06 March 2012
*This post does not include any stats or insight from last night’s win over the Cavs.
The Jazz had an interesting week. They started it off with a disheartening loss to the lowly Kings, followed that up with fantastic wins vs the Rockets and Heat, then fell short in Big D. Considering the Jazz had gone 1-5 in 6 games previous to last week, this is definitely an improvement and I would say a successful week overall. At this point we don’t know what to expect from the Jazz. I mean, they lost to the Kings and beat the Heat just 3 days later, not many teams can say that. Surprisingly, Utah is only 3 games out of playoff range at the moment, and showed last week that they can play at that caliber. However, they will be fighting with Portland, Denver, and Minnesota for that final spot, and don’t exactly have a favorable schedule.
Last Week’s Line: 14.3 points (49%), 5 assists (1.3 TO’s), 1.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals
Devin Harris has continued his good play through last week, and now has fans praising him instead of begging for a trade. This is the Harris the Jazz need. While he isn’t playing like an All Star (and he may never play to that level again) he has been more than serviceable. He was second on the team in points while shooting just under 50%, and was also first in assists while out turning the ball over 1.3 times a game. Harris played great in the week’s two wins (he also had a good game in the loss to the Kings), and don’t forget the game winning shot in what turned out to be the best win all season.
Last Week’s Line: 12.3 points (46%), 7.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists (2 TO’s)
Josh Howard could be finally back into his pre-injury form (and by pre-injury, I mean this year’s injury..). Thanks to a Raja Bell’s injury Howard got the nod at starter, and definitely made the most of it. Not only was Josh third on the team in scoring, but he was also second in rebounding with over 7 a game. Howard also brought energy and hustle, something we haven’t seen much of from him lately. However, he didn’t play perfect. The 2 turnovers are not ideal, and he still leads the team in screwed up fast breaks. With Bell returning to the lineup this week, Corbin announced that he would keep Howard in the starting lineup and send Hayward to the bench, depending on how this plays out, it could be permanent move.
Last Week’s Line: 9 points (44%), 3 rebounds, 2.3 assists (1 TO’s)
It was nice to see Gordon bounce back from some pretty poor play to have himself a nice week. Then again, it wasn’t good enough to retain a starting spot as G-Time will be send to the bench in favor of Howard. Corbin said it wasn’t a demotion, but I’m not sure what to think. Playing with the young guys could be a great thing for Hayward, who in my opinion, was underutilized as a starter. It could also be a bad thing though, and possibly hurt his confidence.
Last Week’s Line: 9 points (55%), 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 2 assists (1 TO’s)
9 points and 5 rebounds is the sort of thing Paul gave us every half, not game, earlier this year. He’s obviously still pretty far from that level of production, but his 24 point game vs the Mavs could be sign he might being trending up; we’ll see. It was also nice to see him get back to 55% in field goal percentage, that’s 13% better in his previous 6 games. While multiple things could be the reason Millsap is in a slump, it could very well be a mental thing. The reason I bring this up is because the trade deadline is in 10 days (March 15th) and is possibly affecting his play.
Last Week’s Line: 14.3 points (44%), 8.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists (1.3 TO’s), 1 block
The biggest dig on Jefferson’s game has always been that he’s “a black hole”, and once the ball goes to him, it never comes back. Well aware of his critics, Jefferson has done a lot to improve this part of his game. Right now he ranks #8 amount centers in assists per game, and #6 in assist/turnover ratio. He averaged nearly 3 last week, and I don’t think I’ve seen him pass much better. His chemistry with cutting wings has been great as of late. Not only does it make him a better player, but it makes the Jazz a better team. I hope he keeps that up. On the down side of things, he didn’t shoot too well, only 44% (5% drop from prior week). Everyone has bad shooting nights, that’s just called being human. The problem with this, is when a player keeps throwing up shots despite the poor accuracy. If Al is 3/10 at halftime, I don’t necessarily want him shooting 10 more times in the second half.
Last Week’s Line: 2 points (25%), 4.5 assists (2.3 TO’s), 4 rebounds, 1.3 steals
Like I said last week, we don’t see Earl’s impact in the stats usually. 2 points on 25% shooting? That’s terrible. His assist and turnover numbers are alright, but not great. But that’s not what Earl does. I don’t know how many times I can say this, but Earl brings his “win or die” attitude and goes from there. I took a look at Earl’s +/- stats from the past week, and he led the team with an average of +3.5 and was the only player to have a positive +/- in the final 3 games. I can’t complain about Earl, he plays injured, he plays hard, and I’m definitely glad he is leading our group of young ones off the bench.
Last Week’s Line: 16.8 points (43%), 2.5 rebounds, 1 assist (1.3 TO’s), .8 steals
There goes CJ, making it as hard as ever to form a personal opinion on him. Miles played great last week. He led the team in scoring, including a 27 point outburst vs Houston, all while shooting at a decent clip. CJ had probably the best week of his season, and he deserves some praise. He of course still has the cons in his game, I don’t think I need to go over them. The question is whether or not he can fix them. So far the answer this season is no, unfortunately. In his prior 6 game to last week, he was scoring under 6 points a game, now 17? Who knows though, maybe this is the beginning of a nice streak for him..
Last Week’s Line: 7.5 points (41%), 6.8 rebounds, .8 blocks, 1.5 TO’s (22.5 minutes)
Despite the low points and the poor shooting percentage, I like what I’ve seen out of Favors for the most part. He has looked ‘a lot’ more active (on both ends) since the All Star break. He even had 3 assists vs the Rockets, a career high. He also played really good vs Dallas. Favors has an immediate impact on defense, and while he is still far away from having an offensive game, he is slowly developing a few moves. Locke mentioned in his “Emptying the Noggin’” yesterday that Favors might be ready to take a big step, he could be right.
Last Week’s Line: 4.5 points (47%), 4 rebounds, .3 TO’s (14.3 minutes)
Kanter’s production (and minutes) slightly dipped last week, but nothing that concerns me. In a matter of fact, he made some improvements that impressed me quite a bit. First off, Kanter had just 1 turnover the entire week. That is great for him. The other thing is something I think we all love. Kanter has been doing a much better job of keeping the ball high after rebounds, and it’s been benefiting him nicely, getting him a few extra buckets that he might have not gotten otherwise. He also has earned himself the nickname “The Wall” on the defensive end, a name that I think speaks for itself. Kanter is huge, and once he fully figures out to use his size to his advantage he will be a major problem for other teams.
Last Week’s Line: 7.8 points (54%), 2 rebounds, 1.5 assists (2.8 TO’s), .5 steals (18.5 minutes)
It’s no secret, I love what Alec Burks is giving us lately, I think we all do. He is going to be a scorer in this league, to what degree is the question. But Alec is also showing us he can be more than a scorer; he can defend and pass as well. His assists numbers are not that great, but it seems like a few times a game he makes a pass that just makes you go “Wow”. His defensive pressure has been awesome lately, no matter who he is guarding.
Here are his defensive numbers via Synergy.
(Take a good long look at these numbers)
*Players who didn't play (very much): Jeremy Evans, Jamaal Tinsley, DeMarre Carroll, Raja Bell (injured)
The Jazz played much better this week, and I didn’t have much of an problem picking this week’s winner. Hopefully they can continue this improved play as they hit the road for a couple games this week.
Player of the Week: Week 10
(Photo via Trent Nelson, SLTribune) Harris is congratulated by CJ after winning this week's award.
Devin Harris 14.3 points (49%), 5 assists (1.3 TO’s), 1.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals
Runner up: CJ Miles
Special Mention: Alec Burks
Thanks @sproul13 for weekly stats
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