Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Jazz Finish Eastern Booz' Cruise

The Jazz wrapped up their week long trip to the East Coast with a 106-95 victory (box score) over the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday Night. The win meant the Jazz finished a solid 2-1 on the trip, and improved to 5-4 on the road this season. After the Jazz opened the trip with a win at Detroit, a sweep seemed possible - so the loss to the Knicks was a disappointment.

Booz' Cruisin on the East Coast
Carlos Boozer missing a shot on the the 3 game trip was a rare thing. That is not much of an exaggeration, considering the numbers he piled up:

Philly: 12-17 FG, 26 points 7 rebs
New York: 12-18 FG, 30 points, 12 rebs
Detroit: 17-20 FG, 36 points 11 rebs
The Tally for the Eastern Cruise - a whopping 41-55 for 74.5% from the field, while averaging 10 rebounds per game.

The 76ers have some pieces to the puzzle, but not nearly enough talent to battle the big boys. After starting the season 2-2, they've now dropped 8 of the last 10 games to land at 4-10 and in the basement of the Atlantic Division.

Since the Jazz don't see the Sixers often - let's answer the question - who are these guys? Really they have three guys worth noting, and then a bunch of spare parts.

The Big 3 from my perspective - not in order:

Andre Miller - I'm still a Miller fan and think a pass first guard helps any team. That said, I could see them dealing him at some point this season to a competing team that faces a PG injury.

Andre Iguodola - AI, the 2nd is of course a well rounded athlete who is the star of the team. On this night he had 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, but only took 12 shots. He isn't the type of player who does well in the half court however, and therefore didn't get a lot shots he wanted. In the open court he is big time.

Kyle Korver - Beside being Ashton Kutcher's look-a-like, Mr. Korver is a long range assassin - so says his rep anyway. In the game against the Jazz he had trouble making anything - in fact, this might have been Kutcher covering for Kyle. Korver was 1-9 from the field, and only 1-6 from 3 point range. Before you assume it was him having to deal with the athletic duo of Kirilenko and Ronnie Brewer think again. Half of Korver's misses where wide open 3s that the Jazz almost seemed content with him taking. Looking at KKorver's numbers on the season, you notice he's only 39% from the field and 37% from downtown. I like the guy - but geez - half his FG attempts this year are from behind the Arc and he's not impressing anyone.

Other warm bodies:
Samuel Dalembert - Solid young big man who averages 11 points and 8 rebounds.
Willie Green - Another double figure scorer (11pts), but awful FG% (38%) and poor assist to turnover ratio of 1.10 to 1.0.
Reggie Evans - Just over 4 points and 8 rpg - a defensive hustler with no offensive game.

The next best player on the Sixers is clearly Maurice Cheeks - the coach and former all-start guard. That means it's going to be a long season in Philadelphia.

Quick Shots:
  • The stat of the night? The Jazz assisted on 32 of their 39 field goals. Deron Williams passed out 15 assists in what was at times just beautiful team basketball.
  • Ronnie Brewer won't be a secret much longer. He tallied 19 points and 3 more steals as he continues to be 2nd in the league in steals, while shooting well over 50% on the season.
  • 3 NBA teams are winless on the road: Knicks, Sacramento, and Portland.
  • 1 NBA team is winless at home: Seattle is 0-6. With the city of Seattle deciding not to fund a new arena - and the Sonics deciding not to compete in the existing arena - maybe Stern will step in and let them head to Oklahoma City a little early - say after the all star break?
  • Didn't see this coming#1 - Boston is 11-2, and I thought they'd be good but this is amazing. Still, let's give them some time. They have played 10 of 13 games in the Eastern Conference.
  • Didn't see this coming#2 - The Bulls are 3-10? What the heck is going on? Maybe Pippen should have come back. Did they offend their whole team when they tried to trade them all away for Kobe?
Up Next for the Jazz are the Lakers at the ESA Friday Night. Phil's triangle makin' boys are 8-6 and playing reasonably well with Kobe doing the scoring and Andrew Bynam growing in to his high trade value at quick pace. To read up on the Lakers, I'd suggest the Forum Blue and Gold.

I don't make a lot of predictions - but I think the Jazz avenge an early season loss and take the Lakers by 10+ on Friday night.

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