Tag:Deron Williams
Posted on: February 10, 2011 12:26 am
 

Game Changer: Bulls steal one from Jazz

THe Chicago Bulls beat the Jazz in Utah thanks to a critical late-game steal by Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin dunks all over the Knicks, Bill Walton rocks a crazy tie-dye t-shirt and plenty more. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Each game is made up of elements that help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the previous night's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what led to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  

THE BIG ONE: ROSE, BULLS STEAL ONE FROM JAZZ


Earlier today, we took a long look at Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, and the respect he's earning around the league for his new-look jump shot and how it's transformed him into one of the most unstoppable forces in the NBA this season. 

Rose delivered again on Wednesday night, scoring 29 points and dishing out seven assists, to help ease the tension among Bulls fans who had started to itch a little bit after two consecutive road losses in which Chicago uncharacteristically gave up more than 100 points in each game.

Rose's big night was enough to carry a somewhat disjointed, up-and-down Bulls team over the Utah Jazz, 91-86. Utah played sloppy overall and melted down in the game's closing moments, committing three critical turnovers in the last 65 seconds to send Chicago to

It's not often that Utah's All-Star point guard Deron Williams looks flustered, but he was on Wednesday night, particularly late, as his floor sense and awareness weren't up to snuff when it mattered most and he was unable to match Rose shot-for-shot, finishing with just 11 points on 13 shots. 

But, surprise surprise, the game-changing, momentum-swinging play came on the defensive end for Chicago and it was Rose who made it. 

After getting a stop, Utah looked to push out in transition with Williams leading the attack in the open court for a potential 2-on-1 fast break. With the Bulls leading by just one point, 87-86, and just over a minute to play, a basket or free throws by Utah would have changed the complexion of the end game scenario.

Instead, Rose, who started behind his own baseline and shot out of the gates like a scud missile, tracked down Williams just as he crossed the three-point line. Williams never sesed his presence nor did he adapt to a potential swipe from behind, leaving the ball out on a plate as he looked to gather for takeover towards the rim. Rose, waiting for the ball to bounce up off the floor, timed his steal attempt perfectly, getting the ball cleanly and also tapping it to himself in the open court, where he was able to recover possession without the ball bouncing out of bounds. 

It was an uncanny, instinctual, brilliant, physical play, the kind that can send an entire team reeling. Indeed, the Jazz would not score again, committing turnovers on their next two possessions, and the Bulls iced things away with free throws.

Here's tape of the play. Enjoy.


GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT:

Roy Hibbert 29 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two blocks on 12-of-19 shooting in 34 minutes in an Indiana Pacers home win over the Charlotte Bobcats.

David West:  32 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, three steals on 13-of-23 shooting in 53 (!) minutes in a New Orleans Hornets road loss to the New Jersey Nets.

Dwight Howard:   30 points, 17 rebounds, two steals and two blocks on 8-of-13 shooting in 44 minutes in an Orlando Magic road win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

JaVale McGee:   16 points, 17 rebounds, one assist, three blocks on 6-of-11 shooting in 37 minutes in a Washington Wizards home win over the Milkwaukee Bucks.

DON'T MISS:

HIGHLIGHT REEL:

This is just a Blake Griffin dunk every single day, you know how I do it. 

Here Griffin a run ahead touchdown pass, tangles feet with New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire, who falls to the ground, and then dunks with two hands with an authoritative finish.


Next up: Griffin corrals the alley oop pass on the reverse pivot in the post and throws it down as he has so many times before.



The dunk of the night actually went to Griffin's teammate, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who threw down a vicious Griffin-style tomahawk jam in the vicinity of two Knicks players. Oh me, oh my!


WHIMSY:

Bill Walton's tie-dye t-shirt will blow your mind. Here he poses with a member of the Grateful Dead.

bill-walton-t-shirt


FINAL THOUGHT:

Kudos to Jazz point guard Deron Williams, who has been a grump for much of the last two months, for taking ownership of tonight's loss to the Chicago Bulls. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Williams "said loss to Bulls should be placed on him because he didn't finish down stretch." That's true, it doesn't happen often and it's a great sign of class, maturity and leadership that Williams chose to take the rap when he did have a seriously off night.
Posted on: February 7, 2011 4:51 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan signs contract extension

Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has signed a contract extension through next season. Posted by Ben Golliver. jerry-sloan

If LeBron James is the face of the new NBA, then surely Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan is surely the standard bearer for the old guard, a no-nonsense, straight-talking, eat-dinner-in-the-media-room, by-the-book man who has refused to cede much, if any, ground as the game has evolved over the last few decades. 

