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GAME PREVIEW @ THE MAGICAL KINGDOM- Fox and the Hound edition



I had forgottten that Tayshaun Prince was on the olympic team.  Apparently, so did Boozer, Howard and Bosh.

Yesterday I was reading my latest dose of tweets when i came across this:  D_Will_8_4real In Orlando on the way to the mall with @CJMiles34, Sap, Brew and Hancock aka Wes Mathews!

 In twitter language that means that CJ Miles, Deron Williams, Paul Millsap, Ronnie Brewer, and Wes Matthews went to the mall together.  Other tweets report that some of the same crew went to see Avatar and that Deron and CJ really liked the movie.  But I didn't want to know about the movie as much as, "where was the rest of the team?"  and more importantly, "where was Carlos Boozer?"  As much as the team talks about chemistry, all of the players hang out with one another to some degree, but it seems Carlos Boozer has been missing from a lot of team get togethers.  Might mean nothing.  But then I realized that Carlos was probably just hanging with his best buddy in the NBA, Dwight Howard.

From Ross Siler's blog:

"Boozer dropped into one of his postgame answers Saturday that he would be hanging out with Magic center Dwight Howard at Howard’s home in Orlando on Sunday. The two played together on the 2008 Olympic team.

'I know me and Dwight will be going at it a lot," Boozer said, looking ahead to Monday’s game. "We’re really good friends, so we’ll be talking about it tomorrow at his house.'"

And apparently the feeling is mutual.  From Dwight Howard's blog:

"Heeeeeeyyyyyy Wooorrrrrrrrrld!!!  We've got a really tough back-2-back against my man Carlos Boozer and then Phoenix on Thursday Friday."

Cute.  Now cue the "best of friends" song by that owl lady when the fox and the hound are playing together and enjoy the rest of the preview.

Carlos Boozer added Dwight Howard to his long list of stars he would love to play with sometime.  And how couldn't Boozer want to play alongside D12?  Howard would immediately take away every flaw in Boozer's defensive game by giving him a safety net.  Average looking girls in high school immediately became hot when they started hanging out with the prettiest girls in school.  Admit it, we have all fallen for that not very cute girl that we thought was hot, because she hung out with the real hotties.  And admit it, we have all made out with that not cute girl.  I haven't, personally, but I thought I should just mention this hypothetical fact because this is a sports blog and that's what guys do on sports blogs.  High fives all around.

Anyways, Howard would make Boozer's defense much hotter than it currently is.  Boozer-Howard would make a good tandem in the NBA.  It would also make a good name for a character in any of the Grand Theft Auto games.

Back onto the game preview at hand.  Orlando is going to use Dwight Howard to defend the paint and then they are going to shoot a buttload of three pointers.  The Jazz in turn are not going to defend the paint and shoot a peck of three pointers.  I'm not sure how small a peck is, but I am guessing it's small.  I've seen Willow.

The winner will be the team who does the best at what they are trying to do.  And that is your key to the game from Ron Boone.  Here are some other keys to tonight's game brought to you by other key analysts of the game:

Doug Collins: 

"The Jazz are down 8 with two minutes to go in the first half, but if they had've been able to hit those 3 shots back at the end of the first quarter and stopped that 3 point shot by Orlando, you are talking about a 9 point swing.  If the Jazz can just find a way to get a couple of stops and hit a couple of shots, then  the Jazz could be looking at a 22 point lead right now.

Hubie Brown:

"Now.  If you are the Jazz, then you have to feel good about yourself right now.  You are on the road in Orlando against a very good team and you have given up 58% shooting and you are only down 13 points at halftime.  We all know that Carlos Boozer can't play much worse than he is right now.  He is usually good for 20 points and 12, 13 rebounds and terriffic defense in the paint.  He is one of the best young players in this league and the Jazz can expect him to pick up his game, so they have that going for them.  And then they have this guy Devin Williams who is really just one of the young stars in this league who averages, let me look at my sheet, more than 20 points and 11 assists in the last 3 games.  And we all know he's not flashy, but he's also not going to make a lot of mistakes.  So the Jazz have that going for them."

David Locke:

"The Orlando Magic use 42% of their possessions on three point shots for the last 6 minutes of the third quarter for the season.  From 9:24 left in the 2nd quarter to 3:46 in third quarter the Jazz are averaging 13 turnovers on the road.  Utah Jazz key to the game will therefore be to get Carlos Boozer touches in the paint.  The Jazz are 13-1 when Carlos Boozer touches the ball 14 times in the first 5 minutes of the 3rd quarter."

Coach Stan Van Gundy:

"We've played like garbage this game.  No energy, no emotion, and not getting the ball where it needs to go on offense.  We have had some breaks, mostly Utah has missed some open looks, so we are winning, but we just aren't playing well, right now.  And it's going to need to change if we want to win this game, let alone the championship or even make the playoffs.  We won't playing like this."

Coach Jerry Sloan:

"Well you've gotta come to play.  You've gotta compete.  Orlando has come out and punched us in the mouth and we've sort of cowered in the corner and felt sorry for ourselves for the first half of this game.  But I've always said that feeling sorry for yourself is only going to get you not very far in this league.  We'll see if we can pick it up in the second half, get on top of the basket instead of just giving the Magic the space to do what they want on the offensive end.  We've got to get up and play them.  Be physical."

My take on the Jazz and the game:

The Jazz are now 10-1 in games after a loss.  That's great and all, but you could win all of your games after a loss and only go 41-41 for the season.  Learning from your losses is great only when you can string significant win streaks together.  Having a short memory is good in this league, but not when you are supposedly trying to learn from your losses.  What would really impress me is if the Jazz were able to win in Orlando and in Miami and go 4-1 on this road trip.  I would even be impressed by one win and one very competitive game in these next two games.  But history would tell us that this game is a recipe for disaster for the Jazz.  They have struggled against Orlando recently other than 10 days or so ago when the Jazz beat them in SLC.  The Magic obliterated the Jazz last season in Orlando.  You have to play well and disciplined against good teams on the road and the Jazz haven't done that for the last two seasons.  It was a huge win, but you can't even call the San Antonio team the Jazz beat in Texas this year, "a good team."  So tonight gives the Jazz a chance to make a mark on this season.  Beating a good Orlando team on the road could be a highlight and a catalyst for good things to happen in the future.  And right now, I have no idea what type of team is going to show up for the Jazz tonight.  Will it be the team that got pummeled by Atlanta, or the team that nearly knocked off the Cavs and handled a hot-at-home Bobcats team?  As long as we are asking these types of questions, the Jazz can't be considered a serious contender for anything other than most puzzling team.  Because truly good teams give you a good, consistent effort at least 90% of the time.  I would say the Jazz are batting about .545 for "good games" played right now.

Let's hope the good team shows up tonight.