NBA Regular Season 2013-2014, Game 4:
Utah Jazz (0-3) @ Brooklyn Nets (1-2)
Its a homecoming of sorts for two of our Utah Jazz players tonight against the Nets. Richard Jefferson played for the Nets for the first seven years of his career (2000-2007) even more interesting is that he was teammates with the current head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, Jason Kidd. In 2002 and 2003, Kidd and Jefferson along with Vince Carter and Kenyon Martin lead the Nets to the NBA Finals.
Derrick Favor's time with the Nets was not as successful mainly because he was drafted as trade bait and was promptly traded five months into his rookie NBA season. Favors was asked about the trade yesterday at practice. Here is what Favors had to say (via moni)
Does it mean anything extra for you to go back and play the Nets?
Not anymore. It did, probably my rookie year and second year, but not anymore. I’m over it now.
You previously said you felt you were given up on and that it fueled and motivated you.
It still do. You know, I got traded halfway through my rookie year, so I mean, it still does, but you know, I’m over the, you know, having hard feelings about it.
Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko are two former Jazz men who now with the Nets will be taking on the team that drafted them. Kirilenko is in his first season with the Nets, playing in 2-of-3 games. Andrei is averaging just 11.5 mpg. 5.5 ppg. Kirilenko has yet to record a block in the two games he has played in (I expect that to change tonight). Last year with the TWolves (his first time playing professionally against the Jazz) Andrei went 0-4.
Deron has also never beaten his former team currently sitting at 0-5. Deron also has yet to find his groove yet this season. Deron is averaging just 8.0 ppg and 8.0 apg in 25 minutes. I have worries about that changing tonight when he sees Tinsley has his starting opponent. Hopefully we'll see a heavy dose of Hayward and Burks guarding Deron instead of Tinsley and John Lucas III. Remember this
I was at that game and lets just say I went more than a little crazy. Up to that point I was like whatever, I got sick of fans booing Deron (even though I was ecstatic that he was traded). Then Hayward blocked Deron and it was as if something clicked and I remembered I was a Jazz fan. It was as if it was all my feelings towards Sloan "retiring" and that whole mess were released in my reaction to Haywards block.
With the Jazz being 9-0 against Kirilenko and Williams in the last few years you'd think we'd be favored tonight, but that is not the case.
Tonight the Jazz are 11 point underdogs. In recent years we haven't fared well against the duo of Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce. Jason Terry also always seems to hit big shots against the Jazz. We all know the Nets will get the benefit of any call. The Jazz will have to stick to their game plan and stay mentally tough if they are to beat the Nets tonight. Favors and Enes Kanter will have to not fall for any of Garnett's "mind tricks". We know Hayward doesn't:
Lets hope Hayward can set an example of how to respond to the craziness that is Kevin Garnetts game for the rest of the young Jazz players.
The Jazz have yet to win a game this season, they are off to their worst start in 34 years. I make no excuses for the Jazz, you learn to play with injuries. Lets remember that the Jazz in 2008-2009 went for a stretch without Williams and Boozer and still found ways to win.
Players have to adapt and accept new roles. Adjustments have to be made. And well they have been playing without most of the injured players for the entire preseason and regular season. Coaching should not be an issue either. Ty Corbin is in his fourth season as head coach of the Utah Jazz. Corbin has been part of an NBA coaching staff for over 10 seasons now (including his player development days with the Knicks), he is the 8th longest tenured coach in the NBA, he has the experience needed to coach a team no matter the circumstances. It is on the players and Coach Corbin to make things work together.
Three games is nothing. Nothing if you think that the NBA season is 82 games long. We can't make a big deal of losing the first three games of the season.
The Jazz have been in every game but its in 2nd half when other teams make adjustments that is has been disconcerting for the Jazz. As a team I hope they can learn to make similar adjustments. Lets hope tonight against the Nets we'll see a team who knows how to adjust and pull out their first victory of the season.
Brooklyn is just 1-2 this season coming off an embarrassing loss to the Orlando Magic. They will be looking to right the ship tonight at home against the Jazz. It will be interesting to see which team prevails tonight.
As an aside Brandon Rush tweeted this out this morning: