Its finally here. The wait is over. I'm excited to see what this team can do in games that matter. The season predictions have been rolling in, but there is one I wanted to point out. I didn't see a lot of mention of it on SI's website (I check it daily), but here is their 2012-2013 NBA Enemy Lines preview for the Jazz. This is written by an NBA scout, and its very interesting. First, it seems to go against many of the commonly held thoughts here at SLC Dunk, by Jazz fans, but also by many NBA writers.
This was the first statement that surprised me:
It looks like Millsap is going to be the one they'll let go of, though they might have to wait to see what happens with Favors' development early in the year
Obviously the majority consensus around here is that it will be Jefferson on the way out, but probably not until the summer.
Next, is his take on Kanter:
Most people in the league are sold on Kanter, but I'm not.
You can read the rest of it, but he makes comparisons and says that he is not as mobile as Omar Asik. I guess the comparison is because they're both Turkish? Doesn't really make sense. The article was posted on 10/25, but may have been written before preseason.
He also gushes about Jefferson and Millsap, but the statement that really drew a raised eyebrow was this one:
Millsap just plays his butt off. Defensively, he is better than Jefferson and Favors. Jefferson and Favors will block some shots and both are pretty good rebounders, but neither one is a great defender.
I'm not sure if the numbers back this up, I'll leave that to Amar and Andy, but it doesn't seem to pass the "eye test". Perhaps on man defense, but I would argue that Favors' help defense is much better than Paul's.
But then, I'm not currently employed as an NBA scout, so what do I know. (Enjoy your morning dose of passive-aggression.)
Also, in this SI season preview are some pretty great comments about the Warriors. If you're a Jazz fan, you want to know that this scout has absolutely no faith in Golden State. Some comments:
This is a bad team with an unproven coach and a bad mix of players. All of their players are overrated with the exception maybe of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry
The Warriors are making Andrew Bogut out to be the face of the franchise along with Curry, but I don't see it.
And for Moni:
I don't have faith in Jackson's becoming a good coach. I don't know what he does for that team. Everybody says he was a coach on the floor when he played, but I don't think he has a good feel for the game.
These are some harsh comments, and they are only the beginning. The whole write-up is not very flattering for GS, but as Jazz fans, we have to hope they are accurate. It would be nice to get another lottery pick this summer.
Sorry to beat up on you, Warriors fans, but you are going to draw the ire of Jazz fans until that pick that we should have had last year pans out.
Now, on to the game tonight. The Jazz take on the Mavs, who came off a pretty shocking win over the princess Lakers last night. Dwight Howard was pretty horrible. He went 3-14 from the Free Throw line. Yikes. Steve Nash was not much better, having logged just 7 pts and 4 assists in 34 minutes. That's really bad for Steve Nash. Having said all that, this was also a night when (somehow) Kobe went to the FT line zero times. Has that ever happened since his rookie year? Has that ever happened since, ever?
All that said, the Jazz match up well against the Mavs. Jefferson is going to be difficult for Brand and Hayward is will be a tough defender on Mayo. We'll have more on the game throughout the day.
Some preseason numbers to watch monitor, to see how they hold up in the regular season:
1. As a team, the Jazz shot 43% from the 3pt line.
2. Mo, Marvin, and Alec all shot over 55% 3p fg
3. Kanter averaged 13p and 9rbd
4. Hayward shot 45% from the floor, including 40% 3p fg
5. The Team allowed opponents to shoot 44%fg
6. They allowed just 30% 3p fg
7. The team FT% was only 70%
8. AB averaged 19 minutes, Foye averaged 20 minutes
Anything that stuck out to you guys?
I'm thinking about running a series on the best places in the SLC to watch the Jazz games. I want to get input from you Dunkers' on your favorite places to go, then I'll go and get the experience, then do a write up for each. I think somewhere around 10 would be a great number. So, if you have some suggestions, throw them in the comments and I'll get a list going.
No, I am not coming to your house to watch the game, and please don't put Energy Solutions Arena- I know that's the BEST place to go, you wise asses.