Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Jazz Scorch the Nets - look ahead to Hornets

Monday night the Utah Jazz played their final game before the Thanksgiving holiday and had to be thankful for the feast that awaited them. The New Jersey Nets came into the game, having only played 2 of their 10 games this season on the road. To say they look uncomfortable and out of their element in Energy Solutions Arena would be an understatement. The Jazz on the other hand looked completely at home and hammered the Nets 102-75 (box score). New Jersey played again without Vince Carter and when he isn't on the floor they do not appear to have an NBA ready offense.

Many Jazz fans wanted to see this game for the match-up between Jason Kidd and Deron Williams. Williams who grew up in Dallas, Texas and idolized Kidd, certainly got the best of this battle. Kidd who came into the game nearly averaging a triple double - 10 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds - was held amazingly in check. Kidd sat out the 4th quarter of the blowout, but was dominated by Williams on the court and in the stat sheet.

Knocking off the Idol

Kidd: 1-9 FG, 0-4 3pt FG, 2 pts, 2 rebs, 8 asst, 6 TOs, in 28 mins.
DWill: 8-11 FG, 2-3 3pt FG, 20 pts, 4 rebs, 6 asst, 4 TOs, in 34 mins.

Williams assist numbers have dropped a little in recent weeks, but much of it has to do with the team approach the Jazz employ. Often Williams will deliver the ball, and the the teammate rather than taking a good shot, will make another pass for a even better shot. It's a beautiful thing to watch, even if it isn't the best in stat land.

Up next for the Jazz, the impressive New Orleans Hornets. It's impossible to talk about this game without jumping into the Chris Paul vs., Deron Williams debate. The key thing - both guys are supremely talented and are the future at the PG position in the NBA. In Utah we certainly wouldn't trade DWill for CP3, but the Hornets fans probably feel the same way about their guy. At the end of the day, the Jazz picked first and took the bigger, more rugged guard in Deron, while leaving the speedster Paul for the Hornets. One stat that validates the Jazz selection is durability. In just over two seasons, Deron Williams has only missed 4 Jazz games (2.3% of Utah's games), while Chris Paul has missed 24 Hornet games (13.6%).

To read ahead on the Hornets, I recommend Hornets247.com, a strong site featuring the thoughts and opinions of Ron Hitley.

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