Jazz Breakdown: Utah’s Big Problem

November 12th, 2009 by Erick Blasco Leave a reply »
In recent years, the Utah Jazz have lacked athleticism in their frontcourt, have struggled on the road, and have been unable to avoid waves of injuries to key players.

After losing in Denver to the Nuggets 114-105 on October 28, early returns on this year’s Jazz said that not much has changed.

Utah’s offense was okay in the game—their defense was another story.

Andrei Kirilenko and Ronnie Brewer are okay defenders, but neither is a true stopper. Brewer had no defensive first step and was lit up by Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, and Ty Lawson one-on-one. Kirilenko was routinely outmuscled by Anthony on drives to the hoop.

In fact, despite Anthony registering 30 points, the Jazz were saved by the fact that he missed three shots in the shadow of the basket.

Worse, Utah simply doesn’t have the athletic frontcourt to challenge penetrators attacking the basket.

Mehmet Okur drew a pair of charges, but he’s not mobile enough to come over from the weak side and challenge an assault on the rim. Paul Millsap isn’t a shot-blocker, and the landlocked Carlos Boozer may be the worst interior help defender in basketball.

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