So set in his ways, the 68-year-old Sloan would border on being a caricature if he wasn't so pristinely authentic, not to mention intimidating. NBA.com's report on Monday that Sloan has inked a contract extension for next season but sat on the news for weeks just adds to the man, the myth, the legend.  
“I’ve already signed a contract for next year,” he said after shootaround at Arco Arena in preparation for tonight’s game against the Kings. “That’s been since, maybe, around the first of the year. I don’t remember what the date was on it. I never pay any attention to it. They offered it to me and I signed it.”
“I didn’t need an announcement,” Sloan said. “Hell, it’s not a big deal to me. And I don’t know what it does. Either one of us can go the opposite direction. I’ve been around long enough and they’ve been around long enough to know if they want to get rid of me, that’s all they have to do.”
Call that the Un-Decision. He delivers the news as if he's getting his teeth pulled rather than kicking off a summer-long party tour.  

Since 1988-1989, Sloan has patrolled the sidelines for the Jazz, overseeing the John Stockton / Karl Malone era and a relatively smooth segueway into the Deron Williams era. With the exception of one year -- 2004-2005 -- Sloan has had his small-market, financially-prudent clug above .500 every single season. That's an amazing feat, a poor man's NBA coaching equivalent of a Cal Ripken Jr. type of accomplishment. 

Sloan rightfully took his place in the NBA's Hall of Fame in 2009 and, perhaps most remarkably, hasn't shown any signs of slowing down.
Posted on: February 4, 2011 3:41 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 3:42 pm
 

Deron Williams to return Friday

Posted by Royce Young

The Jazz have been struggling a bit lately and it hasn't helped that their best players are injured. But they appear to be getting their best one back Friday against the Nuggets.

Deron Williams has been out the past four games with a strained wrist but he said he's ready to play Friday, via the Salt Lake Tribune. A few days ago Williams said he couldn't even get the ball to the rim on a jumper without pain. But he's going tonight anyway.

Wednesday Williams saw a specialist but no actual damage was found. Without Williams, the Jazz went 2-2 but clearly need him back. Over the past couple weeks, the Jazz are just 2-8. They can't afford to slip any further behind the Thunder in the Northwest.

Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko are still out for Utah though. Which doesn't help things much either.
Category: NBA
Posted on: February 3, 2011 4:53 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 7:02 pm
 

NBA All-Star Reserves: West and East rosters

A constantly updated list of the 2011 NBA All-Star reserves. Posted by Matt Moore and Ben Golliver.

As the NBA All-Star reserves are inevitably leaked in advance of the 7 p.m. ET announcement, we'll have updates for you. The full rosters have now been announced.

Update 7:00 p.m. EST: Yao Ming's Replacement

Finally, Yahoo! Sports also notes that Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash is the favorite to replace Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, who is injured. 

Update 6:49 p.m. EST: Western Conference Reserves

Yahoo! Sports reports the following players have been named to the Western Conference All-Star team as reserves: 

Update 6:45 p.m. EST: Eastern Conference Reserves

Yahoo! Sports reports the following players have been named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team as reservers: 

Update 6:05 p.m. EST: Kevin Garnett

Like Gasol, we found that Garnett has a page built, along with previously leaked Rajon Rondo. 

Garnett will make it at least two Celtics reserves, with more on the way most likely. Garnett's been playing at a near MVP level with the impact he has on both sides of the floor. He's been his usual dominant, crazy self on defense, and his inside post moves have returned in addition to his mid-range jumper on the pick and pop. He's arguably the biggest reason the Celts have laid waste to the league this season. 

No other prospective reserves have such pages built, as of yet. These definitely don't confirm that they've been selected as All-Stars, but considering the three posted now are locks, they look pretty legit. We'll keep you posted. 

