Friday, November 22, 2013
Jazz take on the Mav's in "BIG D" tonight!
I want to start this post off by saying that I appreciate Ty and the staff taking these kids to JFK Memorial. I think all to often, we forget that our hero's on the basketball court are just kids. For Ty and the staff to take these guys and interact with them and TEACH them the history of our great country is something that I can appreciate beyond basketball and being a fan. These are the experiences that are going to stick with these players the most this season as they struggle. So thanks to Ty and the staff, well done!
Now lets get to hoops talk! The 1-12 Utah Jazz take on the surprise 8-4 Dallas Mavericks. The Mav's had two options (like the Jazz) this summer, one reload with vets or two rebuild. The Mav's chose to do what the Jazz had done the previous 3-4 years and reload. In the off-season the Mav's signed Jose Calderon to a pricey contract, Monta Ellis, Gal Mekel (who worked out for the Jazz last season) Dejuan Blair and Samuel Dalembert. The Mav's also add rookies Shane Larkin and Ricky Ledo. Larkin was worked out by the Jazz prior to the draft and was thought the Jazz may select him with one of their picks. He has just returned to the line-up and plays a JJ Barea type role for the Mav's. Lets take a look at tonight's match-up
Defensively-Dallas has shooters. No big has ever shot the ball as well as Dirk does. This will be a tough match-up for Favors. The Mav's will also run the pick and roll with Monta Ellis and Dirk. They don't run as much pick and roll with Calderon and Dirk, as Calderon is a much better spot up shooter than pick and roll player. Dallas also has "energy guy" Jae Crowder. Little known fact, he is the son of former Jazz man Corey Crowder. Crowder has a solid mid range game and has been shooting the 3 well. Dallas is not an uptempo team, but they do move the ball well and get open shots. The key will be staying connected to shooters all night. The Jazz have been really good the last few games with deflections and getting in the passing lanes. The next step, is to turn the deflections into steals and turnovers.
Offensively-Gordon Hayward is questionable tonight with a bruised shin and knee issues. Radio voice David Locke tweeted that Hayward is having precautionary x-rays on his knee today. It does not appear that Trey Burke will start tonight but Ty said that he should play in every quarter and likely will finish each quarter. The Jazz will really need to push the ball and take the opportunity to get easy buckets. They have really struggled running "with purpose". They have been pushing in transition and not looking to score. The Jazz must look to score on the opportunities. I think we need to watch Alec closely tonight. Keep an eye on his body language and how he reacts when he makes a mistake. Also watch how Ty and the staff react to the mistakes the team makes as a whole. If Hayward is ruled out, look for the Jazz to get Kanter and Favors a lot of touches tonight. I think the Jazz bigs have an advantage there in the paint. Dalembert is a good shot blocker but he is foul prone. The wings and bigs will need to attack the basket and put pressure on Dalembert. The Jazz were very effective in the pick and roll with Trey and Favors. Look for the Jazz to give Dallas a heavy dose of this and spread the Mav's out.
I think this is the first night of a 2 week period in which Ty and the staff will be evaluated. The organization will need to see improvement on the offensive end specifically. They will want to see how the offense is run with its key pieces now back and getting healthy. If Hayward is out for an extend period of time, this will delay the evaluation of the team and the staff. I understand injuries happen throughout the season and that teams have to deal with them, but I am excited to see where they are at. Here is to a healthy Jazz squad!