02 January 2012
Alec Burks doing work. Photo Credit: AP photo/George Frey
Those arguing for the youth movement in Utah to take a more prominent role should look to tonights game for evidence in support of their cause. The bulk of the points came from Big Al and Devin Harris but the spark that lit up Energy Solutions Arena tonight came from a player with far fewer games under his belt.
See tonight's intro from the upper bowl.
Why tonight, the future looks bright: Youth
The second quarter belonged to Alec Burks. In only 10 minutes Burks' 5 points and 3 boards changed an offense that looked like it had missed its cup of coffee in to one with flair, hustle and competive dignity. The Jazz net score grew by 8 points in Burk's stint - a +/- that was second only to Josh Howard's +12.
Enes Kanter is continuing the Jazz tradition of Turkish big men who work hard and don't shy from sticking their necks out. With 4 points and 4 boards split down the offensive and defensive column he showed a willingness to get dirty, play hard and stay out of trouble. Zero, count them, Zero personal fouls. Pretty good for a big man who played 13 minutes in the second home game of his NBA career.
Derrick Favors has touch and finesse that most basketball players his size and age have yet to demonstrate. Favors contributed offense and defense, got big stops and boards all while staying out of foul trouble and staying on the court for nearly half the game. Those are minutes we should start setting our watches to.
Why tonight, I still feel a little worried about our coaching: Raja Bell
19 minutes. No points. 1 Rebound. 1 Foul.
I know that the sample size is limited, but when one expands it back to last season, even before Jerry Sloan's departure, one sees a problem. A big one. Raja Bell has played so poorly that while he was once a fanbase's sentimental favorite, many now clamor for his expulsion from the starting lineup and perhaps, all lineups. If that is going to change, the trajectory of Raja's play needs to change. If it doesn't, and his presence doesn't diminish, I will begin to wonder what specifically is keeping his name in the player introductions every night and why Ty and the guys aren't changing anything.
What tonight, made me jump out of my seat and yell alot: CJ Miles wiiiiiide open 3-ball
I was a little surprised, and a little intrigued to see Josh Howard and Alec Burks enter the rotation before CJ did. I know he had a little spat with Coach Corbin in San Antonio on Saturday but I can't imagine that that is the reason for this change. What I can say is that I readily forgave CJ all his tresspasses when he nailed the go-ahead open look from deep. I was waiting fully expecting him to clang that shot... Pleasant Surprise.
Our boys don't get much rest, but we'll see tomorrow night how they handle their first home back-to-back. Can they handle the up-tempo Bucks and keep the home record perfect? Tune in to find out.
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