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Tag:Jazz
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:56 am
 

Paul Millsap: I'll say it again.........

He's a Top 10 PF in the league and maybe a Top 5 PF by next year. Everyone called me crazy in the off-season threads for saying Millsap would be this good, but each game he plays he is proving me more and more right. People thought I was crazy for saying he's better than Carlos Boozer, but that's looking more and more spot on as each game is played. Paul Millsap started out the season almost splitting minutes exactly with Derrick Favors, but since he's started to get the majority of the minutes at PF, he's exploded into the player I've always said he's capable of being. He's been averaging nearly 20 ppg and 10 rpg over his last 13 games (19.7 ppg  10.6 rpg). Here is Millsap's numbers on the year: 

Millsap: 16.8 ppg (13.2 shots/game) 52.6% FG  78.9% FT  9.5 rpg (3.3 offensive) 1.9 apg  1.5 TO/game  1.5 spg  31.3 min/game


The most impressive thing is that he's doing this while sharing time and touches with 3 other big men in Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors, and Enes Kanter. Big Al is getting 33 min./game and taking 16.6 shots/game, and Favors is getting 20.8 min./game and taking 6.3 shots/game (Kanter gets 14.5 min./game and taking 4.1 shots/game). When you look at all the other top PFs in the game, they don't have share as much as Millsap has had to with their big men. For example: 

Dirk Nowitzki shares with Brendan Haywood and Lamar Odom. Haywood takes nothing away from Dirk on offense and Odom has had a down year where he's not doing a ton to take away from Dirk either. 

Kevin Love shares with Darko Milicic and Derrick Williams. Milic does very little outside of playing defense and Williams hasn't lived up to his hype yet. 

Blake Griffin shares with DeAndre Jordan and Reggie Evans. Jordan isn't usually an offensive threat and Evans is only playing 15 minutes a game this year

LaMarcus Aldridge shares with Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas. Camby might be the reason he doesn't average alot of rebounds, but neither takes away offense from Aldridge. 

Chris Bosh shares with Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem. Rebounds? Maybe, but they do nothing else to take away from Bosh.

Amar'e Stoudemire shares with Tyson Chandler and that's pretty much it. 

Carlos Boozer shares with Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. Noah has had a down year, and Gibson is not doing nearly as well as he's down in previous years.


All of these top PFs, other than Dirk and Boozer, are getting alot more minutes and taking alot more shots per game/getting alot more overall touches. 

Dirk Nowitzki - 31.8 min./game 14.1 shots/game (19.5 ppg 6.9 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Kevin Love - 39 min./game 17.8 shots/game (22.9 ppg 12.5 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Blake Griffin - 36 min./game 16.5 shots/game (21.1 ppg 10.7 rpg - Per 36 min.)
LaMarcus Aldridge - 36.4 min./game 18.3 shots/game (22.8 ppg 8.6 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Chris Bosh - 36.2 min./game 14.8 shots/game (19.9 ppg 7.7 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Amar'e Stoudemire - 34.4 min./game 15.5 shots/game (19.1 ppg 8.5 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Carlos Boozer - 30.4 min./game  12.7 shots/game  (17.4 ppg 10.1 rpg - Per 36 min.)

Millsap averages 19.4 ppg and 10.9 rpg per 36 minutes, and as you can see, that's comparable with most of these guys (with Love the only one standing way out on stats). I don't think anyone can doubt anymore that Millsap is the real deal and is a Top 10 PF in the NBA. If he were the go-to guy like alot of these PFs, he could very well be putting up 20 and 10 + numbers and be getting alot more credit. I also think it's hilarious that I heard some people before the season saying Derrick Favors is a better big man and should start over Millsap. Not only was that laughable, but has looked like a very foolish statement to this point.

People seem to forget Millsap is only 26 years old and just in his 2nd year as starter for the Jazz. He could very well get even better than this and should be able to develop into the 20 ppg and 10 rpg player I said he was capable of way back in his 3rd year in the league.
Posted on: October 31, 2010 10:10 pm
 

Paul Millsap > Carlos Boozer

Yeah, I said and I mean it. Paul Millsap has had to sit on the bench behind for 3 years but this year he is finally the starter with Carlos Boozer going to the Bulls . I've said before that if Millsap was a starter he could be a Top 10 Power Forward and I will stick with that statement going into his first year a starter. Watch and see this guy become better better the Boozer was for the Jazz . You may not think much of him because he's only 6'8", but the guy has athleticism, strength, and hops to make up for not having the size that Boozer did. He has proved to be just as good or better of a rebounder than Boozer, so I guess his stature isn't a problem.

