Archive for the ‘Pregame Thoughts’ Category

Booze’s Return…   Leave a comment

Let’s be honest… whether we love Booze or hate him, this is huge for the Jazz. He, when healthy, makes the Jazz a much better team… both with his presence on the court, and the strengthening of the bench. No doubts about that (last years playoffs excluded).

The Jazz will finally have their preseason starting 5 on the court together today (first time all season!), and it’ll allow them to put ‘Sap back on the bench.

SLC Dunk
Siler
The Cowhide Globe
Peachtree Hoops

Booze expects to play about 5 minutes/quarter today as he tries to get back into shape.

Posted February 23, 2009 by Sujal in ATL Hawks, Carlos Boozer, Paul Millsap, Pregame Thoughts

We’re In Trouble   Leave a comment

You know you’re in trouble when a late December game against a 11-35 team (whether they are hot or not) is a ‘must-win game’. Of course, when you’re 25-21 (3rd in the Northwest, 9th in the West) a season after making it to the 2nd round of the playoffs (and returning 13 players), and majorly slumping (6 of the last 8 have been losses, including all of the last 4), must-wins start showing up fairly early.

Players will be out. At least 2 of them for the Jazz, and 1 for the Thunder. The Jazz still inexplicably have 15 guys on their roster (counting the ailing), meaning that there is no space to go sign a replacement for the stars that will be out for another month (at least).

Welcome To Loud City

Posted January 30, 2009 by Sujal in OKC Thunder, Pregame Thoughts

Jazz In Dallas Tonight   Leave a comment

Back-to-back games suck. Especially when I have work the day of.

Let’s see… the Jazz won yesterday in front of a very small crowd, needing some solid play late after almost blowing a relatively big lead. The Koof seems to have lost his spot in the rotation (due solely to the fact that he’s a rookie, of course… because his play has been solid) to Flop (uh oh)… Ronnie Price went from starter to DNP-CD… Korver is back out of the dog-house, and Flop made his first basket of the season last night. Oh, and Okur’s shot is MIA since the Pacers game. If you want some more bad, Deron had 8 TOs last night. That has to stop.

As for tonight…

  • The Mavs will be short-handed after their trade yesterday.

  • The Mavs have lost 4 straight games.
  • Dirk the Jerk hates the Jazz.
  • The Jazz are playing the 2nd half of a road-road back-to-back. Take what you want from that info.
  • Mark Cuban, hilarious. Too bad the MLB won’t let him buy the Pirates… and too bad all the other owners are scared out of their minds by a owner that actually cares about his team.

That’s that.

Jazz/Grizzlies   Leave a comment

Game already underway.

  • Mavs/Bobcats trade… DeSagana Diop to Charlotte, Matt Carroll & Ryan Hollins to Dallas.
  • CJ is playing, ‘Sap is not.
  • 3 Shades of Blue

Let’s hope for a better performance than in OKC.

Posted January 16, 2009 by Sujal in CJ Miles, MEM Grizzlies, Paul Millsap, Pregame Thoughts

Jazz Head To Oklahoma City   Leave a comment

So, it’s an early start… games already underway.

  • The Jazz are on a 4 game winning streak right now.
  • CJ & ‘Sap are both out.
  • The Jazz have lost 4 straight road games. OKC is 6-33 on the year.
  • The Thunderworld

The Jazz are playing like crap right now (in the game). Just FYI.

Posted January 14, 2009 by Sujal in CJ Miles, OKC Thunder, Paul Millsap, Pregame Thoughts

Pacers Come To Town   Leave a comment

Update: ‘Sap is out tonight. The Jazz offensive rebounding stat will be sure to take a hit. As will the Jazz interior offense. AK will get the start.

The Pacers come to town tonight, looking for a happy ending to a 5-game road trip that really hasn’t gone very well so far. They were blown out at Denver (135-115), and then after beating the Suns 113-110 on a buzzer beater, they’ve lost 2 straight close ones… falling to the Kobes 121-119, and then losing to the Dubs 120-117 last night.

Quick notes…

  • Yet again, Ronnie P. will get the start for CJ. It almost seems like J-Slow read this, and decided to go ahead with it… without making any transactions. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

  • Empty The Bench joins the debate raging in Utah‘Sap or Booze? To note, if it’s one or the other… I completely agree with ETB. And important to keep in mind…

    It’s also hard to imagine Millsap, who will be represented by his uncle Brendrick Simmons, commanding the same asking price as the more high-profile Boozer. In fact, the difference in their projected salaries figures to be in the $4+ million per season range. Utah could use that money to shore up their bench up front or bring in another outside shooter or backup ball-handler. And while Boozer is undeniably more skilled on offense at this point, Millsap may have the greater upside being four years his junior. Millsap has already proven a superior defender.

