Friday, November 16, 2007

King James says no to Booz

Utah's dynamic duo, Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer, almost stole another game from Lebron James. With the Jazz trailing by 2 points, Utah ran another pick-and-roll to perfection. Well almost - until the King stepped in. As Boozer turned to toss in a short jumper, Lebron swooped in and stole the ball. Cleveland made their free throws and went on to win 99-94 (box score), ending Utah's five game winning streak.

The story again was Lebron James, who ended one assist from a triple double and scored 34 of his 40 points in the 2nd half. Still, the Jazz duo almost took this game. Trailing by 7 with just over two minutes to go, Williams and Boozer combined for 9 points in the final two minutes with a variety of moves from their trusted pick and roll set-up. In the end it wasn't enough and Cleveland protected the home court. Just a week and a half ago, Deron Williams drove the length of the court for a basket to edge Cavs 103-101.

Cleveland continues to play close games while missing key players: Larry "Spiderman" Hughes, Eric Snow, and Donyell Marshall to injuries - and want to be key player Anderson Varejao continues to holdout. You must give a lot of credit to coach Mike Brown and the leadership of the Lebron James for keeping this team together while missing so many key parts.

Quick Shots:
  • King James gets most of the ESPN attention, but Cleveland does not win this game without their commitment to defense, and especially some big block shots by Illgauskas. Deron Williams for the Jazz shot 4-17, but had several shots blocked as he easily blew by Gibson, only to have his lay-ups rejected by the Big Z.
  • Typical night in the NBA - home team seems to get the benefit of enough whistles in the 2nd half to allow some momentum changing runs to continue. Most noticeable was a couple exchanges with Harpring down low in the 4th quarter not getting a call, then getting called for petty over the back and a charge shortly thereafter. In the end, the Jazz were whistled for 26 fouls and the Cavs only 17.
  • A couple things that make Lebron so great - forget the 40 points, because their are some scorers in this league - but you can miss the his commitment to passing and his willingness to play defense. He was credited with 3 blocked shots and no steals - it feels like a few of each might have been missed - and you could see him talking on defense and keeping his team on track.
  • The 6 assists by Okur were impressive. Career High? Nope - he had against Philly in the '05-06 season, and twice has posted 7 assists.
  • Who is the starting shooting guard going to be? 2nd year player, Ronnie Brewer has stepped up and seized the job. Brewer has scored in double figures in all 10 games and is shooting 54% from the field.
Up next - Indiana tomorrow night at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Pacers at 3-6 will be playing their 4th game in 5 nights, while the Jazz will play their 3rd in 4 nights. To read ahead on the Pacers, check out a pretty interesting blog - Indy Cornrows, part of the SBNation NBA coverage.

1 comment:

Phoebe said...

Good words.