Millsap has already started off this averaging 21.3 ppg  12.3 rpg  3 apg  1.3 spg  63.4% FG  after having a monster night for the Jazz tonight putting up 30 points (12-19 FG  6-8 FT) 16 points 6 assists  and 2 steals in a win for Utah over the Thunder . It's not like this guy hasn't shown he had this potential before; he's given us plenty of flashes in the last two seasons of how good he could be. Do you remember back in the 08/09 season when he became the starter for a stretch when Boozer went down with an injury and went on to post 19 consecutive double-doubles and finished with 29 double-doubles on the season? How about last year when he had a few huge games when Boozer didn't play or had limited minutes? The guy has shown when he gets starter minutes, he produces like a damn good big man.

The biggest advantage Millsap gives you is his hustle, defense, and health. Those are three things you don't think of when you think of Boozer. Boozer has regularly been injured and is already missing the first month and a half (or more) of this season with an injury. In Boozer's six years with the Jazz, he's only had 3 years of playing more than 70 games a year, and only 1 year where he played 80+ games in a year. In Millsaps 3 years with the Jazz he's played 75+ games each time where two of the season he played the ful 82 games in both.

The Jazz proved they would rather have Millsap over Boozer by matching the offer sheet the Trail Blazers had made to Millsap in the off season and did a sign-and-trade with the Bulls to move Boozer. Don't be surprised that even when Boozer is healthy and playing for the Bulls, you see Millsap still out performing him this year. Don't forget this is only Millsap's 4th year in the league and he's just starting his career. He's going to have a break-out year and prove to be better for the Jazz than Boozer was.

Posted on: September 22, 2009 7:18 pm
 

The Mavericks: Old Stars bring new success?

What do Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, and Dirk Nowitzki all have in common? Other than being teammates on the Dallas Mavericks of course Tongue out

They are all over 30 years old (Nowitzki & Marion are 31 and Kidd is 36), all have had great careers and are seen as one of the top players at their position in their best days, and (most importantly) none of them have a championship ring. I bring this up of course because they are now going to be all teammates with the Mavs in the upcoming 09-10 NBA season. We all remember the Kidd/Devin Harris trade between the Mavs and Nets a couple years back, and now this summer Marion was involved in a 4 way trade between the Mavs, Raptors, Magic, and Grizzlies  that sent Marion to Dallas. Kidd and Marion spent two years together with the Suns (99/00 - 00/01), but that was Marion's first two years in the league and when Kidd was in the prime of his career. Both are now "over the hill" (with Kidd WAY over the hill) and are not quite the players they were once. Kidd is still one of the best defensive PGs and a good passer, but he is much slower, can't jump to get tons of rebounds like he use to, and doesn't look as sharp on his passes or drives as he use to. Marion is still a good defender (not great anymore) and rebounder, but he hasn't been able to his scoring (shooting percentages) have went down and his athleticism isn't as "freakish" as it use to be.

Now neither one is a bad player at all, and both can still contribute a lot to a team. Kidd is still one of the best floor generals and leaders at the point, and Marion is still the "Matrix" who can defend anyone from the 1 to the 4 (even some 5's). They just are not at the top of their game anymore. This is more true for Kidd than Marion who may just have been missing an offense that allowed him to contribute a lot of offense. When he had Kidd in his prime, Kidd would set him up with lots of alley oop chances, and when he left the Suns 3 years (in which he still put up really good numbers) until they started the "D'Antoni Run n Gun" with the Anti-Christ. The all offense no defense style provided some very entertaining seasons and boosted Marion's stats. But once he left the Suns in 07 for the Heat, he didn't have an offense or a PG who could set him up and give him the scoring chances. He showed some flashes of returning to his glory days with the Raptors, but it was short lived.

However, this team isn't just about Kidd and Marion, but there is still a player I've yet to talk about who is the best of all of them: Dirk Nowitzki. Even though he is 31 years old, he is still playing as well as he ever has. He averaged 25.9 ppg last  year (3rd highest of his career, 4th in the league) and got the Mavs to another 50 win season. His rebounds have went down, but that is not because he is declining but due to the fact he doesn't need to rebound as much with the improved rebounding of the team (Kidd adding some to that). Dirk is a former MVP that is one of the most difficult players to guard in the league because of his size and ability to shoot the long ball. His biggest weakness, and the reason he hasn't been able to win a title yet (losing to the Miami Heat in 06 season NBA Finals), is his defense. But with Marion being able to cover 3's and 4's, that may not be as big of a problem as it once was.

