitting only 3) in 17 minutes. The big man rotation is horribly weak, and could be getting weaker for the next game or more. Yikes.

  3. CJ & Brewer both continued their ineffective play (at least offensively), and ended with 16 & 21 minutes played respectively. Brewer was just 1-6 from the field.
  4. 23 turnovers (12 more than the Bucks) killed too. Deron had the 7 mentioned. So did AK, which ruined an otherwise good game. That stat includes 11 steals for the Bucks… 6 by Luke Ridnour himself. Hold onto the dang ball!
  5. ‘Sap’s double-double streak came to an end, as he finished with 11 & 9. And he says he played the 2nd half as if he only had 1 leg. Yikes.
  6. No Knees played 26 minutes. Yep… 26! He was 3-6 from the field, and had 4 fouls & 2 TOs. On the other hand, Korver played fewer minutes but was just 3-8 from the field, while Almond was 2-2 (1-1 from long range) in 12 minutes. Playing No Knees that much is almost like waiving a white flag.
  7. The Jazz fouled away… picking up 31 to the Bucks’ 25.

Why it was so close…

  1. The Bucks shot just 38.8% from the field. While it’s better than the Jazz mark (38%), it’s not very good.

  2. The Jazz controlled the boards, 49-43.
  3. Andrew Bogut didn’t repeat his last performance, finishing with 9 & 11.
  4. While Michael Redd did his scoring (27 points), he was 9-25 from the field and a pathetic 1-9 from long range (yep, he somehow made Deron look good, which brings to question who exactly he makes Chris Paul look like). The teams were a combined 4-30 from long range… 1-16 from the Bucks, and 3-14 for the Jazz. Horrible, horrible mess there.
  5. Richard Jefferson had himself a bad shooting night as well (didn’t everyone though?), finishing 3-14.

Now the Jazz are off until tomorrow, when they host the Dallas Mavericks. Unlike the Jazz, who are a running walking (you can’t be running when No Knees is on the team) train-wreck, the Mavs are injury free, and are 5 games above .500. That’s not really news (the Jazz are 4 games above), until you realize that just a bit back, they were 5 games under .500. Talk about a turnaround. I guess that’s what happens when you’re relatively healthy.


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