Though it’s not the Player of the Month he deserved last month, Deron did get Player of the Week honors for the past week for the Western Conference. He averaged 25.3 ppg and 11.3 apg in the 3 games, and came up huge at the end of all 3 games in leading the Jazz to wins.
Archive for the ‘Players’ Category
Yet again, the Jazz had a really bad quarter. This time, they changed things up though, playing solidly in the first before sucking it up in the 2nd. I guess that happens when you turn to your bench and bring in a line-up of Flop, Harding & Knight. Flop has to be the worst player in the league, or right up there. And that’s counting all 2nd-round rookies this year, and all NBDLers that have been called up and even Jason Hart. Harding has been sucking it up for the past couple of games, and that continued. Brevin brings a veteran presence that the team probably needs. He also brings a terrible jumper, overconfidence on his own jumper, the innate ability to cause the offense to stall immediately, and more. Combine the 3 of them with AK (who loves to drive into the post all wild-like and then dish off to Flop) and Korver, and you’re going to have a hell of a time. In a bad way. By the way… passing to Flop should be an offense punished by immediate benching. Luckily for the Jazz, AK & KK carried the Jazz bench, scoring all 38 of the bench points. The rest of the bench (aka the other 3 guys already mentioned) went 0-5 with 3 assists, 1 TO, 4 fouls and 0 points.
Fortunately for the Jazz, Deron, Okur & ‘Sap (getting another start for the Injury Magnet) played well, overcoming off nights from CJ & Brewer, and teaming with AK & KK to lead the Jazz. Deron had 25 & 9, taking over late yet again. Okur couldn’t drain a trey, but went 9-17 for 19 & 11. ‘Sap finished with 18 & 11. Brewer had only 4 points on 6 shots (though he did throw in 5 assists), and CJ had 5 on 5. Truthfully, the game was ugly throughout, before the Jazz finally woke up late. They outscored the Raptors 28-14 in the last quarter, largely due to playing D and having the Raptors miss their jumpers. It ended up being enough, as the Jazz got a road win, something that we’ll take no matter who we’re playing.
Meanwhile, for the Raptors… Chris Bosh had 30 points & 10 boards (before choking?). Jose Calderon had 10 & 11, Anthony Parker had 16 & 11, Bargnani had 20 and 8, and The Matrix was held to 8 & 8. By the way, the caption to the picture is kinda telling for the Raptors. As are the polling results on the home page.
Here’s how the Jazz extended their streak to 11 games.
I’m not a big fan of the bench, outside of the top 3 (top 2 if the Injury Magnet turns on). Well, I like The Koof, but he gets less time on the court than the guys making mid-court shots for money. And Fesenko & Almond, but they’re both in the D-League right now. That leaves the top 3, the next 3 (mentioned above), and Ronnie Price. If this team is really dependent on anyone behind the top 3 for production (which they are, especially with Injury Magnet out), they’re in trouble. If the Brev Brev/Price duo has to play more than 5 minutes (well, just Brev Brev because J-Slow all of a sudden hates Ronnie Price), they’re in trouble. If Flop hits the court, they’re in trouble (and my TV is off if the game is on, but that is irrelevant). If Harding gets called on in any game that isn’t against the Spurs/Nuggets/etc., they’re screwed. I know this is true for most teams beyond the first couple of guys, but given the way injuries are hitting, the Jazz have to be prepared. Turning to Flop & Harding does not equal prepared. If you enter a playoff series against the Lakers/Spurs, and put Flop on the court, you will be laughed out of the building. And eventually run out of it as well.
This whole spiel is probably irrelevant now, given that the big FAs (like Drew Gooden and Joe Smith and Mikki Moore, etc.) have all signed, and the deadline to add players that can play in the playoffs (or something like that) has passed, but still… how the team can leave Flop on the roster and not go try to get someone that can help is beyond me. Hopefully it doesn’t come back to bite us in the backside…
That said, the Jazz won. Guess we might as well enjoy that. The last 5-game-Eastern-Conference-road-swing is underway, and the Jazz have a 1-0 start. Things could definitely have been a lot worse… and it seemed like they would be until 12 PM MST, when they finally woke up (they = Deron, it seems). Up next… the Pacers.
Please return. Now!
The more time you miss, the more we have to see of Flop (until J-Slow wakes up, which sadly will probably be never). And as he proved today, he sucks.