All 3 of these players have had plenty of recognition and success for their individual success (Kidd making 9 All Star teams, 6 All NBA teams, 9 All NBA Defensive teams, being regarded as one of the best PGs ever, and having 2 NBA Finals appearances; Marion has made 4 All Star teams and was regarded as one of best defenders in his day; Nowitzki has made 9 All Star teams, 8 All NBA teams, made an NBA Finals appearance, and won an MVP), but they have yet to win NBA's greatest achievement: the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy. Their time is running out on a chance to win one (especially Kidd), and I'm sure they are hoping this is the year they can do it. They have other good teammates in Josh Howard, Jason Terry, and Drew Gooden.

The West is tough, but there are only 9 teams that have a shot at the playoffs (Lakers, Spurs, Nuggets, Mavs, Hornets, Trail Blazers, Jazz, Rockets, and maybe the Suns but really probably just the other 8). There are a lot of the games top PGs on these teams (Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Tony Parker, Chauncey Billups, and Andre Miller) so it's a good thing the Mavs have Kidd. However, the teams that look to be favored (Lakers, Spurs) and the some of the other top teams (Hornets, Jazz) have a big post prescense. Will Marion being able to help mask Dirk's bad defense? Is Erik Dampier just a waste of space that can't rebound and defend well enough anymore? Can Drew Gooden be the new defensive presence for the Mavs down low? Can this team of old stars band together and pull out a surprising title run? These are some important questions when judging the Mavs and they should be one of the interesting teams to watch this year.

Posted on: March 13, 2009 11:33 pm
 

Allen Iverson Haters: Pay closer attention

Now this isn't just directed at Allen Iverson haters, but anyone that makes the assumption that the Pistons are better off without AI. You only hear people saying that because they either: a) have always hated him since his days on the 76ers and Nuggets, or b) don't pay close enough attention to the Pistons, or c) strong haters of the AI for Chauncey Billups trade, or d) all of the above. Everyone wants to keep saying "I told ya so" about the trade for AI, and the Pistons recent winning streak without him is their latest so called proof of this. Now I'm here to show you all that this is not only completely absurd, but complete ignorance to the fact that the Pistons went on a strong winning streak early in the season without another one of their important players. But how could that be? The media never told us about this?

Earlier in the season, not too long after Christmas Day, Richard Hamilton went down with an injury. The Pistons had to play an 8 game stretch without him, but to many people's surprise, they went 6-2 during those games. Now where does that look familiar? Why that's the exact same record the Pistons have right now without AI in this current 8 game stretch since he went down with his injury. Now I dare you to make the argument that the Pistons played tougher competition this time and played easier teams when Rip was out. Go ahead, you'll just make yourself look foolish. In fact, it's almost the exact same in each of the stretches. The Pistons have beat both the Magic and the Nuggets in both the stretch without Rip and the recent one without AI. Now you might say, "But they beat the Celtics this time!" Let me remind you they don't have their most important player and their cornerstone on defense in Kevin Garnett. If the Pistons played the Celtics when Rip was out, and KG was out then too, then the Pistons would have beat them then. Also, let's look at who the losses were against each time. Without Rip, the Pistons lost to the Trail Blazers and the Jazz (at Utah). Now those two teams are doing pretty well for themselves if I remember correctly. Now without AI, there two losses are from the Hawks and the Knicks. The Knicks are no where near the Blazers or Jazz, and the Hawks were on their bad streak when they beat the Pistons.

So continue to make the foolish assumption that the Pistons are better off without AI, but you're only saying that because you already have that instilled in your mind because of your hate/bias for Allen Iverson, or because the media has been feeding you this garbage and you can't think for yourself. The fact is, the Pistons are a team that knows how to play with great teammwork and defense, and they know how to continue to play at that high level and get wins even without some of their key players. So whether be AI, Rip, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, Antonio McDyess, Rodney Stuckey, or any other Pistons player, the Pistons can easily go on a good winning streak with any of them being injured. The Pistons have been very streaky this year, and that is not something you can blame on AI alone.

Morale of the story is: Things are not always as they appear.

