Archive for the ‘Ronnie Brewer’ Category
Houston, we have a problem.
Actually, we have more than 1, as the game showed.
Despite getting 20+ point performances from 3 players (Deron with 32, Brewer with 23 & ‘Sap with 20), the Jazz never really threatened, and the TMac & Crazy Pills less Rockets walked away with the home win. Of the many problems that popped up…
- The Jazz had only the 3 aforementioned players in double-digits. The Rockets had 5.
- The Jazz bench got 8 points total, from 4 players. Of the 4 Rockets bench-players to play, 2 of them had more than 8. Each.
- Okur was 2-13 from the field. Ugh. And he only had 1 assist, meaning that he wasn’t passing it very often.
- CJ was just 3-8 from the field.
- Korver was 1-7. No Knees, who didn’t need to play considering that TMac & Crazy Pills were both out, was 1-4. Plus the Jazz played him at the 4 a bit, which is just stupid. Knight jacked up 3 jumpers, and missed them all. Lot of confidence for a guy that’s biggest negative was his inability to make the jumper.
- Flop was the first guy off of the bench (Flop!), and he only played 5 minutes. Why not bring The Koof off first? And why not bring Fesenko along… he’s a better option than Flop most of the times anyways. Flop missed 1 shot and had 1 TO in his 5 minutes. The Koof, on the other hand, had 4 points (2-3 shooting), 2 boards & 1 assist in 13 minutes.
- The Rockets were draining treys, going 11-24 from deep. That includes a 5-7 night from Rafer Alston (seriously!) and a 3-5 night from Von Wafer. Um… defense? Wafer lit CJ up early and often.
- The Rockets shot 60% from the field in the 1st quarter, and 46% for the game. And that would’ve been much higher if Aaron Brooks & Shane Battier hadn’t gone 1-9 from the field (0-4 from long range). Each! That’s just weird, by the way.
- Late, with the game over… the Jazz were still fouling. And Wafer went in for a dunk despite the game being over, SOB. And J-Slow didn’t play Almond, despite him being a Houston guy. Kinda like when J-Slow refused to play Shorty in Chicago, despite it being a blowout. No wonder some fans out there hate him… I know its all about winning (which he’s never fully done, by the way), but still, when the game is over (either way), why not let the fans see a hometown guy?
- The team really missed AK. And it’s obvious where not having Booze hurts… the bench is absolutely pathetic right now.
It might be time to make a trade… either to get some help on the bench (because our guys aren’t cutting it), or to get a 2-guard with a jumper (shifting Brewer to the 3 and CJ to the bench). Because this isn’t working. And Booze won’t be back for a while… his return won’t mean sh!t if the Jazz keep playing like they are right now. Especially with the stretch they have coming up.
Oh, and then there’s the whole LHM thing. Really sad.
Solid win for the Jazz, as they win 99-82 on their home floor. They really helped their chances by shooting 53.5% from the floor, to 35.9% for the Pistons. It was enough of a blowout for Flop & Mo Nuts to get some action. Koufos, AK, Brewer & Price all had solid nights; ‘Sap saw his double-double streak end while playing only 22 minutes, and Deron still can’t buy a shot.
Player of the Game
—> Mehmet Okur: He absolutely dominated his former team yet again. He scored the first 8 Jazz points (and 11 of the first 14), and finished with 15 points in the first quarter on his own. He finished with 22 and 6, and went 8-9 from the field, including 3-3 from the 3-point line. He didn’t even attempt a FG in the 2nd half, due to a combo of foul trouble & blow-out benching-ness.
Well, for those of you that don’t know, the Suns released Dee Brown today. Though I’m guessing you all know that, because seriously… who doesn’t spend their Tuesday surfing the net to find out about ex-Jazzsters? Those of you that have also been paying attention to the Jazz know that the Jazz have really been struggling, and could really use a jump-start. I know there’s a lot of anti-Boozer sentiments out there, but I’m going to leave them alone because it is my greatest wish that they disappear. (Yeah, right.) Instead, I’ll propose something more minor than some blockbuster that would help the Jazz in the short-run (the player/players received in return for trading Booze for pennies on the dollar will be able to play right now while Booze can’t) and kill them in the long-run (no way the Jazz get players comparable to what a healthy Booze gives us).