Update 6:01 p.m. EST: Pau Gasol


Someone is either running live screen tests or they jumped the gun. Hoopshype discovered that Pau Gasol has a page built for him as an All-Star. 

Gasol's a no-brainer, as he's arguably the best player on the Lakers, and that's saying something considering, you know, Kobe Bryant. Either way he's the biggest reason for the Lakers' past two championships outside Bryant, and is widely considered to be the best active big man in the game. Odds are good he might wind up replacing Yao Ming as a starter at center, despite his power forward designation.

Rajon Rondo


Yahoo! Sports reports that Rondo will be named an All-Star Reserve. The word you're looking for is ... "duh."  Rondo leads the league in assists per game and Assist Ratio (percentage of possessions ending in an assist). He's the starting point guard for the best team in the Eastern Conference and he does things like this:



Whether the Celtics send three or four , we all agreed, Rondo needs to go. He's the obvious choice. 
Posted on: February 2, 2011 10:00 pm
 

Jazz G Deron Williams has strained wrist tendon

Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams is listed as day-to-day after undergoing an MRI which confirmed that he has a strained wrist tendon. Posted by Ben Golliver. deron-williams

Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams has been bothered by a strained wrist, which has kept him out of action since Jan. 26. Williams is set to miss his fourth straight game on Wednesday night, and lingering pain caused the All-Star to undergo an MRI to assess the situation, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The results: Williams does have a strained tendon, and apparently nothing else.
Hand specialist Dr. Steve Huish's evaluation today of Jazz guard Deron Williams' right wrist and a magnetic imaging exam taken of the wrist confirmed that the All-Star has a strained tendon.
Williams, who is not in uniform for a home game tonight against Houston, remains day-to-day. Treatment of his injury will also remain the same.
The Jazz have been in a freefall since since just after the New Year, as the Jazz are 5-9 in their last fourteen games and 2-7 in their last nine games. 

It's a tough time for Williams to be inactive, as the Jazz play six games in the next 10 days. His next opportunity to take the court will come on Friday, when the Jazz visit their division rival, the Denver Nuggets.  In his absence, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan will turn to reserve guards Earl Watson and Ronnie Price.

Williams is averaging 21.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 9.4 assists on the season.
Posted on: January 28, 2011 1:28 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 1:30 pm
 

Deron Williams MRI negative, what about the Jazz?

MRI negative for Deron Williams' wrist, day-to-day, but what about the Jazz as a whole?
Posted by Matt Moore

Deron Williams "felt a pop" when he injured his wrist Wednesday night, prompting him to have an MRI done, and stopping the hearts of every Jazz official, player, and fan throughout the land. But the good news is that the results are back, and they are negative. No structural damage for Williams, and he's listed as day-to-day with a strained tendon. 

Losing Williams is not the same as the funk the Jazz are going through. There's a number of people jumping off the good ship Jazz 2011, but in reality, they looked very good at the beginning of the season.  There are a number of areas of concern, however, as outlined by the Salt Lake City Tribune's Kurt Kragthorpe in his midseason review a week ago: 
In previous years, “We had a better chemistry,” Williams said. “I don’t know if you could say better players that fit the system, but a better mesh of guys.”

For all of his leadership and dependability, Raja Bell appears every bit of 34 years old, shooting poorly and defending inadequately. Nobody’s sure what to think of rookie Gordon Hayward.

So the newcomers have not changed the organization’s outlook, and play of the holdovers is no more encouraging. The contract-year version of Andrei Kirilenko is the usual model, a sixth-year C.J. Miles is still not a complete upgrade, Paul Millsap is slumping and not even Williams is exempt from criticism.
via Kragthorpe: Jazz’s downturn leads to depressing forecast | The Salt Lake Tribune.

And all that was much nicer than what was said and is being said about Al Jefferson. The real problems, though, are the things wrong on defense, as Zach Lowe from SI illustrated earlier this week. 

Over the last six weeks or so, the nightmare scenario for Utah has played out. Both of those early problematic trends have continued, while opponents have started to make shots. Teams shot 46 percent from the floor (and 39 percent from three) against the Jazz in December; those numbers have jumped to 47.3 percent and 40 percent so far in January. Meanwhile, the Jazz still give up the most free throws per shot attempt, and, most disturbing of all, they’ve settled in at 27th in defensive rebounding rate. The latter trend is especially disturbing, because Utah ranked fifth in that category last season, meaning their defensive rebounding has collapsed much more dramatically than we should have expected given the loss of Carlos Boozer (a better rebounder than either Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap).