Posted on: March 13, 2009 11:33 pm
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Posted on: January 6, 2009 7:20 am
 

Best Perimeter Defenders in the NBA

When talking about the great defenders in the league, people tend to think of the great post defenders like Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, or they might even think about the great help defenders that put up good stats like Marcus Camby or Josh Smith. But the one group of defenders that seem to get the least love is the perimeter defenders. They are the ones that have to cover the best and most dangerous perimeter scorers in the league. They don't put up him great stats like some other defenders, but they always make their defense better by reducing scoring from the opposing team. I think it's about time they get some credit and respect, so I've decided to make my list of Top 10 best perimeter defenders in the league.

Top 10 Perimeter Defenders:


1. Shane Battier

One of the most underrated defenders in all of the NBA. Everyone recognizes him as a good defender, but not as a great one. However, his perimeter is definitely tops in the league and makes him of the Top 5 overall defenders in the entire NBA. He doesn't put up good numbers at all, but that doesn't mean he doesn't play good defense. Bruce Bowen does the same thing, but with dirty tactics, however he has gotten far more credit than Battier; there's something wrong with that. If Battier can do the same (or better) as Bowen without the dirty tactics, then how doesn't he get the same respect? Regardless of how underrated he is, that doesn't change the fact he slow down some of the NBA's best players out on the perimeter better than anyone.

2. Tayshaun Prince

The long armed Prince is a monster defender on the perimeter. Like a lot of other perimeter defenders, he doesn't put up a whole lot of good numbers (until this year), so people don't give him as much credit. He is a big part of the tough Pistons defense that has been so successful over the past few years. He usually has to cover the best perimeter scorer on the opposing team, and has done very well. He's played against Kobe, LeBron, Pierce, etc., and has had games where he slowed them down significantly. He uses his long arms and huge wingspan to block his opponents off from getting easy drives to the basket, and using those long arms to always have a hand in the shooter's face so they get no easy shots.

3. Kobe Bryant

Yes, Kobe can play some good defense and this is key for the Lakers. Not only does Kobe have to be the Laker's primary scorer, but he also has to be their best defender. To go along with scoring points for his team, he also has to prevent the opponent's best perimeter scorer from scoring as well. They don't put Kobe on the worst player either, he has to cover guys like Wade, Joe Johnson, etc. who are all good scorers. Kobe's incredible offense tends to overshadow his defense, but whether you notice it or not, Kobe is actually a very good defender (particularly out on the perimeter).

4. Paul Pierce

He is another guy that is more known for his offense than defense, but still has some very good perimeter defense. He has gotten more recognition for this lately because of how well he played on defense against Kobe in last year's NBA Finals. It may have some to do with Kevin Garnett's influence on defense, but Pierce has always been a good perimeter defender. He knows how to keep his man in front of him, and not get beat to the basket very often.

5. Ron Artest

Now Artest is an all around good defender, and if this were based on overall defense, he might be higher. However, this is only perimeter defense and that isn't his specialty (on ball defense is). He can still play very defense well on the perimeter though. He has tons of strength and uses his big body to stay in front his man, making it very difficult to get by from points in the paint. Artest might not been seen that highly because of his bad attitude in the past, but that doesn't change the fact that he is a very good defender. You can hate him all you want, but you can't deny he has great defense.

6. Caron Butler

Butler has always been a good perimeter defender, but no one knew about it until he started to become a better offensive player on the Wizards. He has the size, speed, and quickness which allow him to stay right with his man and make sure they don't get by him too easily. He is probably a better on ball defender than perimeter defender, but he still has some very good perimeter defense as well.

7. Ronnie Brewer

Probably the second most underrated defender (behind Battier). Like Battier and Prince, he doesn't put up high stat numbers that get him recognition. However, he is able to keep his man from doing a lot of scoring damage. He has tons of speed and athleticism which allow him to stay in front of his man. He has become a very important role player for the Jazz, and that role is slow down the opponent's most dangerous perimeter threat. He is still young and improving, so he could very easily rise higher on this list in a few years.

8. Shawn Marion

Marion, like Artest, is an all around good defender and perimeter defense is just part of his game. He is more of an on ball and help defender, but he can still play some very good perimeter defense. He is one of the most athletic players in the league and uses that to his advantage when playing defense. He may not be putting up the huge numbers he use to on the Suns, but he is still playing very good defense along side Wade which has been a big part of the Heat's success.

9. Andre Iguodala

Iggy is another one of those all around good defenders. He not particularly specialized at anything yet, but he can play any kind of defense very well. He uses his speed and athleticism to stay toe-to-toe with his man and never lets them get an easy shots off. He has kind of regressed this year for the 76ers, but he is still young and will improve (probably being higher on this list in a couple years as well).

