29 April 2012
I’m going to be completely honest with you. 5 games ago, I didn’t think we were going to make the playoffs. In a matter of fact, after we beat the Lakers and Thunder back to back, there were three separate times I thought this season was over (Kings home loss, Suns home loss, back to back losses in New Orleans and Memphis). But boy was I wrong. Not only did the Jazz make the playoffs, they finished the season on a 5 game winning streak and even had a game to spare. The past two weeks were awesome. We took the defending champs to triple OT, and beat them. We took the trigger happy Magic to OT, beat them. We hosted the Suns in the biggest game in probably two years, and beat them too. Not to mention the two games vs Portland. The Jazz saved their best for last, and it sure made for a fun few weeks.
Last Week’s Line: 17.8 points (46%), 4.8 assists (2.2 TO’s), 2.8 rebounds, 1 steal
The way Harris turned his season around is incredible. My opinion on him has done a complete 180. Harris was simply fantastic the past two weeks. He led the team in scoring (including his 4 point performance in a meaningless game), assists and hit big shots in pretty much every game. His dagger three vs Orlando was one of the greatest Jazz moments I’ve been a part of (I was upper bowl), seriously. The Jazz don’t have Harris the past 5 games, they don’t make the playoffs.
*Harris played in 63 games this season.
*Harris shot 42% from downtown in April.
Last Week’s Line: 6.8 points (32%), 3.2 rebounds, 1 assist (.6 TO’s)
DeMarre probably isn’t going to take over the fourth quarter, score 40+ points, or single-handily carry the Jazz to victory. But that’s not his role, us fans know it, he knows it, and that’s what I love about him. When the Jazz first signed Carroll, I thought for sure a trade was coming. Why else would we sign him? But to my (and many other’s) surprise, Carroll has become an impact player. He didn’t score tons of points or rack up double doubles, however Carroll did make small plays, and important ones. Plays that swung momentum and helped win games. His play in the playoffs could prove to be an X Factor.
*Carroll has set career highs in points (16) and assists (6) since joining the Jazz.
Last Week’s Line: 14.6 points (52%), 2.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists (2 TO’s), 1 steal
While Hayward’s stats may have dropped a little, he by all means did not have a down (2) week(s). Gordon was third on the team in shooting % and set a career high in assists vs the Suns. Many of us remember Hayward finishing last season strong as well, the difference this year is that the games actually matter. If I had to bet what three players on the team wanted the playoffs most, Hayward would be one of them. I can’t wait to see how he performs this post season, he definitely earned it.
Last Week’s Line: 16.5 points (39%), 10.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists (2.3 TO’s), 2.5 steals, .8 blocks
Millsap’s shooting percentages may show that he struggled to find his shot the past two weeks, but that definitely didn’t stop him from hitting them when it counted most. He’s done it all season long, and the season being on the line wasn’t going to stop him. His put back vs the Mavs, his HUGE game vs the Suns (26 points, 15 boards, 4 dimes, 3 steals, a block), he simply wants to win.
*Millsap finished the season 4th in steals and was the only big in the top 20.
Last Week’s Line: 16.6 (45%), 13.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists (.2 TO’s), 1.6 blocks, .8 steals
Al Jefferson has been amazing, he really has. Only have gone to playoffs as a rookie, Jefferson wanted to taste the post season more than anyone. In my last post I talked about how much fun it would be to watch Jefferson play with it all on the line, and it was incredible. Putting up 28 and 26 vs the Mavs, forcing OT (then getting two huge assists) vs the Magic, taking over the fourth quarter vs the Suns, how many other players in the NBA can do that? The list isn’t very long.
*Jefferson had 1 TO in the past 5 games, and a total of 3 in the month of April.
Last Week’s Line: 3.2 points (43%), 4.6 assists (2 TO’s), 1.8 rebounds
A few months ago Tinsley was on the bench, getting DNP’s on a nightly basis. Now you could argue he saved Utah’s chances at the post season. Thanks to Tinsley, our bench has been playing its best ball all season. Jamaal and the bench were the only reason the Jazz we able to comeback in the Orlando game in the first place (he finished that one with 9 assists). Big, big ups to Tinsley.
Last Week’s Line: 10.8 points (47%), 3.2 rebounds, 1 assist (.6 TO’s) (18.8 minutes)
It was really nice to see Burks finish the season out strong. Before the last 5 games, Alec had gone 9 straight games without scoring in double digits. He did it twice in the final five, tying, then setting a new career high (18). Hopefully Burks can take his new momentum into the playoffs, the Jazz will more than likely need it.
*Burks shot 72% from the line this season, but has made 18 of his last 21.
Last Week’s Line: 10.2 points (59%), 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists (1.6 TO’s), 1.6 blocks, 1 steal (23.8 minutes)
You don’t have to watch Favors for too long before you see how talented he is. He has taken major steps this season (I was seriously starting to worry about him earlier in the year) to become one of Utah’s best players. Thanks to foul trouble, Favors wasn’t able to find his groove in the Dallas and [first] Portland game. However, his impact was definitely felt in the final three. Derrick racked up 2 more double doubles, and scored 13 or more in the last 3 games. His D on Gortat was brilliant; he literally just shut him down. I can’t wait to see how Favors plays vs the Spurs.
*As a rookie Favors had 4 double doubles in 78 games. This season he finished with 13 in just 65.
Last Week’s Line: 7.6 points (68%), 3.4 rebounds (15.8 minutes)
Like Burks, it was really good to see our other rookie finish the season strong as well. Kanter led the team in FG% (and actually took more than 5 shots, yay!) and definitely took a role in the bench’s improved play. Kanter is a mystery; at least he is to me. If you asked me to choose between Kanter and Burks I couldn’t answer, I just don’t know how good he is going to be. His footwork and offense have been great lately, and you have to wonder how far ahead of schedule the 19 year old is.
*Kanter picked up his first double double in Utah’s final game, and finished the season with highs of 17 points (vs the Lakers) and 13 rebounds (vs the Wolves).
Players who didn’t play (very much): Jeremy Evans, Blake Ahearn, CJ Miles, Josh Howard, Raja Bell
Player of the Week: Week 17 and 18
Enjoy this one Al, you earned it. (Photo via Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
Al Jefferson: 16.6 points (45%), 13.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists (.2 TO's), 1.6 blocks, .8 steals
Runner up: Devin Harris
Special Mention: Everyone else. Seriously.
Thanks to @sproul13 for weekly stats
|< Prev||Next >|