Monday, December 30, 2013
Welcome back "Big Al'...by the way, Kanter is going to "pump fake you all night!"
Who can forget Enes Kanter's "love note" to Big Al last week! That was classic! To make it even better the Jazz got a nice road win in Charlotte. The Jazz take on the Bobcats tonight at Energy Solutions Arena. The way the Jazz have been playing, Charlotte will need to bring their A game to get a win. That shouldn't be a problem for Al Jefferson, after coming off a 23 pts 24 reb game against Paul Milsap and the Atlanta Hawks.
The Jazz are coming off a 98-90 loss to the Los Angels Clippers in L.A. The Jazz played a great game and stood toe to toe with the Clippers. Blake Griffin was a monster scoring 40 points and added 10 rebounds. The Jazz did not have an answer for Griffin down the stretch as he scored at will and did what he has not been able to do in the past.....make free-throws 14-17 from the line.
Possibly the biggest mistake of the night, for the Jazz, was being tied with give or take 3 minutes left and not playing the Hack-a-Jordan game. The Clippers scored on three consecutive possessions and that sealed the deal for the Clips. Recently, Ty and the staff have done a good job with game management and situationals, but they missed on this one. On the positive side of things, Ty did a great job riding the hot hand, Enes Kanter and giving him some extended run.
It was great to see Kanter get some confidence back and play with some toughness. Kanter and Griffin battled all night in the post. Each player trying to assert themselves and playing extremely physical. Kanter finished the game 7-13 from the field for 17pts, 12 rebs and only 1 turnover. That is a great game and good to see from Enes as he has struggle mightily as of late.
Tonight's match-up will be equally fun to watch. It will be interesting to see if Kanter can string together a few good games and build off the success and confidence he showed against the Clippers. One thing I have notice about Kanter's game of late, he is shooting a really nice jump hook to the middle of the lane. I would like to see him use this shot a little more than he currently is. The shot is almost impossible to block and if the defender does try to block it, they generally will have to go through the body of Kanter.
The match-up of the night, in my opinion, is going to be Trey Burke vs. Kemba Walker. These players are very similar and equally matched. Both have blazing speed and can create for their teammates as well as themselves. Trey has been lights out with the mid-range game of late. Look for him to use this to his advantage, as he has yet to learn how to score in the lane with contact or drawing fouls.
Lastly Jazz fans, are the Jazz winning too much? What do you think? While I love seeing the development from this young team, I have had numerous conversations with the thought that the Jazz need to lose and secure the best draft position possible. For example, watching Saturday's game versus the Clippers I found myself torn. I really wanted the Jazz to beat the Clips because it was the Clips and the hype behind them. Then again, I knew that it was better for the long term success for the Jazz to lose and continue to accumulate "ping pong balls" if you will. So I guess for me, Saturday was a win win..... As long as the Jazz are able to secure a top 5 pick in this summers draft I think I will be fine. But if the Jazz are not careful and the way this team is developing currently, I would't put it past them to be in the 7-11 pick range. Don't know if that is a good thing......but I will trust Dennis Lindsay and the front office that they have a plan.....GO JAZZ!