Posted by: Kyle Hanson on October 25th, 2010The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
This team has a lot of strengths but I wanted to point out what I think are a few of the potential weaknesses. What do you think (other than injuries) could keep the Jazz from being a championship contender?
- Outside Shooting. With Memo out until at least December, the Jazz don’t have a consistent outside threat. Raja Bell can score from the outside, but he is a defensive first player. Can he carry the outside shooting load for the starting line up while guarding the other teams best player? CJ can stroke it at times but has to be more consistent. Gordan Hayward also struggles with consistency. He only shot 29% from the college three point line last year. Kyle Korver isn’t here anymore and someone is going to have to step up to stretch the floor at least until Memo comes back.
- Interior Defense. Al Jefferson’s size is part of the reason he is a big improvement over Boozer on the defensive end of the court, but he needs to play great defense for the Jazz to be a contender. Fes can make a huge impact on the defensive end, but can he stay out of foul trouble and knock down free throws often enough to stay in the game? Millsap always provides great effort, but he is undersized no matter how you slice it. Elson and Evans are both pretty skinny. Can they be counted on to help stop Odom, Bynum and Gasol?
- Back up PG. Can Watson learn the offense quickly enough to be a solid backup? Price brings a lot of energy, but based on past experience I don’t think he is consistent enough to be a quality backup. Deron can’t play the whole game and somebody needs to get the Jazz to run their offense with a lot of new players to the system.
- Rookies. Gordon Hayward is going to have to produce at small forward for the Jazz. Andrei Kirilenko isn’t getting any younger and plays with a lot of energy so asking him to play more than 35 minutes seems like a stretch. He needs someone who can play well behind him. Can Gordon Hayward make enough shots, especially coming off screens? Can he play quality defense? Evans is very athletic and exciting, but a featherweight. The NBA season is much longer than college. Will his body hold up and can he play against bigger NBA power forwards?
- The bench. Is there anyone outside the starting line up that can provide consistent scoring? With Millsap and Kirilenko starting, who can get it done off the bench? CJ Miles has been streaky at best. He has the talent but can he do it night in and night out all season long? Is the bench good enough to provide a spark in the 2nd game of a back to back set?
This team, in my opinion, will be at least as good as last years but can they be better? I can’t wait til Wednesday to start finding out the answers!
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