20 March 2012
Besides the defensive meltdown vs the Suns, the Jazz played really well this week. They blew out the Pistons at home, were able to close two overtime games against the Wolves and Warriors, and then somehow did the impossible and beat LA, in LA. It’s crazy, after never being able to win in LA during the Sloan/D-Will era, the Jazz have already done it twice in the past year. Overall, I think it’s fair to say most of us fans really enjoyed watching the team play last week, and it wasn’t just because we were winning, but how we were.
Last week’s line: 13.6 points (41%), 5.6 assists (2.4 TO’s), 2.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals
While his shooting has gone down a little, I still really like the way Harris has been playing. He scored 12 or more in each of our wins and led the team in assists for the week (Yay! Our starting point guard led the team in assists!). Harris also stepped up in the clutch, getting big time buckets vs the Warriors and Lakers. Every week I talk about how I don’t think Harris is part of our future, but he is slowly making a case that he might be.
Last week’s line: 3.3 points (44%), 1.7 rebounds, .7 assists (.3 TO’s)
Bell missed the last two games with injury, but did not impress in his first three games of the week. Raja simply looked like he did at the first of the year, really bad. He obviously wasn’t traded, so it will be interesting to see where he fits in once he recovers from his latest injury.
Last week’s line: 8.2 points (40%), 3.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists (1.6 TO’s)
Howard was kind of “meh” last week. Didn’t have any great numbers, had more TO’s than assists (seriously though, does he know how to pass on a fast break?), but he was key in our victory vs the Lakers and it’s hard to hate on that. We all know he isn’t going to be with the Jazz long term, but he still can make contributions to the team as they make a run at the playoffs.
If you haven’t heard already, Josh Howard is out for the rest of the NBA season due to his left knee, which needs surgery. I don’t think we will resign him over the summer, which means this is probably the last time I write about him. I know I wasn’t Howard’s biggest fan, but I wish him the best of luck in recovery and hope his can continue his stay in the league. However I don’t see this as a major blow to the Jazz. While Josh was a contributor at times, I think Hayward and Burks are both better players, and now will share some of his minutes.
Last week’s line: 16.6 points (42%), 10.4 rebounds, 4 assists (1.6 TO’s), 4.4 steals, 1.2 blocks
Millsap had quite the week. While he wasn’t giving us 20 points every night, he showed up just about everywhere else. 4 assists, 4.4 steals, for a power forward? That’s incredible. Not to mention he still averaged a double double. Millsap is the only power forward to lead his team in steals, and is 5th in the league in steals per game, 5th! He also had another stellar game vs the Lakers, doing something a former Jazz power forward never could do (Hint: His name rhymes with snoozer).
Last week’s line: 21 points (55%), 10.7 rebounds, .7 assists (1.3 TO’s), 1 block
Al only played in three games this week due to the passing of his grandmother, and he dedicated his game vs the Pistons to her, putting on quite the show. Al spun Monroe in circles and scored 33 points on lights out shooting and even hit his first career three (in the final seconds of the game). I gave Al an automatic pass in his next two games despite him playing poorly, I don’t think I can judge a player who just lost one of his biggest influences. Maybe something to keep that in mind as he returns to the lineup this week.
Last week’s line: 8 points (52%), 4.3 assists (2 TO’s), 1.8 rebounds
With Watson going down early last week with a sprained ankle, Tinsley took control of our second unit, and did a really good job. A lot of fans weren’t too excited when we signed Tinsley, and I don’t blame them. He had “washed up vet” written all over him, the fact that he was playing in the D-League didn’t help either. But here we are, talking about Jamaal Tinsley. While he isn’t as good at scoring like Devin, and isn’t a defensive player like Watson, Jamaal is the best passing point guard on this team. Tinsley averages 8.6 assists per 36 minutes, compared to 7.1 (Watson) and 6.4 (Harris). The problem is he’s third on the depth chart and Earl should be back in the lineup at some point this week. I’m glad I don’t have Ty Corbin’s job.
