The Jazz game tonight is just a small sideshow to the circus that's currently playing in New Jersey. At 3:30 MST, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov will have a press conference to address the whole Carmelo Anthony thing. You've been deluged with so much on that though, I won't say anything on that except that I hope he gets traded before we see Denver next month.
The current Nets roster stands to be shaken up significantly, so much so that most thought Tuesday was the earliest Melo could be traded since up to 8 players from New Jersey could be heading out. That would leave them with barely 5 guys to put on the floor. Since you have to dress 8 guys, that's not going to work. The Nets don't have a two-day break in their schedule until the 7th and 8th of February.
They're all still there though and that's who we'll focus on for tonight. It seems pointless to state that the Nets are 28th in the league in offensive rating (101.5) and 20th in defensive efficiency (108.9) given what happened in Washington. This is another poor team that the Jazz should and need to beat. Would a loss tonight and a win in Boston on Friday be surprising though?
Brooke Lopez, Devin Harris, and Kris Humphries are their three best players right now. Only Harris has been rumored in the potential Melo trade. Rookie Derrick Favors is their lotto pick and has played well.
For as much as the 2004 draft was considered a bust, Humphries has turned into a good NBA player. Of course we could have drafted Al, Josh Smith, or even Kevin Martin (we even had two picks) but it lessens the Doh! factor a bit. Be thankful we didn't draft Vujacic (who we'll see tonight). Humphries has a good shooting percentage and is a solid rebounder. He also gets mistaken as Jacob by Twilight fanatics but it looks like that's landed him Kim Kardashian.
Lopez is having a fine year but seems to have regressed a bit from last season. Almost all of his numbers are down from a year ago. The biggest thing that jumps out is that his rebounds have dropped by over 2 a game. A lot of that is sure to be because of Humphries gobbling them up. He's had a game like this though where he played 38 minutes and only pulled down 2 boards. That means he should pull down about 15 tonight.
Multiple media guys reported this morning that Deron was questionable for tonight's game after coming down with the flu. Brian T. Smith just reported on his twitter account that he's going through pre-game warm-ups, so it's possible that he goes. If not, Watson will get the start.
Let's hope that the game remains under the radar and the Jazz get out with a W. In their first meeting, they were able to survive a shaky start and slowly put the Nets away in that game. The starters were huge then with Millsap putting up a 19 & 15 and all of them in double-digits.
- Game Thread at 4:30