After letting them sit behind the bench for eons, the Jazz have finally sent Mo Nuts & Fesenko down to the D-League.
I guess they knew Booze might miss some games, because otherwise The Koof would probably benefit the most from getting some extra time. Almond isn’t a D-Leaguer… he should be up in the NBA. Unfortunately for him, the Jazz developed a solid SG right after drafting him, making it a lot harder for him to get time. As for Fesenko… he does fine down there. He just doesn’t get time up here to prove anything (due to J-Slow’s man-crush on a guy who isn’t deserving), but yeah… I guess it’s better than sitting behind the bench in a suit.
The over-used cliche really describes the Jazz/Nuggets game well. The Jazz played like crap in the first half… falling behind by 19 at one point (before cutting the lead to 10 at the break). ‘Sap had only taken 1 shot. Booze started 2-3 for 4 quick points, and then missed his next 4 shots. Okur struggled. Deron struggled. Brewer was just 1-4. The bench had contributed a total of 4 points. CJ was his crappy version. They were settling for jumpers, and missing. The first half can be described in 2 words…
And then the team came onto the court revitalized. For all the crying by the Nuggets, what the Jazz did was simple… they started attacking the hoop. And in this league that we call the NBA, that’ll draw a lot more fouls than shooting jump-shots will. The Jazz attacked early and often. They found the FT line very comforting, and before you knew it, the Jazz were back in the game. And it stayed close until Dahntay Jones decided to piss off Deron. And then it was on. Two treys by CJ to end the 3rd started the run, and the Jazz were up by around 10 until the end of the game. Everyone knows that you don’t upset the Ninja (credit Shums for the Ninja comments). Anyhow, Brewer & Deron took over and more or less carried the Jazz despite off nights for both Booze & Okur.
The hero = Deron. Duh!
The win runs the streak to 10 games, and has brought the Jazz (after last night’s games) to with 0.5 games of first place in the Northwest.
The next game is currently on-going (in the 2nd half) in Toronto. I’m sorry, but early starts are a pain. Especially early starts the same day that we lose an hour. That said, J-Slow needs to know his rotations better, even with Booze out. Some guys should not be seeing the court at all, other guys need to be playing more. And if someone is playing well, let him keep playing. Screw your “I need to take him out after 6 minutes” rotation.
Well, there is an early game today (starting about now) in Toronto.
And the Jazz will be without… you guessed it. Booze, who suffered a sprained ankle in the Nuggets game. ‘Sap will get the start.
Okay, not really… both teams played well, but Deron took over late, and there’s no stopping him when he feels it. The game was close throughout, with both teams losing their starting center to foul trouble in the 4th.
The stars? Deron & Brewer yet again. They came up especially huge late. Deron finished with 26 & 14, Brewer had 19 & 4 steals. Oh, and Okur had 16 & 8 before fouling out.
How about AK and his assist of the night?
AK finished with 6 points, 4 assists & 3 rebounds in an off night.
Speaking of off nights, want to know who didn’t have one? That’s right… Booze was feeling it, finishing with 20 & 17 (!). He also had a team high +/- of +15.
Deron was amazing. CJ… not so much. He’s gone MIA as of late… coinciding with the return of Booze? He finished 1-6 for the game, with 2 points. His stats offensively since Booze’s return… the first 2 games, when Booze was playing minimal minutes, he was 4-10 (8 points… in 12 minutes!) and 6-10 (15 points). Since then though, he’s gone 2-6 (4 points), 1-5 (2 points) and 1-6 (2 points). Save for the 15 point game, his minutes are hovering near 20 right now (on the lower end), almost 4 minutes lower than his season average.
Booze played well, the bench didn’t, and the Jazz won. Korver only had 2 points, and Harding & ‘Sap each had 4. Luckily the team shot well (50%) and was perfect from the FT line (17-17). Speaking of the FT line (and therefore fouls), the Jazz were called for 11 more fouls and the Rockets shot 15 more FTs. And yet the Rockets fans were complaining. Quite simply, well… first, they should’ve made their FTs (24-32). And second, as sad as it is, in this day and age, the NBA allows flopping (and rewards for it)… so it’ll continue. There were flops on both sides (each center ended up fouling out because of them… depending who you ask). Also, it’s stupid when refs that can’t see the play (behind it all) blow the whistle. Leave it to the guys that can see the play!
