Posted by: Joey Parker on December 20th, 2011The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Well…sort of. They didn’t really play very well of course. But that’s OK. They hadn’t played in 8 months! And Enes Kanter? As we all know, he hadn’t played in a basketball game since he was 7 years old! So, we gotta be patient with this group.
There were good signs and bad signs in last night’s game. Just a reminder to myself and everyone else though: last night’s game was ONE GAME. Let’s not go all “irrational Jazzfan” on our players or team quite yet, whether in a positive or negative way. With that, here are my observations from last night’s game.
(Editor’s Note: The author watched the game on DVR from approximately midnight to 1:30am after attending a late-night showing of The Nightmare Before Christmas at Brewvies. Do with that information what you will.)
- Enes Kanter looks more like a useable player than I thought he would. I attended the scrimmage the other night and Enes looked pretty lost (and I’m not just talking about his dance moves.) I figured we’d have to give him a month before he could even play more than 5-10 minutes in a game. He hasn’t played in an actual game in a long, long time, and he is only 19 years old. But, he surprised me. He is a relentless competitor. Goes after every rebound, not afraid to shoot, at least TRIES to play defense. His offensive moves even looked pretty good, although he needs to work on not getting his shot blocked so easily.
- Favors was exactly as advertised. On raw talent alone, Derrick Favors put up 25 and 12 almost EFFORTLESSLY! I don’t know how to explain it, but I can give a good example: when a guy like Al Jefferson puts up 25 points, it just FEELS like he had to kill himself (and use a ton of shot-clock) to get those points. Last night with Favors, it felt like his points were more within the flow of the game. Again, it’s ONE GAME, but klsdnflksdfkjstrhi vsndgfsngasgdhsnifg Oops, sorry, I just drooled on my keyboard and shorted it out.
- Favors needs to control the paint on D. The one thing Favors could do to REALLY help the Jazz get wins this year is to be a bigger presence on defense. Last night the entire team stunk it up on D, but I think Favors needs to be our defensive captain. He has the ability to be a Tyson-Chandler-type defender in the NBA. He showed some of that last year and I’m sure he will this year too.
- Who is our third point guard? I was very surprised that our candidates for the 3rd PG spot got ZERO minutes last night. Jamaal Tinsley, Keith McCloud, and Scottie Reynolds never even took their warmups off! I think Ty is using this ultra-short pre-season to get his team ready, rather than to decide on cuts, but I was still surprised by this development. I’m starting to wonder if the Jazz might actually use Alec Burks as our 3rd string PG, as people have guessed.
- Have Jefferson and Harris been told the lockout is over? They both looked like they were playing in a pre-season game or something! (Oh…right…they were.) I’m hoping they’re saving their A-games for the regular season.
- Defense and Turnovers are still the big keys. I guess this is true for all teams, but the Jazz were horrendous in both of those departments last season, so I hope Ty gets the guys to improve in those areas. If we can just play AVERAGE defense and commit an AVERAGE amount of turnovers, we will score enough to win some games.
- Jeremy Evans bears a STRIKING resemblance to Jack Skellington. All skinny arms and legs.
- Jazz may get off to slow start this year. For the past few seasons, the Jazz have been known for getting off to good starts at the beginning of the year. The problem has been that they start sliding after the All-Star break. I think this was due to the fact that we had a fairly established team and didn’t need a lot of time to gel. With this year’s team, I think the opposite will be true. I think the Jazz will get off to a slow start and then hopefully gel and make a good run near the end of the year. (The problem with this theory is that the Jazz schedule starts off relatively easy, and gets harder as the season goes along. So, we’ll see.)
I think this will be a very interesting season. Hopefully Jazz fans (including myself) will have patience with this team and give them a chance to grow before writing them off as a failure. We have the talent to be GREAT, but it will take some time.
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