Game 50: Utah Jazz (26-23, Road: 7-17) @ New Jersey Nets (16-34, Home: 6-18)
Turn the page, let's get back to winning
Last night had some good parts and some bad parts. But the best part is that in an NBA season where you are dealing with a compacted schedule that you have even less time two dwell on 'games that got away'. There's another game tonight. It's against the New Jersey Nets, and our wayward son Deron Williams. New Jersey is four games from the #14 spot in the East, and it does not look like they are going to be able to catch the Washington Wizards. Still, they may try. Jersey is 3-7 in their last 10, and actually have more wins on the road than at home this year. It's just been that kind of year for the Nets.
What's going on with the Nets?
Deron Williams is still a formidable opponent when motivated. He can still destroy teams almost single handed. He's kind of have to, if the Nets have any hope tonight as Brook Lopez is hurt again. They don't have a big time player inside, but Kris Humphries tries his best (13.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg). They do have a ton of wings though, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Gerald Green, and even DeShawn Stevenson have been getting things done both in the paint and beyond the arc. Anthony Morrow and D-Will both also make around two threes a game. The Nets don't have the most advance offense, but last night we found out how we handle the simplest of offenses in Atlanta. We still can't stop the three, and the Nets will take them.
New Jersey is in a holding 'tank' pattern right now. They can't out-tank the teams below them, but they don't want to lose their ping pong balls either. This is going to be a tough game for them to win, especially if the Jazz play with revenge on their mind. But no one plays with a bigger chip on their shoulder in the league than Deron Williams. I'm less confident of this game after last night's 68 minute marathon.
New Jersey averages 92.7 ppg, and gives up 98.8 ppg. They are in the bottom 10 of almost everything that counts this year. They are #6 in offensive rebounds, and #2 in threes made and taken. They are only #15 in three point %, so I think I know how they get so many offensive boards -- there are a lot of missed shots to be had. I think this game is going to look ugly. Hope it's a game we can win.
After the jump . . . what's going on with the Jazz
What's going on with the Jazz?
The Jazz are still a good team, a playoff team, and need to not let the gimmies get away. I had last night as a scheduled loss when the schedule came out. I had it as a loss even after our great streak. And after the game ended -- it WAS a loss. (So why was I so upset? I guess I just expected our team to be able to win a very win-able game) Tonight is supposed to be a scheduled win. It should be if Devin Harris bounces back and leads us the way he was in the previous week.
As a Jazz fan I've seen Deron Williams get carved up by Harris too many times to count. Now that we have Harris I kind of wouldn't mind if that trend continued. Harris has to be able to produce, as he's the limiting reagent to our success. Our bigs are going to get enough shots and try to get enough boards. That's a given. Our wings are up and down -- the stabilizing force has to be PG for us. (Esp on John Stockton's birthday)
Of course, this is also the revenge game for Devin Harris and Derrick Favors too. But we know how much PT Favors got for his "home coming game", so I expect the starters to play close to 30 mins tonight as well.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.