Unrelated to the game, but why is the ‘pro-hop’ not an up-and-down or something like that? And speaking of that, you might as well toss out the rulebook, because the refs don’t follow it. Making it even easier for them to help the ‘superstars’… which is highly stupid. Quite simply, the call should be the same whether it’s Kobe or Flop. If it’s a charge on one, it’s a charge on the other. Reaching in? Check. Blocking foul? Check. Anything.
Contract year issues. I think Fesenko, Almond & The Koof (not in a contract year) should all be playing more. If not with the Jazz, then in the NBDL. Taking Flop off of the 12-man roster hurts the team in no way.
The Jazz “are going streaking”, having won 9 straight as they get ready to host the Nuggets (coming off of a win against the Blazers yesterday) tonight. FYI… if you watch the video, you see more of Will Ferrell than you’ve ever wanted to see.
Whiny Little Girl (not so little) obviously went off on the officiating. How dare they call a foul on him?!? That said, this ‘preferential treatment’ is just pathetic and stupid. Oh, and he’s over the back on almost every one of his boards… he’s lucky they aren’t calling that.
If my review isn’t long enough for you, The Dream Shake has you covered. Profanity included. If you want the profanity but not the length, The Dream Shake is there too. Seriously, it seems like they’re closet Jazz fans, given how much time they devote to “hating” the Jazz. Oh, and the sites not only have profanity, but also a lot of ‘Utah sucks’ (to state it nicely) and some anti-Mormon sentiment. Because obviously all Jazz players are Mormon. I’ve never seen how saying “F*** Utah” or “Utah sucks” or “How are your wives?” adds anything to a sports discussion, but eh… I guess that’s all they know. Sad, really… the NBA almost gives us all something to bond over (like hating the Kobes & Celtics and all), but some people would rather not. Eh. Anyhow, enough of that off-topic thing…
Speaking of the Rockets, the game’s “surprising explosion against the Jazz D” was Kyle Lowry. Last time Von Wafer, this time Lowry. What?
Up next, the Nuggets…
The Jazz improved their current winning streak to 9 games, holding off both the Warriors (in Golden State) and the Rockets (in Utah).
The Warriors game featured a huge performance from the bench, as ‘Sap, Korver & AK each hit double-digits, joining starters Booze, Brewer & Okur. While Deron wasn’t feeling it (3-12, 6 points), he countered by dishing off 20 assists… 2 less than the Warriors team as a whole. Meanwhile, CJ struggled yet again. Speaking of Deron, here’s one of his assists from the game.
While the Jazz didn’t start too well, a solid 4th quarter carried them against the Warriors. This includes being outscored in the 3rd quarter…
Speaking of the Dubs, Corey Maggette & Jamal Crawford had huge games. So did Anthony Randolph, the latest to go off on the Jazz. That’s not acceptable. Oh, and more on Randolph. Though that ‘block’ on Booze was actually a goaltending violation that wasn’t called.
Brewer = amazing! His jumper might not be what you’d want from a normal SG, but given this offense, he’s a perfect fit. And he’s been playing at an amazing level as of late.
More Deron… he has a ways to go before catching up with Stockton in most categories, and this is no exception.
If, before February started, you had told me that Jazz would go 10-1 in the month, I would’ve laughed you out of the building. Even with Booze & AK due back, injuries were killing the team. They had had a sub-par January, losing against most of the good teams (and Oklahoma City). 10-1 seemed like a far off dream.
If you had told me that the 1 loss would’ve been a blowout loss in Golden State, I would’ve laughed you out of the building for a completely different reason… and it has nothing to do with the Jazz owning the Dubs as of late nor anything to do with the Dubs struggling this season. With the February schedule featuring Dallas, the Kobes, Boston & New Orleans (even with all of them at home), Golden State would’ve been no higher than 5th on my list… even if considering “sleep-walking games” and the Jazzsters pathetic play versus not-so-good teams.
That said, yesterday’s too-close-for-comfort (until the end) 102-89 win over Sacramento did exactly that for the Jazz… giving them their best month in franchise history. Not bad.
Ronnie Brewer had a huge night, finishing with a career-high 26 points (previous high was 25)… and throwing in 7 rebounds and a couple of highlight-reel plays as well.
