What a crazy week for the Utah Jazz, huh? A heart-breaking loss on the road to the Cleveland Cavaliers 118-114 started the week off. Next, the Jazz lost to the Miami Heat 92-91 after a night off in South Beach. And the following night the team took on on the chin, and lost to the Orlando Magic 102-93. The final scores of the first two games accurately showed how close it was; however, the Orlando game was not that close for the most part. It was an understandable up and down week -- and it's not even over yet as there's a game tonight against the Atlanta Hawks. I'm not going to wait for that game to play out before getting onto the nitty gritty of this Jazz team. Already down one starter for the season, Utah had to play without two more against Orlando. All teams have to deal with injuries, and some players are not making excuses. So, who were they? What did the Utah Jazz Big Three of , , and accomplish this week?
Let's check it out:
Gordon continues to shoot poorly, going 19/51 this week (37.25 FG%), and especially had a hard time from deep (2/11, only 18.18 3PT%), but he did get to the line quite a bit. This is something he will have to force the issue from refs when he's not making jumpers. Gordon averaged 6.67 FTA per game this week, and made 17 of 20. Yes, he missed two biggies in the Cavs game, but he went 10/12 in that one. Statistically people miss. He just did it in the fourth quarter of a close game. Gordon is more than just a scorer, but at 17.0 FGA per game, he's far and away the Jazz' first option.
He had a double double against the Heat, and for the week averaged 6.00 rpg. Gordon also was passing the ball, averaging 4.00 apg; however, I don't think we're a fan of his 1.50 to 1.00 assist to turn over ratio. Still, he is one of the most consistent performers on the team. It's just that now with over 10% of the season in the books, his poor shooting has been consistent as well.
This Week's Performance: 19.0 ppg (.3725 / .1818 / .8500), 6.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.0 bpg
Star Meter: I don't think the poor shooting is changing peoples' opinions of him. Gordon is a star, but his star isn't falling or rising right now. He's regarded as the best player on a bad team, and his recent scoring surge and a return to form on the boards has erased whatever falling star status he might have developed from his first two weeks of action this season.
Derrick is the man. Let's get right to it, with the monster week he had! He's only averaging 31.51 mpg over the last week, and the numbers during this selection are more akin to what we expect of him. Last week he was hampered by flu-like symptoms that didn't keep him from missing games, but did keep him from finishing them. This week? We got a full-sized Favors. Everyone is going to talk about what he did to the Heat (and yes, 25 / 12 / 7 / 2 / 3 is a lot to talk about), but his entire week was fantastic.
I'm impressed with his free throw tenacity. It's one thing to be a talented bigman. But you're not work your salt if you're not getting to the line. This may be a hold-over of my bias after watching Karl Malone do this for two decades, but Favors' ability to get to the line is something Jazz fans didn't see a lot of with Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Carlos Boozer, and Mehmet Okur. While his FT% dipped from .737 to .643 this week, the fact that he's getting there 4.67 times a game means he's drawing three fouls on his defenders.
This Week's Performance: 15.67 ppg (.5588 / -- / .6429), 9.33 rpg, 2.33 apg, 2.67 spg, 2.67 bpg
Star Meter: His star is rising, obviously. If he keeps it up he could play spoiler out west as a stealth All-Star vote by coaches.
Rudy got hurt in the Miami game. And it looked bad. But he is such a gamer that he hobbled back onto the court to finish the game. Adrenaline is a heck-of-a-thing. As a direct consequence he missed the next two games. But that one game showed just how beastly he is getting. It is a small sample size, but it's pretty obvious that he's going to be trouble for opposing teams for a very long time to come.
Early on in the season he wasn't getting the touches. He did against the Cavs, and hurt them. Sure, the defensive numbers weren't what we expect, but again, Favors is really amazing right now. BUT FIVE ASSISTS THO!
This Week's Performance: 15.0 ppg (.6000 / -- / .7500), 7.00 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.00 spg, 0.00 bpg
Star Meter: When he gets back I expect he will pick up right where he left off. And national writers and casual fans will continue to go ga-ga over Rudy.
Because of injuries this team looks pretty barren right now. No Dante Exum. And now no Rudy Gobert and Rodney Hood. That means someone has to step up. Trey Lyles started two games, and Alec Burks started one. Jeff Withey was brought out of mothballs. And, of course, there's always Trey Burke.
- Alec Burks is on a scoring streak right now, while he had trouble with Evan Fournier in the last game, the previous two games had him hit for 24 each times. Overall he's averaging 19.67 ppg (.4286 fg%, .6667 3pt%, .9375 ft%) for the week, and scoring nearly 20 off of 14 shots isn't bad. It's the same points per shot (PPS) that Karl Malone had for most of his career (1.41). Alec is also helping out with boards (2.67 rpg), and the dishes (2.00 apg), and still chugging along with 1.00 spg. However, I think Alec can be more of an all-around player than that. Still, our team really needed his firepower on this road trip.
- Rodney Hood did not shoot well this week, 8/24 and 3/12 from downtown, but in the two games he played he did show his versatility and got praised by national writers. He averaged 13.00 ppg, 2.00 rpg, 2.50 apg, 2.00 spg, and got to the free throw line 4.00 times a game.
- .Trey Burke came off the bench, and seems to be finding his groove. He once again is shooting great, .5000 FG%, .3750 3PT%, but somehow went 3/6 from the free throw line this week. Nevertheless, he is averaging 12.67 ppg, 3.00 apg (3:1 assist to turn over ratio), 2.00 rpg, and 1.00 spg. He's making a three a game, and it's nice to see this wasn't just a fluke because of the Memphis game.
- Trey Lyles started two games, and he's not awful. He averaged 3.67 ppg, and 3.33 rpg this week. It's not what Jazz fans are accustomed to seeing from their starting power forward. But it's a start.
- Jeff Withey played one game and finished with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal. He shot 51.14% from the field, and I think we'll be seeing Tibor Pleiss next to
Jeff PendergraphJeff Ayres in Idaho pretty soon.
Honorable mentions:Joe Ingles needs more playing time . . . Raul Neto is averaged 4.33 apg with a 4.33 to 1 assist to turn over ratio . . . Trevor Booker averaged 5.00 rpg, but shot .2875 fg% . . . Joe Ingles needs more playing time . . . Chris Johnson is cannibalizing Elijah Millsap 's minutes . . . Elijah Millsap is cannibalizing Chris Johnson's minutes. . . Joe Ingles needs more playing time . . .
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