In fact, only seven teams since 1973-74 have seen their place in the league’s defensive rebounding hierarchy (as measured by percentile rather than raw rank, given the changing number of teams in the league) drop further in one season than Utah’s has so far, according to Basketball-Reference.

A deeper look at Utah’s defense suggests the problem lies in the pick-and-roll — and specifically in its inability to stop dribble penetration at the top. An exhaustive look at video points to, primarily, the inability (or reluctance) of Millsap and Jefferson to jump out aggressively and cut off ball-handlers before they turn the corner. For whatever reason, both prefer mostly to sag back as Williams chases point guards over screens. 
via The Point Forward » Posts Monday Musings: Defensive issues mute Jazz «.

In case you're missing the theme, here, it's that the Jazz are playing terribly. The gap, though, is that in years past they would surge in January and February, then fall back to the pack and be easily dismissed in April. January is not the time to be surging. April is. Jerry Sloan has until then to get things straight. If he doesn't, or if the Jazz wind up in the Lakers' side of the bracket, it's going to be yet another predictable, easily-dismissed exit from the playoffs in the first or second round. The list is pretty simple:
  • Shore up the pick and roll defense, getting Al Jefferson more in tune with the defensive principles and awareness he needs
  • Commit to the kind of effort they gave on the glass early on the season.
  • Resolve the shooting woes from the perimeter, finding some option among the plethora of wings they have available.
  • Get everything in tune at once.


But at least they won't be trying to fix these problems now without Deron Williams. 
Posted on: January 28, 2011 9:12 am
 

Shootaround 1.28.11: Desperately wanting

Grizz searching for White Chocolate, Suns looking to keep Nash in the Valley, and Wade joshing about Phil. All this and more in today's Shootaround. 
Posted by Matt Moore

The Grizzlies are in a rush to try and sign Jason Williams, because they really think he can help the team win. Because they're the Grizzlies. 

Robert Sarver doesn't see the Suns making another trade before the deadline, and definitely doesn't see them trading Steve Nash. Which is a bummer because you'd love to see Nash on a contender rather than feeding Vince Carter in a first round exit at best. 

Deron Williams will have an MRI on his wrist Friday, after hearing it "pop" Wednesday. The word you're looking for is "Yikes."

Dwyane Wade jokes that Phil Jackson just wants to coach the Heat and that's why he's talking up retirement

Were the Cavs close to trading Anderson Varejao to the Thunder before his knee injury?

Well, you can't really blame the Cavs for looking at all options since they're on pace to make history in terms of a downturn year to year. 

Charles Barkley says that the Knicks can never win with Mike D'Antoni's system, which is a popular sentiment. Anything that doesn't prioritize defense and rebounding is going to get shredded by traditional pundits. It would take an overload of talent for the Knicks to get to the promised land with that system, but considering how much matchups rule the NBA playoffs, it's probably a stretch to say they'll never win.  It would take a rare set of circumstances, though.

Julian Wright has to keep shooting, apparently. File under "signs that your team is trouble if you're talking about this."

Tiago Splitter in a cowboy hat. Yee-haw.

Could Larry Ellison be targeting the Kings next? If so, you can kiss Sacramento goodbye. 
Posted on: January 27, 2011 1:30 am
 

Game Changer: Where the Spurs silenced the Jazz

Posted by Royce Young

THE BIG ONE: SAN ANTONIO KICKS UTAH WHILE ITS DOWN

That big red button is getting bigger by the night. I'm not typically one to punch a panic button in January, but boy, things are not going well in Utah right now.

But pull your finger away for now. Yes, the Jazz dropped a sixth straight. And yes, they trailed by as many as 19. But Utah showed some mettle at home, fighting back behind 39 points from Deron Williams and had the game within reach with under a minute yet.

Something about this game just said that the Jazz are going to figure things out. The Spurs are the league's best team and they aren't easy to beat anywhere. So the fact that the Jazz almost beat them means something. I think.

