Posted by: Michael on October 25th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
I was able to attend the game tonight, and there were a few things that stuck out to me…
First, when ever Hayward touched the ball in the first unit, it seemed that the pace picked up and something happened. Hayward needs more touches. When Hayward is not included in the offense, it seemed stale.
Second, Favors didn’t seem to do much this game… Wait, what, he scored 21?! Surprisingly, he did so much, but the offense didn’t always have to run through him. That is why I like Favors (same reason I like Millsap), he is productive without demanding the play called for him. It is the put backs, fast breaks and ability to get to the foul line where Favors really can do special things. He had less offensive fouls tonight, and he stayed engaged in the offense.
Next, is what the story-line of the night will be, Kanter… 21 points 12 boards, in 25 minutes (by the way… per 36 minutes that is 30 points 17 boards! and for all of the 8 pre-season games he was 22.3 points and 15.9 boards per 36 minutes – what a great pre-season). He has great touch with his 8-18 foot jumper. He had a monster put back dunk on an offensive board that was spectacular. He is definitely playing more above the rim and confident this season. Both Kanter and Favors were 8-13 from the field and both made 5 free throws. I know David Locke is big on points vs. shots taken in a game. Well, 13 shots with 21 points is great! He slams Big Al a little on this subject, because Big Al only scores barely over the number of shots attempted, for example, tonight he was 15 shots for 15 points, average 1 point per shot. Favors and Kanter, well, they were 1.6 points per shot tonight. The nice thing about Kanter and Favors big numbers tonight is that they didn’t get all of them in garbage time. They were on the floor a lot with Portland’s starters. Aldridge played 34 minutes tonight, Big Al and Millsap played 23 and 22, respectively. That means that half the time Favors was in, he matched up against Aldridge (again it is pre-season, and players are not as engaged/intense, but their bigs looked like they were competing hard). Great game from the PF/C positions for the Jazz tonight, the four bigs combined for 67 of the 97 points scored. It was also nice to see Favors and Kanter get a little more minutes than Al and Millsap tonight. Kanter is proving to the staff that he is ready to average 24 minutes a night, he didn’t look fatigued at all.
Millsap showed why he needs to stay… 5 steals, 3 assists with 10 points in 22 minutes… He frustrated Aldridge…
Burks surprisingly didn’t get to the line tonight, but still had 9 points on only 9 shots. He had a very nice fast break dunk tonight. He also played some point with Kevin Murphy at the end of the half. It looks like he kept up against Portland’s PG (I am pretty sure he was guarding Lilliard). I wouldn’t mind him doing more of that, and getting more comfortable running point next to Hayward and Williams, who all are pretty decent ball handlers and play makers.
Cons… I am worried about the first unit. Going back to my point about Hayward, the offense is too stale. The plays are not fluid yet. Also, on defense, it seemed that Portland made it difficult for the Jazz to get to their spots, while they seemed to run through their offense and the Jazz started defending on the ball. There were some good rotations on defense, but they need to make Portland work for position and work to get through screens more.
I don’t think Tinsley matches the fast pace of the second unit anymore. Corbin has emphasized fast pace, and Tinsley doesn’t push the ball much. The pace was much quicker when Foye and Burks played the guard positions in previous games. Also, Foye makes you defend his shot, Tinsley again went scoreless tonight for the 3rd night in a row (he did although lead the team in assists tonight, which he did so much last year beating out Harris).
Overall, it was an exciting game to watch and I look forward to the Jazz season this year. For the pre-season looking at what the Jazz have looked like compared to the other teams….
Offense – #8 scoring, #1 from the 3!
Defense – #4 opponent scoring, # 14 from 3…
Overall – #3 in point differential
Again, it is preseason, so get ready for some real basketball and let’s see what our Jazz can do this year!! GO JAZZ!
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