Last week’s line: 8.8 points (41%), 1.8 assists (1 TO), 1 rebound, 1.5 steals
And the #Whatupdoe Era continues! But seriously, I’m sure that the passing of the trade deadline was a major relief to Miles, and I don’t think any of those rumors helped out his game last week. Statistically, Miles didn’t have a good week. However I do think he did a better than usual job of contributing elsewhere. CJ was second on the team in steals, had the highest average +/- on the week with +8.3 (Favors was next at +5.6) and was Kobe’s main defender, who shot 3/20. The season is 2/3’s over, and now is Miles last chance to make a good impression of the Jazz front office.
Last week’s line: 11.8 points (50%), 2.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists (.4 TO’s)
Gordon continued his good play off the bench through last week, including a 26 point game (and some damn big plays) vs the T-Wolves. He did completely disappear offensively vs LA though (0 points, 2 shots) which can be a bit concerning. Hayward has done this a few times this season, but I don’t think it is always his fault. I think Gordon is going to be a good player, the type that every team wants. The key for him to play good consistently, which mean he needs a consistent role. And with the Josh Howard news, he could very well get that consistent role pretty soon here.
Last week’s line: 11.8 points (52%), 9.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 1.6 assists (24.6 minutes)
Derrick Favors definitely likes himself, because he is definitely good and the complete opposite of boring. Favors played tremendous last week. In my last post I wrote the Favors was playing the best ball of his career, and a week later he is playing even better. The absence of Jefferson and a bump in minutes gave Derrick the chance to up his play even more, and he didn’t disappoint. Derrick started the week solid, but things really picked up on Wednesday night. While Favors only finished with 4 points, he set a career high in rebounds with 16 (against a Love/Pekovic front court) and had four blocks. He then followed that up with the best game of his career vs the Warriors. Derrick finished with a new career high in points (23), rebounds (17), FT’s (9/9), had an OT forcing and-one dunk, then made multiple baskets in the extra period to help get the W. But no, Favors wasn’t finished yet. He went on to record a double double vs the Lakers (and Bynum), while setting a new career high in assists, with 4. We are witnessing Favors take the next step. Like Locke said in one of his recent “Tip Off” video’s, Favors is starting to realize what he can do with his body, and using that to his advantage. Also, here are some awesome quotes from the sophomore.
Last week’s line: 6.6 points (54%), 6.6 rebounds (15.4 minutes)
Kanter rebounded from his slump and had possibly the best week of his career last week. His weekly stats translate out to 15.4 (points and rebounds) per 36 minutes. That’s really quite good, you guys. And like Favors, Kanter also had some fun setting career highs. Enes grabbed 13 boards (in 20 minutes!) against the Warriors, then scored 17 points (and made 5 FT’s) vs the Lakers. But he wasn’t just scoring vs the Lakers, he was scoring against the second best center in the league, Andrew Bynum. And don't forget his defense on Bynum as well.
I still can’t believe this kid is only 19.
Last week’s line: 13.7 points (57%), 3.3 rebounds, 1 assist (1 TO) (26.5)
It’s amazing to think that Burks started out the week with 2 DNP-CD’s, but he did. However the way he played in the next 3 games was even more amazing. Alec finished the week 3rd in scoring, and led the team in shooting %. Then Alec had the best game of his career (how many times have I said this so far?) in LA scoring 17 points in 19 minutes, while doing most of his damage in the pivotal fourth quarter.
The plays he has been making are incredible; he is already finishing at the rim at an elite level. Ever since David Locke scouted Burks in college, I have heard a lot of Burks/Wade comparisons. Here are some fun Per 36 (minutes) numbers comparing the two's rookie years.
I’m not saying Burks is the next D-Wade, because I doubt he is. However, there is no denying that he can score at this level. Josh Howard’s injury means that there are going to be 25 more minutes to go around, so Burks is likely to get a big boost in PT, and I’m excited to see what he can do with it.
*Players who didn’t play (much): Jeremy Evans, DeMarre Carroll, Earl Watson
It was awesome watching our team play last week, and it was especially awesome to watch our young players preform and close games. I bet most of you can guess who won this week's award.
Player of the Week: Week 12
Our latest PoW Winner introduces himself to the rim. (Photo via Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune)
Derrick Favors 11.8 points (52%), 9.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 1.6 assists (24.6 minutes)
Derrick Favors, my second favorite tweeter (Behind Karl Malone, of course)
Runner up: Paul Millsap
Special Mentions: Alec Burks, Al Jefferson, Enes Kanter
Thanks @sproul13 for weekly stats
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