Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Jaron Collins is now considering surgery on his elbow after a massively terrifying golf cart accident this summer. The poor guy. Golf is for hard-core nut jobs, and he was sucked into a situation he never should have been in as a result of unprecedented peer pressure from his brother Jason. Regardless, if he is out at least 8 weeks, who will catch the starters' heat pads? Who will give chest bumps during player introductions?
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Jazz are as beat up as they've ever been right now, which is a bit frightening because we're only 12 games into the season and just about everyone on the team is under 30. Our two best players are sidelined, Boozer with a quad strain that sounds suspiciously bad to me although Jazz brass are claiming he'll probably only miss a couple of games. On to the good news though: Harp is back at full force and we're playing in San Antonio tomorrow where we never have problems. With Matt playing 30+ minutes against the Spurs at the Alamodome, my prediction is a 25-point Jazz victory.
- Lakers - 23 nationally televised games
- Suns - 22 nationally televised games
- Mavs - 18 nationally televised games
- Spurs - 16 nationally televised games
- Hornets - 12 nationally televised games
- Nuggets - 12 nationally televised games
- Rockets - 11 nationally televised games
- Blazers - 10 nationally televised games (did not make the playoffs last year)
- Jazz - 9 nationally televised games (once you subtract the November 12 game)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
· CJ Miles hit for 21 points on 9-13 shooting, his best performance of the season. He had 15 points in the first quarter alone. With some confidence and PT, perhaps he can give us consistent production.
· Boozer recorded his 6th double-double of the season. He tallied 21 points and 15 rebounds against the Suns.
· AK47 had a stellar night against the Suns, producing a stat-line of 19 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 crucial blocks on Shaq during the 4th quarter rally.
· Brevin Knight led the charge with 12 points and 6 assists in only 21 minutes. He’s proving to be a key contributor off the bench for the Jazz.
· Collins played 13 minutes and had 2 fouls… nothing else. Lethal!
· The Jazz scored the most points in a game (109), so far, in this young season.
Monday, November 17, 2008
And what did Jarron have to say about his opportunity tonight? "If I can pick up some fouls against him, I will." I think that is a worthy goal. After all, picking up fouls is what wins ball games.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Deron Williams... sore ankle.
Mehmet Okur... attending his seriously ill father.
The Jazz are much maligned. Kirilenko can't even catch the basketball. Deron may have come back from injury too early (note... he won't play Saturday night versus Cleveland either). And Memo is, rightfully and respectfully, still visiting his father in Turkey.
Even when playing healthy during this road trip, the Jazz haven't performed all that well, losing to both the Knicks and the winless Wizards. Now we have to face serious injuries in addition to serious performance issues.
On the bright side, Kosta Koufos has played fantastic ball in recent games (in place of Memo). And both Ronnie Price and Brevin Knight have filled in ably at point guard when Deron has been out. With AK47 sitting the bench, Matt Harpring and possibly Morris Almond may finally get some minutes to play and perform. The good thing about the Jazz team is... its bench is incredibly deep and capable of filling needs, playing well and getting victories. We'll see if that will be the case tonight as the Jazz play the Bobcats on the road in Charlotte. Go Jazz!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
"Jarron Collins was cited as an example. Elliott said Collins' off-season training largely consisted of distance running and yoga, which didn't correspond to his role with the Jazz, which is coming off the bench and playing for short stretches as a backup center.
By training this way, Collins' explosion off the ground suffered, Elliott found. In the context of a game, Collins would be far more likely to come down with a rebound, then go back up and have his shot blocked than convert the putback.
But Elliott said such weaknesses can be corrected quickly. Although Collins isn't about to have Brewer's hops, he could see gains of roughly 30 percent relatively quickly. Unfortunately, Collins was injured in a golf-cart accident and his work at P3 cut short."
As Jazz fans, we can only dream of what this season would be like had Collins not suffered his ill fated golf-cart accident. Can you imagine 30% more Collins? Absolutely unstoppable! Well, at least we know he's flexible and can run long distances.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
In other related news, as predicted below, Kosta Koufos will make his 1st start for the Jazz at center. With Memo leaving the country to attend to a sick family member, Collins still nursing an elbow injury, and Fess renewing his visa in Canada, Kosta will get the start. Here's to hoping he plays well!
Monday, November 10, 2008
The article also notes that Fesenko is in Canada working on visa issues. And Collins, aside from not really being a center or a basketball player, is still hurt. So, who does that leave as the starting center in tomorrow's game against the 76ers? Maybe this guy:
That's right. The first round draft "steal" may be an NBA starter before he has posted a single point, rebound, assist, steal, or block in the NBA. Kosta's career stats to this point include zero points on 0-3 shooting and one personal foul in a little over six minutes of action.
