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The Downbeat - 23 August 2010 - #299 - The Niner Edition

Jerry Sloan has his Willis Reed moment.

I'm glad we have Raja, but it's still going to sting a bit to see Matthews in a Blazers uniform. The price was too much but we lost a genuinely good, hard-nose player. I'm not rooting for him to do poorly as an individual, I just hope he doesn't make us regret it.

However, if he was still with the Jazz, the last sentence of this quote just might get made into an SLC Dunk t-shirt,

Matthews' game is more gritty than flashy, a point he tried to stress Sunday through the fundamental-based drills he and Blue picked for the camps.

"It's part of the game, and a lot of kids don't see it," Matthews said. "And I think it's really important at this young age to get it ingrained in their heads.

"Little things can keep you on the court. Little things can make you very successful. Little things can get you paid."

The article also talks about the fortune cookies he and his mom shared, his new Escalade, and getting star-struck at a Lakers game when seeing Jessica Alba. Can we just put blinders on the players when we play in LA?

Anything else you can finish this sentence with? Little things can ____________ ?

Gail Miller, Deron Williams, Kevin O'Connor, Paul Millsap, and Jerry Sloan all make the Trib's most influential list (print version on one page) of Utah sports. #299? SLC Dunk.

An interesting look into why Deron Williams and Chris Paul might not win a championship as constituted,

Looking at key statistics from the last 31 title winning teams, a pattern has emerged. Some would say having a dominant big man is key, others a backcourt scorer, and still others would point to an overpowering forward. While each of these positions hold some weight in the discussion, something even clearer appears through the haze of data: the role of the point guard. And even more specifically, that obscure object of desire lies in his shot selection.

In a nutshell it states that championship teams have had PGs that are taking a low percentage of the team's shots. If the PG is taking most of the shots, then it's because the rest of the team isn't that good. The exceptions to this rule have been Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson, both of whom made up for the extra shots with increased assist numbers. I guess you could say that applies to Deron and Paul as well who have averaged 17 and 18 % respectively.

Out of curiosity, I looked at John's numbers during the 1997 and 1998 years. In 1997, Stockton took just 12.2% of the team's shots with Malone and Hornacek the top two. In 1998, he took just 8.3% of the team's shots with Malone taking a whopping 24% (25% in 1997). So maybe there is some merit to this.

If anything, I think we see Deron's percentage drop this season. In 2009, he was the team's leader in FGAs due to injuries but still only accounted for 14.9% of the team's shots. Last season, he and Boozer had nearly identical numbers in regards to FGAs. His percentage went up to 16%.

Before the Jazz traded for Al, Deron's numbers would have certainly grown. However, I think this season there's going to be a lot more scoring distribution than in year's past. The article's author thinks that his number will go up,

Utah is much more intriguing, as their entire roster is revamped. But it won't be surprising to see Williams' percentage go UP as his teammates adjust to their new surroundings. The way the Jazz and Hornets are built, it appears impossible the two best point guards in the league will win a championship until they can get to the point where they average under 15% of their team's shots.

Monday poll (season stats prediction week),