19 November 2009
The Utah Jazz won their first of seven home games in an eight game stretch with very strong performances from Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams, and Eric Maynor. Carlos Boozer had 22 points and followed that with 18 monster rebounds, one of which he collected with a technical foul. Boozer followed D-Will as he drove the lane,he grabbed Deron's miss and slammed the ball with two hands. He held onto the rim, giving his token scream (which he gives when he wants everyone to look at his brilliance) long enough for it to pop him up so he could slap the backboard. As a fan, it was enjoyable to see Boozer find his swagger again.
But enough about Boozer, let's discuss a couple of key points about this game. First of all, I have to admit that I have a man crush on Deron Williams. I think he is one of the most impressive players in the NBA today and the point I have to make might prove that even more. There were stretches of the fourth quarter where the Jazz played Eric Maynor, the Jazz's first round draft pick from this year's draft, and Deron together. Why is that a big deal? Because they are both point guards, or are they? At times tonight, I couldn't tell who was playing point and who was playing shooting guard. I know the Jazz have toyed with Deron playing the SG position, but through our inside sources, we are told he hasn't cared for that position much. He will play the two guard when he needs too to help the team win, but he prefers to run the team and its offense. But, I have to admit, the Jazz looked fantastic when they were both in the game running the back court.
Eric plays with a calming attitude that is rarely broken by bad play or defensive pressure. He has a talent for driving the lane and finishing with an array of impressive shots at and around the basket or dishing the rock to the cutter on the base line, shocking the defense because they hadn't seen these moves on the scouting tapes they watched that morning in shoot around. Deron looked just as impressive and comfortable switching back and forth between the point and the two guard, helping the Jazz go on a 14-0 run late in the forth quarter to help close out the Raptors tonight.
Another quick note before we let you go. When Deron had to leave the team half way through the road trip this last week, Eric had to take over the Jazz. This is old news for our faithful readers here at TheUtahJazzBlog.com. But, one thing that I noticed was Jerry Sloan calling the plays again on the road. This is obvious since Maynor was starting for the Jazz for the first time in his young career. But as I watched the game tonight, I noticed that Jerry seemed to be more active calling plays even though Deron was back on the floor tonight. Call me crazy, but maybe Jerry Sloan actually likes coaching every once in a while and demonstrated that by calling the game tonight.
Jazz have the Spurs tomorrow in San Antonio where the Jazz haven't won since the slaves were freed from Egypt by Moses, or so it seems. Luckily, the Spurs are coming off a rough OT loss to the Mavericks, so at least both teams are traveling to San Antonio and both are playing the second game of a back to back. Maybe the Jazz will finally wake up, win in San Antonio, and get back to a .500 team for the first time since the first week in this young NBA season. Bryce Barnett