AK struggled with his shot, Harding made 66% of his shots. I guess we can blame dwillfan (piling it on?) because we need to blame someone. As for Harding… I guess the haircut helped.
Some more love for Brewer & Okur (who also had 26 points). While Brewer relied on dunks and all (going 10-18 from the field), Okur did it by going 9-12 from the floor (not bad), and 4-5 from long range.
As for the others… Deron had 16 & 11, Booze is still trying to find himself, ‘Sap just missed a double-double (8 & 12), CJ struggled offensively & Korver only took 2 shots.
The Jazz D was as expected… Kevin Martin had 19, and Rashad McCants exploded for 17 off of the bench.
Some more Brewer love… if they redid the lottery the year he was picked knowing what is known now… where would he end up? The answer? Most definitely NOT #14. We got lucky.
Speaking of the draft… should we say ‘No’ to the 2009 NBA draft? My thought… if we still have the pick (aka we didn’t finish with a good enough record for it to end up in the hands of the Timberwolves) come the off-season, we should use it. The team is going to need at least 1 PG, and potentially a back-up PF to play behind either Booze or ‘Sap. And they might even need a back-up wing (what?!?) if Korver opts out & leaves and if Harding can’t play on. If the team doesn’t have a first rounder, well then it’s irrelevant… no reason to trade back in. If you have it… use it. Of course, that could just be me, a fan of the draft, speaking. The draft is a lot more boring if your team isn’t picking.
While we’re at it… more Brewer love. Is this guy amazing or what?!
And to finish with the Kings… Gooden buyout? And Gooden to the Cavs as a surprise FA signing?
Speaking of losing to the Dubs on the road… guess who we play (and where) tonight? Yep… last half of a home-road back-to-back. Golden State of Mind is seemingly fluctuating between pessimistic & optimistic. Part of the reason for pessimism? No Captain Jack as Nellie continues his “bench 1 star wing-guy” every game to develop the youth. Interesting… J-Slow wouldn’t do that even if the Jazz were last place in the West with 2 weeks to go on the season. And Nellie has like 1.5 months left still.
Well, that was too close for comfort… at least until the final 5 minutes, when the Wolves finally faded. The Jazz started slowly, but got a lift from Kyle Korver, who was on fire to end the first quarter/start the 2nd. Which is good, because he imploded in the 2nd half… shooting wise. (4-5 in the first half, 0-4 in the 2nd half.) Though he finished with a +33… which is amazing, because the Jazz only won by 17.
AK has been on fire as of late. Which is huge. I’d say more, but as they say, a picture is worth 1000 words… and there’s quite a few pictures there. I don’t have that many words to write.
By all accounts, Ronnie Brewer owned the 4th quarter. I don’t remember, because I was just following online. But it’s Ronnie Brewer, so I wouldn’t doubt it. He did have 16 of his 20 points in the 4th quarter. Oh, and kudos to booner for his helping the Jazz too.
The Jazz had 7 players in double-digits. The T-Wolves had 5. Only 2 double-doubles though… Deron, who struggled for most of the game, and Kevin Love… who had his at halftime! Yay for defense! Though it seems Deron always struggles against Minny.
Booze is back… kinda. Memo Okur had a bad first quarter (just 1 shot, which went in, 2 fouls, and some bad D), but finished with 25 points (4-5 from long range).
Luckily for us, ESPN didn’t have to make an excuse for the T-Wolves. Speaking of ESPN, Amar has up a post on the wwl… one including an epic tangent. Seriously.
The Jazz shot 53%, which is great. Plus 38% from downtown, and 33-38 from the FT line.
Oh, and speaking of the Wolves, they (like the Blazers & Thunder) kinda scare me. All 3 teams are loaded with draft picks, and have talented youngsters. The Wolves… they have a solid front-court duo of Al Jefferson (injured right now) and rookie Kevin Love. They also have guys like Ryan Gomes & Randy Foye (trading Brandon Roy for him still has to hurt) and Sebastian Telfair around… plus Corey Brewer (injured) and Rodney Carney (who I love using on NBA 2K7). Stop-n-Pop has a look to the kinda-near future (after the draft), and it’s not making things better. Not mention, they have a future pick of ours (the Korver trade) as well. If the Jazz catch fire, it could be the pick this year.
I’ll take the win last night though. The Jazz have now won 6 straight, and host Sacramento on Saturday.