Our starting lineup on Tuesday may be Boozer, Ronnie Price, Ronnie Brewer, CJ Miles, and Kosta. That's eastern conference lottery team quality. This road trip just got a whole lot more interesting.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
- The Jazz are blowing teams out of the water. Our scoring differential -- which the stats gurus at ESPN think is a better indication of future success than W-L record (for the record, I agree) -- is +8, which puts us at third in the league. Only Atlanta and the Lake Show are better. Sidenote: the Lakers are winning by an average of more than 22 points a game, including a 20-point blowout of an Artest/Yao/McGrady led Rockets team last night. The Lakers are really, really good this year. It's scary.
- Harpring and Collins, two rotation guys, are still injured. In my book this is an argument for keeping them out or at least drastically reducing their minutes when they come back. Brewer had a great game yesterday (seven steals!) and Millsap has been solid all year. Better to get those young, talented guys more reps than slash their minutes for Harp and Collins.
- D Will is still out and will be for at least the next four games. We probably win in New York with him. . . it will be nice to have him back at the point soon!
- The elite teams in the West aren't looking super elite this year. Besides the frightening signs out of LA, no team in the conference other than the Jazz has sprinted out of the gates. Phoenix is 5-2 but it looks like Nash has lost a step. The Rockets are 4-3. Chris Paul and Co. are a respectable but not earth-shattering 4-2 and their wins have been fairly close. Finally, the hated Spurs are 1-4 and Tony Parker is out for at least a month. Say good night, San Antonio!
11/11 @PHI 7:00pm
Thursday, November 6, 2008
More Millsap: The Sap has been phenomenal for the Jazz to begin the year. His 24-point, 9 rebound-outing vs. the Clippers on Monday was sensational. I believe Millsap will get more PT as the year progresses.
6th Man Flourishing: Kirilenko has been awesome as the team’s Sixth man. His numbers, and production are currently ‘up’ from a season ago, averaging 14.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.25 steals and 1.5 blocks. This is the spot where he belongs.
Boooozer: The Booz has played well for the Jazz. He’s averaging 20.8 points and 10 rebounds per game. Boozer, Millsap and Kirilenko have garnered extended playing time on the floor together. It has proven to be a lethal combination.
The Right Knight: Brevin Knight fits into the Jazz scheme perfectly. He runs the team impressively and gets the ball into the right spots. He has the right blend of pass-first mentality, player set-up ability and good assist-to-turnover ratio.
Unselfishness: This might be the best passing team in the NBA. The Jazz know how to share the ball and distribute to the open man. Kirilenko leads the charge, oftentimes passing up shots he ought to take. Brewer has been an incredible passer. He understands his limitations and gets the ball to the right players.
What I’d like to see…
CJ Rising: CJ Miles hasn’t played particularly well as a starter. He’s only played an average of 15 minutes per game. I think it’s tough for him to get into a groove when he’s considered the 4th option on the 1st unit. He’s usually replaced quickly by Kirilenko at the 1st quarter-midpoint mark. Regardless, he’s getting his opportunity.
Steady Price: I believe Ronnie Price is getting better as a point guard in the Jazz system. His numbers aren’t overwhelming, but his assist rate has improved dramatically. He does a better job of staying under control and finding the right teammates for easy buckets.
Brew Crew: I believe Brewer deserves more playing time. He’s been sensational on the floor when he’s gotten minutes. I’d like to see his minutes elevated to 30 per game.
DWill @ 100%: Let’s not risk bringing Deron back too soon. We ought to make sure that he’s 100% ready before he returns to the floor. Why risk the possibility of increased injury when our team is playing so well? His time off allows our back-up point guards to receive additional seasoning and playing time.
Vet Relaxation: While I hope that both Harpring and Collins get well, I don’t think we have any use for them on this team. Our positions are set: CJ starts, Kirilenko plays 6th man, Korver comes off the bench, Brewer plays more minutes, Boozer, Millsap & Memo fill the post. We could certainly use another post presence inside. Would anyone bite on a trade for Almond, Harpring or Collins? Probably not.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Unfortunately, I am not as pleased to welcome Billups to the mile-high city. As a Jazz fan, I do not like this trade. Billups is 1) from Denver (which may give him incentive to take this seriously), 2) he is bigger and stronger than AI, 3) he is a better leader than AI, and 4) he is much more of a team player than AI, which translates into better looks for Melo. But even more importantly, this Nuggets shake-up cannot hurt the team, since it sucked pretty bad as is.