Archive for the 'Utah Jazz' Category

11
Nov
07

Where oh where did Mehmo go? Where oh where could he be?

Where oh where has my little Mehmo gone?
Where oh where could he be?
With his 3 points shot
And wannabe phohawk.
Where oh where could he be?

 

mehmet_okur-arton21123-240x240.jpg

I spent all of last season and this one telling the world that Andrei Kirilenko is not a fit for the Utah Jazz with Mehmet Okur and Boozer on the team; offensively that is. I was more than right last year, but things have changed now. What happened to Mehmo???? Him and Andrei have changed places. Last season Andrei was averaging less than 30 minutes, while Mehmet was at 34 minutes per game. Things have flipped, which means their stats have too. Andrei is averaging 35 minutes per game; leaving Mehmo on the bench, only getting 29 min.

Mehmet is averaging 12.5 points and 6 rebounds per game so far. His lowest output since he was in Detroit, coming off the bench in 2003. Meanwhile, Andrei is having a nice bounce back year with 10.9 ponts, 7 boards, 6.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.3 blocks. Why the change and has it actually made the Jazz better?

Let me be clear, Andrei is a great talent. Few people can fill up the stat sheet in every category like he can. He is most effective when playing the power forward position, because that puts him closer to the basket and he’s a tough matchup for other power forwards. That’s exactly what the Jazz are doing early on. Although AK47 starts at the three, he spends a lot of time at the four with Boozer manning the five. Giving Mehmo a decreased role. The question is, does this make the Jazz better?

The Jazz are a much different team this year. Yes, they have the same guys, but their young guys like Millsap and Brewer have really come on strong, which changes things. That is one reason that I am so surprised by the decrease in Mehmet’s minutes. Brewer is your starting shooting guard, and although he’s a wonderful young player, his biggest weakness is his outside shot, or lack there of. You would think Utah would need Mehmet to space the floor a little, but that has not been the case so far. I guess the real question is… What do they need more? Okur’s shooting or Andrei’s defense and hustle? I think they need both, which is why Sloan is catering to Kirilenko here in the beginning. I’ll explain.

Sloan is a hall of fame coach and he knows Andrei wants more of an offensive role on the team, as we all due due to his excessive crying and bitching during the offseason. Andrei is an emotional player who needs a pat on the back to know he’s doing well. Whereas Mehmet will just go out and do what he’s told and help the team the best he knows how. Jerry is capitalizing on the easiness of their early schedule to give Andrei the confidence he requires. Look at who the Jazz have played. Only 2 of the first 6 teams they have played have a winning record, and they lost both of those games (Houston and LA Lakers). The other four teams have a combined 4 wins (Cleveland – 3 wins and Memphis – 1 win). That means they have played two teams with NO WINS (Seattle and Golden State – who they have played twice). Which by the way, they only beat Cleveland and Seattle by 2 points each. All of the other wins have been blowouts, which allows Sloan to play Kirilenko heavy minutes and let him do his thing. Andrei has been sub-par in their two losses against actual good teams. Averaging 9.5 points, 5 boards, 3 assists, 0.5 steals and 1 block in those two games. One can argue that the Jazz need Andrei to play well in order to win, and I would agree, but they don’t need him to be a focal part of their offense. That’s just it, by the way. AK47 can post these numbers without being a focal part of the offense, but that’s not good enough for him. He needs to feel like he is getting plays called for him or that he has an active role in the offense to be the defensive force that we all know he can be. Sloan is just giving him his pat on the back here early and I fully expect him to tighten the reins a bit as they get into the season and give Mehmo more minutes.

So yes, I am STILL NOT A KIRILENKO BELIEVER! Not yet anyways. He has played extremely well against very bad teams. Plus, Matt Harpring is coming back from injury and playing very limited minutes, if at all some games. I’ll give Andrei some credit, since he needs it to feel good about himself, and say that he has had some incredible games, almost getting a few triple doubles. I’ll also tell all of his owners out there in fantasy land, that you should trade him, if you can get something good. He won’t continue to have these incredible games on a regular basis once the Jazz start playing tougher competition. Again, don’t misunderstand me. He will be better than last year, but he won’t be the Mr. Almost Triple Double that we have seen so far. Call me a hater, or whatever you want, but I only call it as I see it. He’ll need to sustain this level of play for a least a few more weeks, before I start to believe.

29
Oct
07

Utah Jazz Preview

Here’s what the Utah Jazz gave us last year:

  •  A surprise team in the Western Conference finals
  • Proof that the Jazz did not make a mistake by taking Deron over Chris Paul last year
  • A healthy and DOMINANT Carlos Boozer
  • The first NBA player to come out of the closet

john-amechie.jpg

  • The first NBA player to cry on national tv because his “feelings” were hurt by his coach

sad-ak47.jpg

  • A Hall of Fame coach confused about when he started coaching in the WNBA and must keep track of the positive to negetive critisism ratio

ak47-sloan.jpg

  • One of the best dunks of the year

ak47-dunked-on.jpg

  • They gave obsessed crazed Jazz fans something to scream about for the first time in 7 years

jazz-fans.jpg

Quick – count the black people…………………………………….

Let’s look at the Starting lineup with last’s years stats:

 PG – Deron Williams
16.2 – 3.3 – 9.3 – 0.98 – 0.16 – 46% – 37 min

SG – Ronnie Brewer
4.6 – 1.3 – 0.4 – 0.66 – 0.11 – 53% – 12 min

SF – Andrei Kirilenko
8.3 – 4.7 – 2.9 – 1.06 – 2.06 – 47% – 29 min

PF – Carlos Boozer
20.9 – 11.7 – 3 – 0.95 – 0.28 – 56% – 35 min

C – Mehmet Okur
17.6 – 7.2 – 2 – 0.45 – 0.48 – 46% – 33 min

Key Bench Players

Matt Harpring
Paul Millsap
Gordon Giricek
Morris Almond
Jason Hart
Jarron Collins

PG
There is a serious debate about who’s the better PG – Deron or Chris Paul. Paul has the lead right now, but it is slight, and if Deron can average 19 points and 10 assists per game with 3 boards and a good 3-point percentage, then I’ll give Deron the nod.

SG
Ronnie Brewer is a great hustle man, and gives the Jazz the athletisism they have been missing. I’m excited to see what he can do, but my expectations are tempered a bit. I expect 10 ppg with a few boards and assits.

SF
Will Kirilenko’s balls finally drop and just accept his role on this team as a defensive specialist. I can’t believe he actually told his coach he needs to make sure he gives him an equal amount of praise to the critisism he hands out. What a puss. People think he’ll bounce back, but I think he’ll have a marginally better year than last. There just isn’t enough room on this team for his horrible offense. Ignore the preseason stats, Boozer didn’t play. If Ak47 could just borrow one of Matt Harpring’s testicles for a day, he would understand what it means to be a man.

PF
Boozer is one of my favorite power forwards in the game. He can finish with his right and left hand, and is extremely smart with the ball. His rebounding rate is astounding for a man his size, especially when playing in the west. I love him. You’ll get more of the same. I also love Millsap, which is also why I think AK47 should just move on.

boozer-and-williams.jpg

C
Memo is Memo. He’ll do what he did last year again. I just hope he doesn’t disappear in the playoffs again.

They will compete for the Nuggets to win their division and finish in the top 6 of the West.