– Following a loss to the Phoenix Suns, and a win against the Paul-less Hornets, the Utah Jazz are in a better position than I would have imagined. If you read my post on Friday, I explained why I thought that Friday night’s game with the Suns was the most important game of the season. However, even though they lost that game, things aren’t as bad as they could have been. Yes, they only have a 1-game advantage over those Suns, but the Jazz did get some help from other teams around the league (Mavs, Nuggets, Thunder) over the weekend. At the moment, the Jazz are only 2 games back of the Nuggets with 12 to go.
– Based on Amare Stoudemire‘s performance on Friday night, I am not so sure that I would rather play the Suns over the Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. When the Thunder beat the Jazz a couple of weeks ago, I said that they were the one team I did not want to face in the first round. I was bothered by them because of their young, fearless attitude, and I felt like a guy like Durant is never somebody you want to mess with in the playoffs. There was also the fact that they were 3-0 against the Jazz this season. But then when I took a look at the Suns, and I saw the veteran leadership of Steve Nash, coupled with the trouble that the Jazz have had with Stoudemire all season long, I think that the Suns may cause the bigger problem for Utah. Hopefully, we can overtake the Nuggets and the Mavs, and we could avoid both of those dangerous teams.
– Speaking of that Friday night game against the Suns, Jerry Sloan has not been punished for his bump of an official with 0.2 seconds left in the game. Because of his history with the ref, Michael Smith, it was being speculated that Sloan would have to deal with some consequences. Luckily for Sloan, that is not the case, and he will be able to coach from the sidelines without that extra distraction.
– Surprisingly in Utah’s romp of the Hornets on Saturday night, Kyrylo Fesenko had a better stat-line than Carlos Boozer. If I had a dime for every person that would have taken Boozer over Fesenko for that game, I would be rich.
– Kosta Koufos has been called up for tonight’s game against Boston. In addition, Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko went through shoot-around this morning. Okur is still iffy, but it is likely that he is going to go. As for Kirilenko, he is not going to play, as he remains day-to-day. It sure would have been nice to have all the help possible for the Celtics.
- Paul Millsap has had 20+ points and 10+ rebounds in 2 of his last 3 games. The Jazz will need him to continue that trend if they want get by Kevin Garnett and the C’s. If Millsap is able to put up those kinds of numbers, it probably means that he and Boozer are getting the best of KG, and it is likely that the Jazz will come away with the victory. Of course, Rajon Rondo has become one of the main leaders of this team also, but their success is still very heavily dependent on the play of KG.
– If you haven’t checked it out yet, Clint Peterson has written a great piece about art in the NBA. It is very interesting, and it will be well worth your time.
– If you missed Deron Williams‘ Chicken Dance, you can check it out here for your viewing pleasure.
Tags: Amare Stoudemire Andrei Kirilenko Carlos Boozer Clint Peterson Deron Williams Jerry Sloan Kevin Garnett Kosta Koufos Kyrylo Fesenko Mehmet Okur Michael Smith Paul Millsap Phoenix Suns Rajon Rondo\ Steve Nash Utah Jazz