As all of you Jazz fans know, the preseason kicked off last night for Utah as they faced off against the Portland Trail Blazers at home on their new-look floor.
For the most part the Jazz looked very smooth as they took down their foes 100-96. The scoring distribution was fairly even as everybody who played scored at least 2 points. Another good sign for the Jazz was the play of their starters who totally pwned (not a typo) the Blazers starters. Obviously, preseason does not matter a whole lot, but if you’re going to take away anything, it is going to be the production of the starters versus the opposition’s starters.
If you take a look at the +/- for the Jazz starters, you will see nobody with a smaller ratio than+17. However, if you look down the rest of the Jazz roster from Thursday night, you will see that nobody else had a positive +/-. Is that a cause for concern? Well, if it carries over into the regular season than I would say yes, but remember it’s just preseason. So yes, it’s something to keep an eye on, but it’s certainly nothing to lose sleep over (at least not right now). But regardless of preseason or not, the +/- seems to be a good determinant of the players who make the team around them better or worse.
Case in point, the highest ratio belonged to Deron Williams at +23, and the lowest ratio belonged to Kyrylo Fesenko at -17. Speaking of Fesenko…
I understand that this guy is tall and still a work in progress, but he is flat out hard to watch sometimes. He clearly doesn’t have any feel for the game as he is still awkward with the way he moves and the way he carries himself on the court. This is the NBA! You cannot look like the tall, clumsy kid in grade school anymore! It is time to grow up or get out. Of course Fesenko has the capability of having a solid outing as he did last year against these same Blazers, but those kind of performances are once in a blue moon and not worth the wait.
But getting back to a positive note, I thought that the starters seemed to mesh well together. D-Will looks like he excited to get to play with his “new toys” this season, and I don’t doubt that he will get the most out of them. I think this team is going to be a contender throughout the regular season and into the playoffs, and I have a feeling that they are going to be a thorn in a very good team’s side. I’m not sure which team that is right now, but I would love for it to be the Lakers.
LT’S JAZZ NOTES (THEY’RE BACK!)
- Wesley Matthews led all scorers with 21 points against his former team.
- Deron Williams led the scoring for Utah with 15 points on 2-5 shooting (all 3′s) and 9-12 from the FT line.
- Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Evans each scored 9 points off the bench.
- The Jazz had 7 blocked shots (1 block by 7 different players).
- Play of the game goes to Paul Millsap and Andrei Kirilenko (Click Here to watch it at the 1:24 mark)
- To see Fesenko blowing a chippy, check this out.
- The Jazz starters only gave up 29 points in 2 quarters (1st and 3rd).
- Utah’s next game is at Portland on Monday night.