Monday, November 12, 2007

The No-Name Kings bow to Jazz

The Utah Jazz took care of the Sacramento Kings 117-93, to move to 6-2 on the season and remain one game ahead of the Denver Nuggets. The Jazz feature a starting line-up that is probably 80% known by most NBA fans, and if Ronnie Brewer keeps up his solid play - the entire starting line-up will be a known entity (For the record: Boozer, Kirilenko, Okur and Deron Williams are the other starters).

The Kings on the other hand, start a grab-bag of no-names. C'mon, think about it, how many Kings can you name right now? If you follow the game- you'd probably come up with Kevin Martin, the up-coming shooting guard. However, you'd be wrong if you also included Ron Artest, Brad Miller and Mike Bibby - as all three are either injured or suspended. The other 4 starters for the Kings? See bottom of this post.

The Kings, led by first year coach and former NBA player, Reggie Theus stuck with their passing and outside shooting game the entire night. At times the Jazz were on the verge of blowing out the Kings, but each time the Kings rallied to cut the lead to around 10-12 points. In the end, the lack of a post game, a non-existent defense, and a reliance on the outside shots finally did in the Kings and the Jazz coasted down the stretch. Looking at the post game stats you'll see the Kings launched jump-shots on 61 of their 78 shots (78%) - even for a good shooting team, that won't hold up on the road very often.

Another Question - who is the NBA's top scoring team? Okay not to drag it out - the Jazz are #1 in scoring and continue to get great shots. A popular myth is that Jerry Sloan runs a slow structured offense. The truth is the Jazz run and move the ball as well as anyone, but they do so within a structure and don't launch too many 3-pt shots. A surprise when looking at the rankings of top scoring teams, is that the Suns aren't currently in the top 5 (instead it's the Jazz, Lakers, Warriors, Celtics and Nuggets). The Suns will get there, but it's clear without Amare Stoudamire, they aren't running on all cylinders. You also tend to wonder how long Shawn Marion continues to fit in and play nice. So far he is shooting nearly 50% from the field and averaging 16 points per game, which sounds good on the surface, until you realize it would be his lower ppg average since his rookie season (he is now in 9th NBA season).

Answer to the question above: King starters - Kevin Martin, John Salmons, Mikki Moore, Kenny Thomas and Francisco Garcia.

Quick Shots:
  • Deron Williams was very quiet, scoring only 6 points and posting 7 assists. In truth, he wasn't needed, as when the starters were in the game - the Jazz were in control and Deron never need to assert himself.
  • Boozer racked up 32 points and 10 rebounds, while shooting 13-18 from the field. Boozer, now averaging over 25 points per game has picked up where he left off in last season's playoffs.
  • AK47 is filling the box score in huge ways this season. Tonight - 15 points, 8 rebs, 8 assists, and 3 blocks, while flying all over the court.
  • Kings starting big men - Moore and Thomas, combined for 8 fouls and only 5 points on a combined 2-8 shooting in 60 minutes of court time.
The Jazz venture off on the Road with a 3 game trip, stopping in Toronto, Cleveland, and Indiana. To read up on the Raptors, I recommend the Raptors Den a pretty good blog on the MVN.

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