Posted by: Landon J on November 22nd, 2010The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz have been playing extremely interesting this year. It’s been strange for us Jazz fans, obviously, because we are so used to a team that makes winning often look easy, especially at home! While watching the past few games, I was comparing this year’s players to last years team. During this, I thought up the idea of ranking the players by how much they are currently benefiting the team. Remember, this is not based on statistics. It is a list of how much of an affect the players have on the team, fans, and themselves. (If that makes any sense…) Like Paul Millsap said, “When it rains, it pours.” When a player’s hot, they’re hot, and the impact they make can determine whether a winning streak is built or a shooting slump drags out longer. I will do my best to update this list frequently. So without further explanation of what I’m getting at, here are my Jazz Player Power Rankings as of November, 22, 2010:
1. Deron Williams
It is obvious why Deron would be sitting at the top. He’s been in a shooting slump for these past few games. But it wasn’t long ago that he was draining three’s when the Thunder were in town. Deron is still the one leading the team, and when he has a point to make, he usually does. It lifts the team and helps keep them going strong. I can’t wait to see him play Chris Paul. I think most of us “true” Jazz fans know that Deron is the league’s best point guard. And when they play each other, it’s usually a great magic show!
2. Paul Millsap
This is another obvious placement. Ever since that road trip, Paul Millsap has been producing ridiculous numbers. When I found out he wasn’t placed on the All-Star ballot, I was not in a good mood. But remember what happened when Carlos Boozer and Deron weren’t selected? I think that Millsap will continue to put up impressive numbers and show the coaches who they’ve underestimated all these years. Plus, who knew he was a three-point shooter!?
3. CJ Miles
I’m sorry. I’m not a big CJ Miles fan. I think he gets cocky and takes way too many bad shots. But right now I’m going to admit I feel pretty stupid. CJ played incredible against the Blazers. Making 7 of 10 three point shots was great, and he may have been the reason we came back. He also played well against the Kings, and we could really use what he’s given us for these next games against the Hornets and Lakers. If he keeps these numbers up, I just might have to take back some of the thing’s I’ve yelled to my TV screen.
4. Al Jefferson
Jefferson hasn’t really been shooting great, but his rebounding and blocks are really helping the Jazz out! There’s a lot of Jazz fans giving him crap, and there are a few times where I can see why. But this guy wants to be here, he wants to win, and he’ll learn the Jazz offense more and more as he goes. Hey, Carlos Boozer’s best year in Utah wasn’t his first, at least I don’t think so. Plus, keep in mind that Jefferson is playing with Deron Williams, who will make him better almost automatically.
5. Andrei Kirilenko
In several of our road-trip games, Kirilenko made huge, clutch three point shots. They were all from the same spot, and he was pretty much open for every one. I used to freak out when he put up big three’s, but now I’m extremely comfortable watching him try to give the team a boost. He’s been playing a LOT better! Maybe it’s the hair…
6. Raja Bell
This guy brings back the tough attitude that we haven’t seen since Matt Harpring was on the court. He plays good defense, is not a bad shooter at all, and he’s experienced. Sure, he picks up some technicals, but so did Harpring. And look how much we miss him!
7. Ronnie Price & 7. Earl Watson
I miss Sundiata Gaines. He had a great story, and I’ll never forget his game-winning, LeBron-angering shot. And as strange as it feels to say it, I think the Jazz management really knew what they were doing when they released him. I would’ve loved to see him and Jeffers play for the Flash and get called back up to the Jazz, but Gaines signed with Minnesota and I’m happy for him. I liked Watson before he was brought to Utah, and now that he’s here I think he’s even better. Along with Price, I think these two guards are the best in the league for backing up D-Will. They set the tempo perfectly and are extremely unselfish. These guys are great!
9. Kyrylo Fesenko
Fesenko is halarious. I sometimes never know what’s going through that guys head. It’s not that he thinks he’s better than he really is, it’s that he wants to be. He is getting better and better. He is also great at taking up space in the post. But I think that the Jazz scouted him out great, and after all these years, he’s really paying off, as well as keeping things entertaining!
10. Fransisco Elson
This guy has really impressed me. When they picked him up, I was expecting somebody like Kosta Koufos. But this guy is much more than that (sorry, Koufos). Elson has got a surprisingly good jump shot from about where Boozer used to shoot. And he’s not half bad at defense.
11. Gordon Hayward
I hate to put rookies so low on the list. But we really haven’t gotten to see them play very much. I wish the Jazz would hurry up and get consistent so they could start experimenting with rookies! I think Gordon Hayward is an awesome fit for the Jazz. I know he’s better than what we’ve seen. His first dunk was great, but there’s much more energy in this kid that will fuel the Jazz like nothing we’ve seen since Kyle Korver. That’s a big expectation, right? But I feel it. This kid will be very successful.
12. Jeremy Evans
Evans is also a great rookie. We haven’t seen much of him either. But I think that when he comes out of his shell and gets more playing time, he’ll be even greater.
I also can’t wait for Memo to come back. The only fear I have is that he will upset the current flow of things, but I think that the chance of that is smaller than the chance that he will increase the flow and propel the Jazz even more.
So what are your thoughts on breaking down the team? Try to keep away from listing players in order of “favorites” and think about the impact that the player is making as of lately…
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