  • News of Booze finally arrived. If you care, click the link. Because I really don’t. Just know this…

    Given the timetable, two Jazz players privately said they didn’t expect Boozer to return until after next month’s All-Star break.

  • It seems like the Pacers don’t like defense. Will someone on the Jazz go off for 25? And will this be a shootout, like your usual Warriors game, or will the Jazz play solid D and keep it relatively low scoring?
  • Some Pacers/Jazz trade ideas here and here. I’ll have to pass on both of those.
  • Another Jazz trade idea here, this time with the Clips. Again, no thanks… though the idea of Marcus Camby in the middle is kinda nice.
  • Indy Cornrows for your Pacers talk (the game thread is currently at the top).
  • Deron has been sick as of late, but practiced and will play tonight.

The Pacers feature ex-Blazer Jarrett Jack starting at PG, just in case you cared. I don’t know why you would, but eh. I might as well mention a couple of Pacers, no? They also feature Danny Granger, who has been solid this year (at worst). That said 50 points seems unlikely. Just ask SLC Dunk. Oh, and they feature Roy Hibbert, someone who the Jazz were really interested in as the draft rolled around. It didn’t work out, as Hibbert went a lot higher than expected, and the Jazz ended up with The Koof, who has been solid this year in the little time he gets.

Jazz/Pistons Tonight   Leave a comment

The Jazz host the Pistons tonight… some quick things…

Still no news on the Booze injury, and Ronnie Price is going to start at the 2-guard instead of Morris Almond, as had originally been rumored.

The Pistons are coming off of a win last night in Denver (before that, a win in Clipperland and a loss in Portland), as they finish off their 4 game road swing tonight. They could be without Rip Hamilton & Rasheed Wallace… though they have won 8 of 9 without the 2.

That’s it really.

Detroit Bad Boys
Need4Sheed, with a mention that Rodney Stuckey could be out as well.

Jazz Welcome In Warriors   Leave a comment

Yet again, the Jazz come home looking to bounce back from a disappointing road loss. Last time, the Jazz were hosting the Sixers after a 2 OT loss in Houston, this time, they’ll host the Warriors after a loss against the Kobes a couple days back. There are plenty of injuries every which way… never fun for either team. The Dubs will be ending a 3-game road swing tonight… a swing that has already seen losses in Oklahoma City & Minnesota. The Dubs have been giving up 111 ppg this year, and gave up 123 ppg to the Jazz last year as the Jazz swept the 3 game set. The Jazz have won 8 straight at home against the Warriors, but come into this game having lost 4 of their last 6 overall. So yeah… both teams need to turn their seasons around. A major difference though… while the Warriors are all over the trade rumors (okay, Corey Maggette is, and they’ve already made a trade this year), the Jazz seem content to sit still until healthy (aka, until the end of the world).

Three Key Players

  1. Deron Williams: Sure, he got a double-double in the LA loss (10 & 12). But the 4-18 shooting (0-2 from long range) is horrific. Of course, only getting to the line 3 times despite attacking the hoop is expected in the NBA never helpful. That said, he has to pull not only his game together, but also the team. While the season isn’t over or anything, the team is 19-15 and 3.5 games out in the Northwest. And if they keep playing like crap (especially early in games, like they’ve been doing as of late), they’re in trouble. Deron… you’re the team leader. Lead!

  2. Stephen Jackson: He isn’t the teams leading scorer (that’s Andris Biedrins), but he’ll need to be going for the Warriors to have a shot. He could get some extra help if C-Mag returns, but that’s doubtful (the help from C-Mag, not the return). He went off for 25 on the T-Wolves, aided by 11 trips to the line (9 makes) and a 2-3 night from downtown. And tonight he’ll face some ugly combo of CJ, Brewer, AK & probably No Knees… a quartet he should feast on (save maybe AK). Especially the way CJ & Brewer have been playing as of late.
  3. CJ & Brewer: Yeah, I’m cheating… this is 2 players. But still. As of late, these 2 have really struggled… enough to bring forth serious thought of starting AK again. Which isn’t good… because we need him on the bench (injuries or not). Neither guy seems willing to attack the hoop all that much, which is bad because that’s Ronnie’s game. He’s not a jump-shooter, but that’s what he’s settling for. CJ is pulling his best Gordan Giricek or John Starks (or any 2-guard we’ve had in a very long while)… jack up and miss. Often. I like both guys, yes. But this is not cutting it. And if it’s not working, maybe it’s time the Jazz look outside the organization for a 2-guard (I’d prefer an undersized Stephen Curry, but we know that’s not happening). Anyhow, yeah… they need to step up today. Both of them. On both ends of the court.

Game’s at 7 PM MST tonight. I’ll let you guess whether it’s on KJZZ or not.

Posted January 5, 2009 by Sujal in GS Warriors, Pregame Thoughts

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

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

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