NBA Preseason 2012-2013, Game 4:
Utah Jazz (1-2) @ Memphis Grizzlies (1-1)
Player Focus: Marvin Williams
Okay, I love Marvin Williams. I love him because from what I watched him do in individual plays on Synergy I felt like if used correctly on offense -- he was going to be a huge upgrade over Josh Howard, or C.J. Miles, or almost any other SF we brought in over the last decade of Jazz basketball. He validated the signing by translating a super hot shooting year, his last with the Atlanta Hawks, into a great preseason. Last year in ATL he shot 38.9 3pt%, in the preseason he shot 57.9 3pt%.
FIFTY SEVEN POINT NINNNNEE PERCENT
It's not just the hot shooting, or just the threes, Marvin looked amazing displaying post up ability, an affinity for getting to the line, a face up ability, he can drive, and he can finish when moving without the ball as well. And yeah, dude is still capable of getting up there and finishing Alley Oops. He's an athletic, veteran wing player for us. I felt like he'd be good for us, but then I quickly began to think he could be better than good.
Watching twitter after Game 1, when Marvin scored 21 points off of 13 shots, some people were expecting him to be great. I don't think he's going to be great here. I'll settle for him being one of the best / most complete wing starters for the Jazz in recent history. In game one he did have that 21 / 3 / 1 /1 / 1 line with two made threes, and 5/5 shooting from the free throw line. Games 2 and 3 had him TOTALING 23 / 7 / 2 / 0 / 0, with 1/7 three point shooting, and no free throw attempts.
Road Marvin isn't as good as home Marvin. Or at least that's the score with him in a Jazz uniform, for the Hawks he was actually pretty consistent, regardless of location. The location tonight is in Memphis where he'll be locking horns with Rudy Gay. In 12 games against the Grizz he averages 13 / 5 / 2 / 1 / 0.5 while shooting 53 / 25 / 89. Those are good numbers. In two of those games Rudy Gay was out. Against Gay (and this is the marquee matchup for me) he averages 13 / 5 / 2 / 1 / 0.5, while shooting 53 / 25 / 88. So, pretty consistent, huh?
The problem for the Jazz is that Gay is super athletic and capable of hurting us. He hasn't explicitly hurt the Jazz, but I'm worried about him. Gay averages 16 / 6 / 1 against the Jazz, while shooting 43 fg%. He does better against Marvin than he does against the Jazz though.
Utah needs to win tonight. And we fans want Marvin to play well tonight. The Jazz usually bottle up Gay, but Gay plays well against Marvin. Marvin is okay against Memphis. Something has to give. If Marvin gets chewed up I can see a lot of people getting off the Marvin band wagon.
Hopefully for us we see more of "home" Marvin tonight as he plays in the deep south (which is close to Atlanta). I dunno. I'm reaching here. Gimme a break, I wrote 400 posts this off-season. I'm already burnt out. I wanna see Marvin have a good game.