NBA Preseason 2012-2013, Game 4:
Utah Jazz (2-1) @ Los Angeles Lakers (0-3)
Player Focus -- Randy Foye
So far this preseason the Jazz have played against the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Los Angeles Lakers. While we have focused on the big story of Enes Kanter (averaging 12.7 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 1.0 bpg in 20.7 mpg) -- but the real big story isn't even about our team. It's always been about the OTHER team, specifically which guys we've not played against. Against GSW we did not have to play against Andrew Bogut. Against OKC we did not have to play against Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kendrick Perkins, or Thabo Sefolosha. And in our last game we did not have to play against Dwight Howard.
Well, tonight it's not going to be about who we aren't playing against -- it's going to be about who isn't playing for US. in the three games the Jazz have played so far this preseason our best player in the starting unit has been Mo Williams. Perhaps not statistically, but he has been in how he plays the game, and how he helps us on the floor. As a lead guard, he shoots 90 ft%, makes about 1.5 threes a game, and averages 5.0 apg -- these are all the things we did not get last season with Devin Harris. Additionally, Mo pushes the ball up the floor, gets guys easy shots, makes his threes, and right now if he was playing 36 MPG he'd be averaging 17.7 ppg, 8.1 apg, 3.8 rpg, and 1.6 spg. Those are awesome projections of his actual on court production in 22.3 mpg.
And well, tonight, he's not going to be playing. Why? Strained adductor. It's not serious, he's expected to play tomorrow night. But out of all the great things that we get on the floor with Mo, tonight's player focus is, clearly, Randy Foye.
Foye is going to get a lot of chances to play with the ball in his hands tonight. I don't know if head coach Tyrone Corbin is going to start Jamaal Tinsley or not -- but he has revealed (through the tweets of both Bil Oram - SL TRIB, and Jody Genessy - DES News) that Foye will get more time at PG tonight.
Foye has played increasingly more and more shooting guard over the last few seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers - his last season of playing "kinda / mostly" point guard was with the Washington Wizards quite a few seasons ago. This season he has not looked great on offense.
With the ball in his hands he has not looked to make shots for his team mates.But he's not a pass first player. He hasn't also lit the nets on fire with his shooting, which IS his specialty. Both Jamaal Tinsley and Chris Quinn have come in and played solid pass first PG minutes. That does not mean Foye has to change his game to fit with the team; rather, if he's successful at what he does well he can help us win games.
So it really starts with shooting, and Foye has gone 1/17 so far this season. It's not a good look, and he has missed all of his threes so far this year. If he can play PG, but play off the ball and find open spots on the floor to spot up, he can be successful. If the Jazz continue to play inside out in the half court I think we can work on this.
If we're relying on Foye to set guys up it's not going to go well.
Also, just for fun, here are the Per 36 results for a few potential back up PGs right now (while Earl Watson is out):
- Randy: 5.8 ppg (5.9 fg%), 3.6 apg, 3.6 rpg, 0.7 spg, 0 threes per game, 2.7 FTA
- Jamaal: 10.9 ppg (60.0 fg%), 9.2 apg, 2.5 rpg, 1.7 spg, 0.8 threes per game, 0 FTA
- Alec: 16.7 ppg (50.0 fg%), 2.5 apg, 1.7 rpg, 0.8 spg, 0.8 threes per game, 7.5 FTA
Clearly if you are me, you want Jamaal playing the most PG mins. And honestly, you want Alec to play none. He's much better attacking the rim. Foye has tried to attack the rim in games and he's really bad from those ranges. Apparently he's shooting well in practice, he needs to shoot with confidence in games. And he needs to shoot when open. Let him handle the ball, but in the half court let guys like Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap, and Al Jefferson set you up. That's how he scored with the Clippers -- getting passes from Chris Paul, Mo Williams, and Blake Griffin. The Jazz need to use players at their best. Making Foye a pass first guy is not getting it done.
He's the focus for the team, fans, and coaches tonight as Mo Will not be available. Randy needs to get it done; but the team needs to use him how he's effective. And on offense, that's off the ball.