Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Utah Jazz versus Who?...oh the Pelicans???

  Tonight the 0-8 Utah Jazz take on the 3-5 new look New Orleans Pelicans at ESA.  Sticking with the glass half full theme, this will be the 2nd of a back to back for the Pelicans, who got throttled and dunked on by the Los Angles Lakers.  The Jazz need to come out with energy and jump all over these guys.  Get their first win!  Let's take a look at the game....

Defensively-This is a new look team all around.  The Pelicans added Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday in the off-season to go along with Eric Gordon and a vastly improved Anthony Davis.  The Jazz will have their hands full protecting the paint, as all of the Pelicans wings will attack the basket.  The bigs will be tested not only with their paint protection, but also the stretch defense as New Orleans has arguably the best stretch 4 in the game, Ryan Anderson.  For the Jazz to have success tonight, they will need a total team effort on the defensive end.  They will need to have active hands  and continue to get the deflections they have been getting the last 2 games.  I believe you will see Derrick Favors matched up against Anthony Davis.  Davis should not be able to back Favors down, but he does have excellent touch and ball handling.  Look for him to attack Favors that way.  That leaves Kanter matched up against Jason Smith or Greg Steimsma.  Both players are rebounders or hustle guys.  Kanter MUST work hard on the defensive glass.

Offensively-The Jazz need Gordon Hayward to attack offensively more than the first half.  I have been really impressed with Gordon and his ability to create his own shot as well as for his teammates.  Hayward did struggle turning the ball over against the Nuggets where he had 7.  He will need to protect the ball and continue to be as efficient scorer.  It will be interesting to see if Ty starts Richard Jefferson again tonight.  He has really struggled from the field, but has made up for that by attacking the basket.  I would not be surprised if Ty started Alec Burks.  There has been rumblings of this the past 2 games.  Look for Favors to continue to work in the post.  I'm not sure Davis can guard him on the block.  If Davis is switched to Kanter, look for the Jazz to use Kanter in the post.  Enes will need to maximize his pump and ball fakes against Davis if he wants to be successful.  The Jazz ran primarily pick and roll, screen and re-screen against the Nuggets.  They were very effective with that offense in the first half.  Guys seem to move more and are more active all around out of this offense.

  The game versus Nuggets I came out of there feeling there were more positives then negatives.  Favors offense is developing, Gobert is a bright spot as far as the bench guys go.  He as progressed so much since I watched him at the draft combine.  Kanter has been steady, Burks has been a nice spark and Hayward is doing what we all hoped he would.  Again its one of those its the best thing for the Jazz to be in the situation they are in right now.  Trey is on his way back and if you missed any of the college hoops last night, Parker, Wiggins or Randle will really help this team!  Go Jazz!

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