Sunday, November 25, 2007

Jazz Beat Detroit for 5th Straight Time

When I think of the Detroit Pistons, I think of two strengths - their tough defense and the talent of their starting five. Unfortunately for the Pistons, neither element was on display Sunday afternoon as the Jazz handed Detroit their first home loss of the season 103-93 (box score). For the Pistons, Rasheed Wallace missed the game and the Detroit missed his defensive spark and overall intensity. The Jazz trailed by 8 in the second quarter, went on a run and pretty much never gave up control after that. At the end, the Jazz beat the Pistons for the 5th straight time (3 in Detroit) and ran their win streak to 3 games and totaled their 8th win in 10 games.

Boozer Near Perfect
There were several bright spots for the Jazz - but none brighter than Mr. Carlos Boozer, who posted a season high 36 points, on an eye-popping 17 of 20 from the field. Boozer hit everything - some layups and put backs (8-8) and an array of jumpers (9-12) over a variety of defenders - check out the shot chart. Not having Wallace to guard Boozer was a big thing in this game. Though we all know how Rasheed can be - he could have very well gotten frustrated by the Jazz offense, landed in foul trouble and picked up a technical or two. Funny thing about Wallace- he must have felt left out and contributed a technical while on the bench in street clothes.

As a side note - the referees were not the Pistons' problem. The Pistons were actually called for 6 fewer fouls on the night, and the call that got Flip Saunders tossed was a correct call - though I had the advantage of replay and Flip tried to make a judgement all the way down the court and had a over-reacting player that probably swayed his viewpoint.

DWill vs. CBill
One of the other bright spots was Deron Williams, who handled Chauncey Billups in a similar fashion as he did Jason Kidd a few nights ago. Meaning - taking another of his US National Teammates to task with a one sided result. To be fair, CBill's game was not the disaster that Jason Kidd posted against Williams, as Billups tallied 15 points and 6 assists falling just short of his season averages of 17 and 8. Deron Williams on the other hand was brilliant with 21 points and 14 assists, while adding 4 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. A couple of Deron's baskets were the result of his quick pushing the ball up the court and then exploiting Billups or Rip Hamilton in a one on one match-up. Watch-out NBA, DWill might have been soft for a few games with the sore toe, but as he said tonight - he is pain free for the 1st time in two weeks.

Detroit Pistons forward Jason Maxiell (54) has his shot blocked by Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko (47), of Russia, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007, in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Quick Shots:

  • The Piston game was the first of a stretch that includes 12 of 16 road games for the Jazz.
  • Ronnie Brewer is a relentless cutter without the ball and a terrific finisher. Today was the 13th time in double figures - out of 14 games. He was 4-6 from the field and 3-3 from the line - check out his shot chart - and notice were all the makes are.
  • AK47 posted 11 points and 10 rebounds, but only one block. The one block would say that he wasn't a defensive force - but if you saw the game you saw him contest and alter shots all day.
  • Want to see NBA confidence in action? Memo Okur finished the game with 12 points and hit a couple of big hoops in the 2nd half. But, Why in the Heck was he still shooting? I believe Memo was 1-10 at the half, but went 3-6 in the 2nd as he kept taking the shots that came to him within the offense. I count it as trust in himself and trust by the coaching staff.
  • Detroit's starting guards - Hamilton and Billups combined for 11-30 shooting. That is a lot of shots, a lot of misses, and wow are these guys going to need some help off the bench at some point in the year. When they aren't hitting shots, who can they turn to? Bueller? Bueller?
Up next, the New York Knicks - tomorrow night in Madison Square Garden. After a chance to witness the train wreck known as the Knicks up close and personal, the Jazz will move on to Philly on Wednesday and then close out the week at home with Kobe and Lakers Friday Night.

To read up on the Knicks, I recommend for not only good writing, but an analytical view into how the Knicks are doing. Check out the 4 Factors they track for each game.

My Quick Take on the Knicks - from a distance without seeing much of them:
The Knicks have a bunch of guys if you looked at on paper, by themselves, appear to be very talented. However, mix them together on a court at one time and you have no chemistry, no flow, not enough balls, not much defense, not much rebounding, and not many wins. Looking at some official league stats you can see the Knicks are 2nd to last in the NBA in assists per game, 27th in FG%, 26th in point differential (-7.3 OUCH), 26th in 3pt FG%, 28th in turnovers per game, and last in the league in blocks. I won't even start on Isaiah Thomas who has done little off the court to warrant employment of any kind. I'm still trying to decide if I feel bad for the owner of the Knicks, or if he is simply having to deal with the results of some very bad decisions. Either way, in order to truly start again the Knicks will have to write another coach a big check in order to leave town (see Larry 'newtown' Brown).

All this means of course that it's the NBA, the Jazz are playing road games on back-to-back nights, and for all my comments - the Knicks might pull the upset. The keyword there is MIGHT. If the Jazz youngsters stay in their system and rely on each other, we may well get to see a few more cars fall off the track in New York.

No comments: