22 December 2011
I know, I know. It’s just the preseason right? Jazz fans will be the first to tell you not to put too much stock into the preseason. Last year the Jazz coasted through the exhibitions games with a 7-0 record, only to have one of the most disastrous seasons in franchise history.
However, thanks to the lockout this preseason is a bit different. Not only is it cut down to only two games, but training camp was also cut short, giving Coach Corbin even less time to figure out lineups, rotations, and what his players were even going to give him. Regardless (insert Boozer joke), I’m doing a Preseason Player of Week.
As far as point guard play went, I wasn’t that impressed. Harris was far from perfect in the first game, as he struggled on both sides of the ball. He did look a little better in his second showing though, managing to shoot over 50% from the field and three-point land. Earl Watson continued to show why he is one of the top (if not the best) back up point guards in the NBA as he led the Jazz in assists while doing a good job on defense as well. Jamaal Tinsley, who is still in danger of being cut, didn’t make it into the first game. However he did look good in the second game, most likely good enough to be a third string point guard.
Jefferson struggled in the first game, but managed to bounce back in the second putting up a solid 15 and 9. Mystery man Enes Kanter looked much better than a lot of us suspected he would. The man was an absolute beast on the boards. He simply has a knack for getting the ball and does a great job at positioning himself to get it. The rest of his game wasn’t nearly as impressive, but you can’t expect much from a rookie who hasn’t played in two years.
This brings us to our first candidate, Derrick Favors. I can’t tell you how excited I am for Favors. Every time he checks in, I can’t take my eyes off him. Favors came off the bench in the first game and put up 25 and 12. Yeah you heard me right, he was flat out awesome. The thing is, he is doing this with just athleticism and instincts. He is only going to get better from here as he continues to learn the game. Favors’ biggest weakness, foul trouble, kept him from playing as much in the second game where he finished with 7 and 6.
None of our wings had amazing games, but Burks, Hayward, and Howard all had their moments and showed us why we are excited for them. However, CJ Miles did impress me quite a bit. The player who many fans have labeled as “inconsistent” was probably the most consistent player on the team this week. CJ scored 17 and 9 in the two games (respectively) while shooting 47% from the field, 40% from downtown and was perfect from the line.
Lastly, I can’t finish writing this without mentioning Jeremy Evans. Sadly enough, I don’t think Evans will be a starter in this league. However, I do think he can play a role as a major difference maker off the bench, something that he was able to do in both games. Jeremy was the only Jazz man with a positive +/- in the first game (+3) and had the second highest in the next game (+5). Oh, and this too.
I won’t lie, preseason or not this was a very hard decision for me. So without further ado…
Player of the Week (Preseason Edition)
Derrick Favors 16 pts, 9 rebs
*Runner up: CJ Miles
*Special Mention: Jeremy Evans
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