13 February 2012
The Jazz’s schedule continued to get harder last week, and it showed as the team went an ugly 1-3. This is obviously the type of record that causes you to miss the playoffs, not make them. You could say the Jazz were a “team effort” away from a road win in New York and just one or two possessions away from coming back in Indiana, which would have put the Jazz at 3-1 on the week. But at the end of the season, no one cares about how many games your team “could have” or “should have” won, it’s your final record that gets you in the playoffs or sends you to the lottery. The Jazz are still filled with young players, a new coach, and haven’t played together for that long, so this is somewhat expected of them. The more experienced the team gets, there will hopefully be less “could have” and “should have” games and more wins. That being said, not everyone played bad last week, and credit is due.
(Note: I am changing up the way I write these posts (as you’ll see below), let me know if it’s good or bad thing)
Last Week’s Line: 10 points (59.8%), 4 assists (2.3 TO’s), 1 rebound, 2 steals
I feel bad for Harris, I really do. Just a few years ago he was an All Star, now he is desperately trying to fit in on a new team while struggling to look like a starting point guard at times. Offensively he didn’t have a terrible week, in a matter of fact his shooting % has been great as of late. But 10 points and 4 assists isn’t that good either, but that’s not the main problem. Harris has been a major liability on defense this year, something we see as opposing point guards continue to go off on us. This week it was Jeremy Lin, Darren Collision, and Russell Westbrook. It would be easier to handle the 10 points and 4 assists if he wasn’t allowing 25+ points on the other end.
Last Week’s Line: 11.25 points (60%), 2 rebounds
You would have never guessed, but Bell has turned out to be a nice surprise this year. Ever since his wife had that baby he’s actually played at serviceable levels! Bell has turned out to be the Jazz’s best (and only?) 3 point shooter (39% this year), not to mention one of the team’s best defenders. Now by looking at his stats you can tell he doesn’t contribute a whole lot anywhere else, but at 35 years old I’m not sure if we can expect much more from him.
*Bell has shot over 50% for 4 of the last 5 weeks
Last Week’s Line: 15.3 points (58%), 2.5 rebounds, 4 assists (.5 TO’s), 1 block, 1.3 steals
It took him a few weeks, but Gordon is starting to look like a lottery pick again, and a damn good one at that. Hayward contributed from everywhere last week, and I mean everywhere. I look at that line, and I see just the tip of the ice berg. Hayward is showing he has the potential to be a legit 17/5/4 guy with a dangerous 3 point shot and tenacious defense. He showed us flashes of this last year, and now it’s becoming a consistent thing. Hayward is already a top 3 player on this team.
Last Week’s Line: 13.3 points (48%), 10 rebounds, 3.3 assists (2.8 TO’s)
I was asked earlier this morning why Millsap is starting to fade away (not the shot, but his performance), and I think we can blame it on a number of things. First off, teams are simply defending him more and better. Then there is the compressed season and all of the effort he has put out; he is just getting worn out. He’s also getting fewer touches on offense, which is going to lower his numbers. Paul didn’t play like All Star last week, but was able to fight through it. 48% shooting, 10 rebounds, and 3.3 assists is actually pretty good and something I can definitely live with from our starting power forward. It will be interesting to see if his play goes up after being snubbed from the All Star game.
Last Week’s Line: 19.8 points (47%), 8.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists (1.8 TO’s), 1.5 blocks
While Jefferson led the team in scoring and blocks and was second in rebounding, I still feel something is off with his game. David Locke mentioned on Twitter that he hasn’t been the same since his ankle injury from a few weeks ago.
Jefferson can be a very fun and a very frustrating player to watch. I think we can all agree that he has improved a lot since joining the team last year. But @jazzingitup made a good point on slcdunk this morning.
“Al Jefferson is an above average center, but you aren't going to be an above average team if he is taking the most shots”
Last Week’s Line: 0 points (0%), 5.3 assists (1.8 TO’s), 1.3 rebounds
One week after being named the Player of the Week, Earl Watson goes four games without a point. I know he isn’t a scorer, but I didn’t expect that. While Watson was still able to lead the team in assists (despite coming off the bench) he really didn’t do much else. Now this isn’t completely on him, the team played poorly for a good portion of last week. If we have learned anything about Earl, it’s that he knows he played bad and will do his best to step it up. Don’t be surprised to see him play much better this week.
Last Week’s Line: 8.8 points (50%), 1.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists (1.5 TO’s)
For the third consecutive week, we have seen CJ Miles minutes dip (18 last week), as well as his productivity. CJ is a very fun player, unless he is shooting jump shots. The most common dig on CJ is his consistency. Which I think all comes down to his shooting.
(CJ's percentages on jumpers this season)
Now in his seventh season, Miles still hasn’t proven he can be an NBA shooter. I don’t know if he ever will be one. However, Miles still can be a good player; he just needs to play to his strengths.
Last Week’s Line: 3.5 points (24%), 3 rebounds, 1.3 Turnovers (.3 Assists)
It’s funny how Jazz fans went from hoping to resign Howard this next offseason to hoping he is traded before the season is over. It’s hard not to blame them as Howard’s game has gone completely downhill since his leg injury. One of the biggest questions in signing him was his health and would he be able to maintain it. Have to hope this isn’t a trend and he gets his legs back under him.
Last Week’s Line: 7.5 points (50%), 3 rebounds, 2 TO’s (16.5 minutes)
Favors still seems to be in a funk. He’ll play good for part of the week, and he’ll look really bad for part of it. You have to wonder how he’d be playing if he was given more minutes. He is averaging 20 right now, only .3 more than last season.
Last Week’s Line: 3.5 points (47%), 4.3 rebounds (13.5 minutes)
While Kanter is also struggling to get minutes, he is doing good job of making the most of them. For a 19 year old you have to be pleased with how he is developing. I honestly think he could be a double-double player very soon if he had the minutes. One nice surprise about Kanter is his defense, something that was originally put as one of his weaknesses.
*Players who didn't play (very much): Jeremy Evans, Jamaal Tinsley, Alec Burks, DeMarre Carroll
It wasn’t much of a challenge for me to pick a winner this week…
Player of the Week: Week 7
G-Time pretends not to care about his recent award. (Photo via Trent Nelson, Salt Lake Tribune)
Gordon Hayward: 15.3 pts (58%), 2.5 rebs, 4 asts (.5 TO’s), 1 blk, 1.3 stls.
Runner up: Al Jefferson
Special Mentions: Raja Bell, Paul Millsap
*Thanks @sproul13 for weekly stats.
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