Though I'm sure Jerry Sloan doesn't want to hear anything remotely close to a moral victory.

On the other side, the Spurs moved to 39-7, which is just terrific. I loved the way they won this game. The execution late was just flawless. The way Manu Ginobili just makes winning play after winning play is astounding.

People want to say San Antonio is boring, but if beautiful basketball is boring, then sign me up for another borefest. Because watching the Spurs in the halfcourt move the ball, reverse it, set a pindown screen and find an open shooter is just basketball poetry. I could watch it all day.

KEVIN VS. KEVIN AND WE ALL WIN

You were probably too busy watching Jimmer Fredette, but holy cow I hope you at least caught a little of the Thunder and Timberwolves.

There were 19 total lead changes and eight in the final three minutes of regulation. The game went to overtime where Oklahoma City eventually edged Minnesota 118-117 because of a silky Kevin Durant jumper with 28 seconds left and a big free throw miss from Corey Brewer with six seconds left.

(Watch Durant's step-back jumper in the highlights though. It's just stupid good. Like how could anyone ever dream of stopping that?)

Don't get me wrong, the game was fun and terrific and all of that, but the two Kevins are really what stole the show. Kevin Durant tied his career-high with 47 points, 36 of which came after halftime. He also added a career-high 18 rebounds to go with it.

Kevin Love dropped another 30-20 game, this time going for 31 points and 21 rebounds, giving him 32 straight double-doubles and three 30-20 games on the season (nobody else even has one). Love had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation but his 12-foot jump hook just rimmed out.

That's the Thunder's eighth straight win over the Timberwolves, but this isn't one that just goes in the books and we forget about. It was really a great game that featured two incredible performances from two of the league's very, very best.


GO-GO-GADGET LINES

Kevin Durant dropped one of the season's best lines with 47 points on 15-28 shooting while grabbing a career-high 18 rebounds.

Kevin Love had another huge night scoring 31 points and grabbing 21 rebounds in a loss to OKC.

Dwight Howard had an otherwise nice games scoring 19 points and pulling in 16 rebounds. If it weren't for Kevin Love, Howard's line would've looked a bit better.

Deron Williams set a new season-high with 39 points and he also dished out nine assists.

Chris Paul had 18 points and 17 assists in the Hornets 10th straight win.

NOLA KEEPS IT MOVING

How freaking impressive are the Hornets right now? They won their 10th straight and while someone finally topped 100 points against them, it was the pace happy Warriors that did it and it came in garbage time.

During the 10-game streak, only two teams other than the Warriors have topped 100 and those games went into overtime. Against Golden State, New Orleans clamped down from the beginning, but also used some crisp, decisive offense to get off to a nice start, build a cushion and play with a lead the entire night.

All five Hornet starters notched double-figures with Chris Paul scoring 18 points and dishing out 17 assists. David West did his normal David West thing dropping 22 points on only 12 shots. And Trevor Ariza chipped in 19 on 7-11 shooting.

When the Hornets are scoring the ball, they're just about as good as anyone out there. Their defense is almost always there every night, but they find themselves in stretches trying to find baskets. Granted, it helped to be playing the Warriors, but when NOLA is scoring the ball and moving it like they did Wednesday (32 assists on 46 field goals), they match up with anybody.

Nobody was saying that a couple weeks ago when everyone was dying to write this team off. But here they come again. And look out.

JIMMER GETTING PROPS

Kevin Durant, just an hour removed from dropping 47 points on the Timberwolves tweeted last night about the game of the night, BYU's big win over undefeated San Diego State in which Cougar sensation Jimmer Fredette dropped 43 points.


A classic Durant move, giving props to someone else instead of playing up his own big night. It's why we love him.

PARTING THOUGHT

The 76ers quietly won again, moving to 20-25 on the season. But the way they won was the impressive part. The team scored 107 points, which is good. But the starters only put in 49 points. That means the Sixer bench poured in 58 points! Marresse Speights had 23, Lou Williams 15, Thaddeus Young 10 and Evan Turner 10.

The Sixers are figuring things out a bit lately and if that sort of depth is for real, they may be a lock for the playoffs in the East.
 
 
 
 
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