Having scouted him a couple of times, I knew that Big Al had some very good components to his game, and some fatal flaws.
-In Minnesota, Big Al would not raise his arms to challenge a shot unless there was a chance that he could block it. He would just stare helplessly at whoever was shooting.
-He was not a passer. He would get the ball and only pass if he got into trouble.
In his first ten games with the Jazz, I have seen some progress in this regard. I have seen a big improvement in terms of challenging shots. I think he has made a conscious choice to improve, and it shows. Additionally, he rotates better defensively than anyone the Jazz have had in quite some time. He still will struggle with players that can face and go, but he is an upgrade for sure.
His passing still needs work. He will get better as he understand the system more. He needs to let the game come to him. When he does that, Deron will do most of the work and all he will have to do is take advantage.
I also like how he has allowed Paul Millsap to be Paul Millsap. The defensive attention that Al requires has allowed Paul to play his game. When Memo gets back and in the swing of things, Al is going to literally love life. He will be more free to do his thing and it will pay big dividends.
So far, I like Al's motivation. It had to be hard to play for Minnesota and Boston during the times that he did. When the Jazz started 0-2, he had to be wondering if he had found himself in the movie "Groundhog Day". But he has kept positive and its reaping big rewards for the Jazz.
The one negative that I did not anticipate is the fumbling of passes. Could be that Jazz fans are used to the adhesive hands of Boozer, or it could be that for the first time in his career that he has had a real point guard and he isn't used to good passes, or it could be his hurt hand. At any rate, it needs correction, and I anticipate that it will improve as time goes by.
With 12 of the next 14 at home, Big Al has a chance to be recognized by his hometown fans, if he can make the most of it, his troubles can make improvements in leaps and bounds.