Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. Kick back and have some Brew(er).
Deron's back, although self-admittedly early. Nobody expected him to be dominate in this game. But he finished with 9 assists, only 1/8 shooting, and most importantly, didn't aggravate his ankle. I'm sure there was heavy icing going on afterwards. I wouldn't be surprised though for him to sit on one of the upcoming road games. He was suppose to play limited minutes but ended up with 31.
The Jazz really do have one of the deepest benches in the league. When you have a second team of Price/Knight, Korver, Millsap, Kirilenko, (and Memo usually plays with them), tell me that's not better than the 2004 Jazz starters. How many games would that team win in the league right now?
And I feel bad for Fesenkno. Last night would have been great to step in for Memo and finally show us what he can do. Kosta Koufos' solid outing (3/8, 5 boards, 6 points, 2 blocks) may have kept KK2 ahead of Fess. Sloan admitted that he likely would have started Fess had he been there. Hopefully he'll get another chance (and hopefully not at the expense of Memo's family).
On the flipside, the 76ers poor start can probably in part be attributed to their poor bench. The starters aren't earning any All-Star votes themselves, but tak a look at the bench. So any of those guys inspire you? It doesn't look like Mo Cheeks has much confidence in them either given their playing time.
The Jazz though almost gave this game away again in the third quarter. The biggest reason for their 5-0 start was their strong second half play, especially in the third. But against OKC, NY, and the 76ers, they've laid a big goose egg. And had it not been for RonnieB shooting lights out in the fourth, this could have been another road loss.
Brewer was partly to blame for having the game so close. T he Jazz shot a miserable 44% from the floor. Ronnie helped out going 0-9 going into the third quarter. And right when I ripped on him in the game thread for it, he lit it up. He finished the game going 6/7, scoring all 16 points in the final quarter. But while he was breaking the rim, he did manage to dish out a team high-tying 9 assists to keep the Jazz from imploding.
As a result, Utah pulled away with a strong fourth and were never really in danger. Andre Miller did his best to keep things close, but reverted back to his 1998 NCAA championship form in the final minutes and couldn't score or help his teammates score.
Carlos Boozer continued his early season MVP run with 19 & 16. He's averaging 20 & almost 12 a game so far. His personal fouls are also down from 3.6 a game to 2.7. That will go a long way this year.
Millsap was one of four in double-figures with 16. And Korver may have been trying a little too hard shooting just 1/7 from the field. Got to love the Philly fans. They're suppose to be some of the fiercest on earth, and this was one of their heckles to KK,
Hey Korver, good game . . . not
Really? Was that ever cool to say? Siler also states that they cheered him when they checked in and then booed him the rest of the way. That's how it should be. I stated that's how Derek Fisher should have been handled (although I acknowledge he left under different circumstances).
And Kirilenko has cemented himself as the Subway sub of the year (Boler and Booner give this out after each game). It's becoming a formality at this point. Unless Millsap has a game like he did against the Clippers, AK will snatch up 90% of them. So I propose they change it to the AK of the game, presented by Subway. He ended up with 16 & 8 to go along with 3 assists.
So maybe in the next couple weeks we'll have the whole team back together. At this point, do we need Collins and Harp to come back? Kosta and Fess should be more than enough to cover Collins. And I haven't seen any reason why bringing back Harp would add anything. Would he even be able to play more than 5 minutes a game? Without even taking into account skill, physically, how can he survive the NBA rigors? Do we have any assurances that his knees aren't going to snap? Why haven't we heard more on his condition?
Up next, the Harry Potters of DC. I would imagine we will see Deron's minutes reduced a bit on this back-to-back.
Game thread for the Wiz coming in a bit.
Other blogs (which you've probably already read given how late I am),
- All That Utah Jazz
- Ross Siler
- The Cowhide Globe
- True Blue Jazz (now part of the Bloguin network) Sounds like ESPN's old "ESPN.com, part of the go network)
- Liberty Ballers