NBA Regular Season: Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz -- Player Focus Al Jefferson

Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Game #7 • The 'Solution • Salt Lake City 11 / 10 / 2012 • 7:00 p.m. (MT) • TV: ROOT Sports RADIO: 1280 AM/97.5 FM

NBA Regular Season 2012-2013, Game 7:

Phoenix Suns (3-3) @ Utah Jazz (2-4)

Player Focus: Al Jefferson

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I know, it's unfair. Al is not feeling well right now. But you know what? Jazz fans aren't feeling well right now either. It's gut check time for both Al and the fans. He's a team captain, our leading scorer the last few seasons. And right now with the status of Mo Williams currently unknown, he's gotta be the guy who leads us to victory.

So far this season this is what he's done:

  • Game 1: 12 points off of 11 shots, 14 rebounds, 0 blocks, 2 assists, 4 FTA
  • Game 2: 10 points off of 13 shots, 8 rebounds, 0 blocks, 1 assist, 0 FTA
  • Game 3: 16 points off of 16 shots, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 assists, 0 FTA
  • Game 4: 11 points off of 10 shots, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 assists, 2 FTA
  • Game 5: 18 points off of 18 shots, 10 rebounds, 0 blocks, 2 assists, 2 FTA
  • Game 6: 4 points off of 9 shots, 11 rebounds, 0 blocks, 0 assists, 2 FTA

He's getting the points and rebounds, but he's not been terribly efficient at it. If he was a 2nd or 3rd option these would be great numbers. He's not though. And he can't be tonight. Tonight he needs to be a bona fide first option. A dude who scores efficiently and consistently. A leader. The Man. Right now for the season he's averaging 11.8 PPG and 40.3 FG% -- he has never ever shot worse from the field, and the last time he averaged less than he is now, he was 21 years old. He's almost 30 now.

I'm not dumping on Al here. I'm just presenting the facts. The greatest of players succeed over adversity. Right now with potentially no Mo Williams he's going to have to do it as the primary dude. But without Mo that simplifies things, we're not going to run against these Suns. We will see a lot of 'left block tonight'. Especially after last night's poor outside shooting night for the team you KNOW Tyrone Corbin is going to want to establish the inside game tonight.

I want that too.

Tonight we need Al to finally score 20+ points. Heck, Randy Foye has score 20 points so far this season, and he comes off the bench. Al should get enough touches to score enough -- but if he needs 20 shots to do it then we're not getting more efficient as the games go on.

Jefferson has gotten it done on the Suns before. I think he can do it again tonight. And we're going to need it.

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