Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
I'm full-on the "play the young guys with upside bandwagon," and even more than that, I think my favorite non- Paul Millsap player on the team right now is Alec Burks. Furthermore, I love the addition of Marvin Williams and Mo Williams, and hated the addition of Randy Foye. That all being true, I really have to get this off my chest: Leave Randy ALONE!
I'm not a Randy Foye fan, but I'm a Utah Jazz fan. And tonight, our home opener, our team kicked butt. Our team did not play the perfect game, but 113 to 94 isn't the worst game either. And out of all the dudes who played well tonight, it would be wrong to exclude the contributions of Foye.
I'm upset that Burks didn't get the minutes that *I* wanted him to get; but there are reasons for that. (Which I don't even think I need to get into) But:
- It's not like Randy played half the game
- It's not like Randy took a lot of bad shots (I only remember him taking one unnecessary one outside of the offense)
- It's not like he played poorly (he did in the first half, but his second half was waay better)
- It's not like the team played poorly when he was in the game (+19 in +/-, best on team)
- It's not like he broke plays or hurt what we were doing (he stretched the floor)
- And it's not like we used him at PG, tonight he was played at his strengths, which is something the Jazz failed to do during the preseason, and something I felt like was a significant contributor to his poor preseason results
And we won the game going away. He had 13 points off of 9 shots, that's 1.44 PPS. He made all of his free throws, and got to the line 3 times, in 22 minutes. He shot 50% from three, making 2 of his 4 shots. He also had 3 assists, and only 1 turn over. Dude also had 3 rebounds. Yes, he was abused on defense by a 36,000,000 year old Vince Carter -- but Vince still only finished with 12 points. Randy had 13.
He played well, he played within the offense, and filled the role that he's been given: guy to space the floor off the bench. Heck, he had a better game than Gordon Hayward, who starts at the 2 -- but no one is calling for Gordo's head. (Gordon shot more, played more minutes, shot a worse percentage from the field, from the free throw line, and from deep, and had less assists, and the same number of rebounds) Also, I understand that this isn't Randy at his best, or his worst. I fully well expect Foye to intially play more minutes than Alec Burks, so why am I upset over something I should have prepared myself for?
Last season we were all mad at Raja Bell starting, playing increasingly more MPG as the season went on, and playing WORSE as the season went on. Raja shouldn't have played more than Alec did. But Raja did play more. Perhaps after this season we will have the same conclusion regarding Randy and Alec.
But right now, tonight, Randy had pretty much the prototypical game we wanted for a floor spacing bench guard. He played well on offense, did not disrupt things, and shook off a bad start to come on strong. I want Alec to play more minutes this season, I think Alec has a higher ceiling and a greater future. I also felt like Alec's strong, efficient play during the preseason should have been rewarded with more than 2 minutes of action. Alec Burks earned more than 2 minutes of burn.
But still, one game in the books, Randy had a damn fine game. He's not going to play this well every game, and on those nights it would be more than fair to be upset. But not tonight. He did his job, and did his job while doing it within the greater concept of both his role with the team, and his player concept on the floor.
Good Job Randy. I'm not going to pat you on the butt after every game, but you deserved it tonight.