Player of the Week: Preseason Week 1

(Photo: Bruce Hemmelgarn - US Presswire, Shop: AllThatAmar)

I take a look back at last week's basketball and pick my top performer.

If you didn’t hear already, The Dunk and The Utah Jazz Blog got hitched. Anyway, I’m from TUJB (you may know me on twitter as @kyle11kirkham) and I’ll be writing my weekly Player of the Week posts over here now.

I know, I know. It’s just preseason. Outcomes are completely meaningless (just ask the undefeated Jazz squad from two years ago). Wins don’t taste sweet, and losses don’t sting. However, performances can have meaning as some players are fighting their way up the depth chart or even just trying to make a roster. That being said, take this post for whatever its worth to you, being preseason and all.

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Mo Williams

Weekly Line: 11 PPG (43%), 2.3 RPG, 5 APG, 1.3 TOs, 1 SPG, +2.7 +/- (22.3 MPG)

As you all probably know, Mo was reunited with the Jazz this past offseason thanks to a KOC trade. While some may say this isn’t necessarily a move for the future, Mo has already proved that he can be a solid addition to this team and may already be an upgrade at the point guard position. Mo didn’t have a spectacular week, but he did show good aggressiveness on both sides of the ball, and looked nice shooting from deep (4/6 on 3’s). Williams has also talked multiple times about bringing leadership to the team, which might be needed considering there was no named captain last season (or even this season).

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Gordon Hayward

Weekly Line: 9.3 PPG (34%), 5.3 RPG, 1 APG, 1.3 TOs, .7 BPG, +4.3 +/- (19 MPG)

Gordon’s first week of preseason play was a bit disappointing, enough so to bring back memories of those phases he had during parts of last season and the playoffs. Rebounding was the lone bright spot in his stat line, but it obviously will take more than one week of preseason ball to see if he is still in a slump. You also have to wonder how much playing with a capable wing (Marvin) will affect his play.

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Marvin Williams

Weekly Line: 12.3 PPG (60%), 3.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, .7 TOs, 2 SPG, +2.7 +/- (23.7 MPG)

Marvin, the other Williams, also looked good in his Jazz debut. Not only did Marvin impress with his three point shooting (3/4) he also led the team in both FG% and steals. Marvin is an obvious upgrade at the wing position (over Bell and Howard at least) and could make a lethal duo when paired up with Gordon.

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Derrick Favors

Weekly Line: 5.7 PPG (33%), 3.3 RPG, 2.7 TOs, 2.3 BPG, .7 SPG, +4.7 +/- (21 MPG)

After an off season filled of "break out" talk, Derrick Favors sure did temper some Jazz fan’s hope in his first week of play. Favors looked nonexistent at times, and it showed in his stats. To be fair, Derrick continued his awesome defense (which included 3 blocks vs OKC, and 4 vs LA), but from an offensive and rebounding standpoint he was far from the player we saw vs the Spurs last spring. Part of me wants to push this aside as pointless preseason ball, but another part of me is concerned that he’s not at the level he left off of last season.

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Al Jefferson

Weekly Line: 8 PPG (39%), 6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.3 TOs, 1.7 BPG, 1.3 SPG, +2 +/- (22 MPG)

Jefferson didn’t have the best week of ball either, but as sure starter entering his 9th year in the pros, I’m all but concerned. Al struggled shooting from the field, something he can’t do as he wasn’t able to get to the free throw line (only two attempts in three games). I do think he looked a bit quicker on both sides of the ball, which we can thank P3 and Al’s fantastic work ethic for (seriously though, love or hate him you have to respect his work ethic and attitude). It will be interesting to see how much differently he is used with this new upbeat offense.

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Jamaal Tinsley

Weekly Line: 6.5 PPG (60%), 2 RPG, 5.5 APG, 1 TO, 1 SPG, +6 +/- (21.5 MPG)

Tinsley didn’t look bad in his first few games. He led the team in assists and tied with Marvin for the best FG%. Jamaal will obviously be the primary backup to start the season, but I’m not sure who Ty goes with when Earl is back on the floor. Regardless, I really like Tinsley and am glad the Jazz were able to keep him this season. Dude is a pro, and who doesn’t love the flashes of street ball?

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Alec Burks

Weekly Line: 6.7 PPG (50%), .7 RPG, 1 APG, .3 TOs, +2.7 +/- (15.3 MPG)

Burks started the week behind Foye in the depth chart, but may have already played his way ahead of him. While Alec didn’t put up huge numbers, he continued to show us his strengths; getting to the line, and finishing at the rim. Burks got to the line 9 times in 44 minutes (only making 5…) and had some, well, Dwayne Wade like finishes. It’s obviously just preseason, but if he continues to outplay Foye, it will be hard to justify not moving him up in the rotation before the season starts.

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Enes Kanter

Weekly Line: 12.7 PPG (50%), 12.3 RPG, .7 APG, 1.3 TOs, 1 BPG, +7.3 +/- (20.7 MPG)

After keeping us entertained all off season long, the self pro-claimed "Gingerbread Man" didn’t disappoint once he brought his talents to the court. Kanter’s much hyped workouts and diets surely paid off as he looked significantly quicker and appeared to have much more lift. Not only did Enes have 3 double-doubles, he led the team in scoring (excluding Millsap, who played one game), rebounding (he is also leading the league), and even had the best +/-. While Kanter’s post play also looked much improved, he was far from perfect and showed signs of youth with his lack of patience and tendency to force it at times. Fortunately both can be fixed, and hopefully will as the season goes on.

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DeMarre Carroll

Weekly Line: 4.3 PPG (40%), 2.3 RPG, .3 APG, 1.3 TOs, 1 SPG, +6 +/- (17 MPG)

DeMarre didn’t have much of a week, but he didn’t look terrible either. It was nice to see him hit some outside jumpers, something he’ll probably need to continue to do if he wants to keep his minutes. My favorite thing about Carroll is his obvious energy and hustle, which is bringing back Ronnie Price memories as I type this. *sniff*. Seriously though, DeMarre can be a big spark off the bench for the Jazz this year and I really hope he finds a way to stay on the floor.

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Randy Foye

Weekly Line: 2.7 PPG (6%), 1.7 RPG, 1.7 APG, .3 TOs, 1 BPG, +7.3 +/- (16.7 MPG)

Ouch. It hurts just looking at that stat line. Foye really struggled to find his shot last week (he found it once in 17 tries…). Then again, a quick peek at his career numbers and you’ll see that he almost always shoots worse in the preseason, probably a similar case with most players. I’m not that concerned. Randy is not going to shoot 6% all season long. He’s never shot worse than 32.7% from three, and his worst career FG% is 39% (see last year’s Josh Howard and CJ Miles). Neither of those are great numbers, but it does give us an idea of where his floor is at.

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Players who didn’t play (very much):

Not going to lie, I had very little problem deciding on this week’s winner.

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Player of the Week

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Enes Kanter: 12.7 PPG (50%), 12.3 RPG, .7 APG, 1.3 TOs, 1 BPG, +7.3 +/- (20.7 MPG)

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Runner up: Marvin Williams

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Special Mentions: Mo Williams, Alec Burks

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