It’s quite simple really. What the Jazz really need is a semi-serviceable big man who can be a presence inside for a year or so (though The Koof has been looking solid as of late). I don’t know which free agent you could chase after to fill that gap though. The other spot they need help right now is the wings, where the starting duo of CJ Miles & Ronnie Brewer just isn’t cutting it, and Kyle Korver’s shooting struggles aren’t helping. On the other hand, the Jazz have a couple of expendables in Matt Harpring, Jarron Collins (finally healthy, it seems, and an expiring contract) and Morris Almond (expiring contract because his rookie option wasn’t picked up). Some might even toss Kyrylo Fesenko or even Miles (if the deadline for not being able to trade him has passed) in there. Almond has shown a willingness to shoot… and shoot a lot. But his lack of other stuff (occasionally he show up in the rebound column) is hurting his chance to play… something that could happen to CJ sometime soon if he doesn’t step it up. Now, you’re not going to get much of a shooter of some weird combo of No Knees, Flop & Mo Almond (even if you throw Fesenko in there), and probably not much of a shooter straight up for CJ either. (Plus, I don’t see the Jazz trading CJ so soon after matching the offer sheet he got from OKC.)
What the Jazz should do, in my opinion, is try to trade 2 (or more) of the 4 guys (CJ can’t be packaged, if I remember correctly) for a big. Doesn’t have to be an All-NBA team guy or something… just someone that can come in behind Memo (and The Koof, if he shows a solid defensive presence) and maybe divert the opposing guards from driving to the hoop so often. Who’s available? I have no idea. Joe Smith of the Thunder is, but I’d pass. If they’d be willing to give up one of their other bigs though, maybe it’d be worth considering (Robert Swift, Johan Petro, Mouhamed Sene). Maybe one of the guys in New Jersey (Sean Williams, Josh Boone). Who knows? Just someone. Why would they take the guys the Jazz are offering? Well, there are a couple of expiring contracts (though relatively small). Or maybe they think they can utilize Mo Almond better than the Jazz are (wouldn’t surprise me in the least). Or maybe they want the veteranness & toughness of No Knees. Or maybe they think CJ is worth a look (if you trade CJ for a big, then you release one of the Fesenko/Flop duo). As I see it… if teams are willing to trade for a retired Aaron McKie or Jason Collins or the likes, there will be teams that wouldn’t mind No Knees or Flop.
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For some odd reason, people seemed to think that the Jazz would run away with this game.
Which is stupid for a couple of reasons…
- Booze is injured. No matter how you feel about him, he’s a big part of the team. And missing him hurts.
- On any given day right now, 40% (Brewer & CJ) to 60% (Brewer, CJ, Deron) can’t hit a jumper (or shot) to save their life. Let alone the life of the Jazz.
- 48 minutes of run-and-shoot, no defense please. And only a 9 man rotation. Guys will get tired, shots won’t fall.
- Korver is still slumping. Playing a shoot-the-trey/give-up-the-trey team… you’re in trouble if your treys aren’t falling.
That said, the Jazz still pulled it off, winning 119-114. It took an injury to an opposing player, plus some amazing shooting (and a total lack of defense), but as they say… a win is a win.
Why the Jazz won…
- Well, shooting 49% from the field never hurts… even if that includes a 3-13 night from downtown, and the opposition shooting 50%.
- 30-39 isn’t solid, but it is still 5 more makes than the Warriors in just 6 more attempts.
- The Jazz owned the boards (49-38), including a 17-9 advantage on the offensive end. ‘Sap (14) & Okur (11) led the way, helping offset the 17 by Andris Biedrins in the process.
- Stephen Jackson had 15 points in the first half, but left with an injury right before halftime & didn’t return. Which is huge for the Jazz, because a full game for him plus C-Mag (28 points in 48 minutes (!)) could’ve been very hard to overcome.
- Deron woke up, going 9-15 from the field (2-4 from long range; 5-7 from the line) and finished with 25 and 15. He was perfect from the field in the first half (7-7, I think), and had 5 assists before he had even attempted a shot.
- Okur (20) & ‘Sap (19) also had huge offensive nights… but maybe not big enough… against the not-so-big Warriors.
- CJ didn’t do so well (4 points, 3 fouls & nothing else), and Brewer made up for a off-night with some big plays at the end to finish with 13 points. Nice to see at least one of them kinda showed up.
- AK had 15, 5 and 3, and was 50% (5-10) from the field. Plus, only 1 trey attempted!
- The Koof had another big game, finishing with 11 & 5, and in surprising fashion (for the Jazz), just 1 foul.
- The Jazz had 6 players in double digits, compared to 5 for the Warriors.
- The Jazz proved yet again that they can win with ease when playing the run-and-shoot… especially if defense isn’t required.
The game wasn’t pretty by any standards, but the Jazz picked up the win at home and now get ready to host the Hornets on Wednesday.
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!
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…
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dirk did have 17 & 8 before his ejection early in the 4th quarter, and he was 6-10 from the field.
- 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…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- ‘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.
- 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.
- The Jazz fouled away… picking up 31 to the Bucks’ 25.
Why it was so close…
- The Bucks shot just 38.8% from the field. While it’s better than the Jazz mark (38%), it’s not very good.
- The Jazz controlled the boards, 49-43.
- Andrew Bogut didn’t repeat his last performance, finishing with 9 & 11.
- 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.
- 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.