10. James Posey

One of the best role players in the game knows how to play good defense. It's not luck that Posey has 2 rings now (from the Heat and Celtics) because he played a big part in both his team's success. Not only does he come off the bench for his 3 point shooting, but he comes in for his great perimeter defense. When they need him to, he will come in and cover the best perimeter scoring threat on the opposing team. He does very well at this, and has been huge for his team's defense and their success.

Honorable Mention (or 11th whatever suits you): Dwyane Wade



He has greatly improved his defense this year and he has the numbers (team stats not just individual stats) to prove it. The reason why I didn't put him on this list is because he's more of an on ball defender. He can cover the perimeter well, but he is more of an on ball defender. He is also a good help defender too, getting lots of steals and blocks to prove that.

Posted on: December 4, 2008 7:24 am
 

Paul Millsap: How good is he?

With last night's performance from Paul Millsap against the Heat, I just can help but being impressed with how great this guy is playing. I don't hear anyone ever talk about him, yet he is continually playing at a such a high level this year. The big man is just unbelievable right now coming off the bench. He has started a few games this year (7 to be exact), but for the most part he is coming off the bench. Whenever he starts and/or gets big minutes, he plays like top power forward.

In his last 6 games, he's got 6 straight double-doubles is averaging:

16.0 ppg 11.8 rpg (4.3 offensive) 1.5 spg
.

On the year he is averaging:

13.0 ppg 7.9 rpg (3.0 offensive) 1.1 bpg 54.2% field goal shooting  73.6% free throw shooting  28.9 minutes per game
.

He has always been a good defensive player and rebounder, but this year he has been stepping up with his scoring as well. He has scored 20+ points five times this year for the Jazz. He is so good at getting offensive rebounds, and he gets a lot of second chance points. He is developing into a very good player, and if it wasn't for Carlos Boozer he would be starting full time for the Jazz. He could definitely start for quite a few other teams in the league.

Right now he has been amazing, and I think he is the front runner for 6th man of the year. I just wanted to shed some spot light onto Millsap because he's a guy that doesn't get much credit or mention, and I think he deserves it. He has been a big part of the Jazz success this year (especially when they didn't have Deron Williams), and I think the Jazz should think about trading Boozer soon to let this guy start full time. He is a much better defensive player, can rebound just as well, and is starting to learn how to score much better as well. Soon I think could be even a better player than Boozer.
Posted on: October 18, 2008 4:38 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2008 6:40 pm
 

2009 NBA Mock Draft: Big B's Bad Boys

PG - Chris Paul:

The best point guard in the leauge; he can do it all. He can pass, he can shoot, he can defend, and he can lead his team. He makes whatever team he is on better, and is always a big time threat on both sides of the ball. He showed that is no one of the best playres in the league, and he can take any team deep into the playoffs.

Derek Fisher: A perfect back up for Paul. He has tons of veteran experience especially in the playoffs and getting to many NBA Finals with the Lakers. He has great leadership, good defense, and is a clutch player when it matters. He can mentor Paul, and give my team lots of leadership and clutch play to get me to the Finals and possibly even the championship.

SG - Manu Ginobili:

A top 5 shooting guard, no question. You can love him or hate him, but in the end you can't deny how great he is. He can drive the lane and make unbelieveable lay ups, and he can hit the outside shot. He isn't a great defender, but he isn't a bad one. He does flop a lot, but hey, he gets away with it and gets a lot of calls his way. If you think Bowen is a good defender with all his dirty play, then you have admit Ginobli can play some good D to. He is just great player that contributes a lot to championship team. He has won 3 rings with the Spurs, a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics with Argentina, and many international titles as well. Combined with Chris Paul, he makes my backcourt the best.

Bruce Bowen: Bowen is a great guy to have, especially off the bench. He has good perimeter defense and can get a little rough if need be. You might not like him (I don't), but he gets the job done when you ask him to. He can come off the bench and provide great defense when I need it.

SF- John Salmons:

He is a great role player off the bench for me. He isn't great at any specific thing, but he is solid all around. He is a good slasher on offense as well as being able to hit the outside shot from time to time. He is also a good passer as well. He can play some good defense. The Kings had him guard the opposing teams best players at times even with they still had Ron Artest. He can come off the bench and play good amount of minutes for me.

Jamario Moon: Moon is the perfect back up player off the bench for my team. Like Marion, he has tons of athleticism and can be huge for my team on the fast break. He is also a good defender, and uses his great athleticism to get lots of blocked shots and rebounds. He provides lots of energy off the bench for us on offense and defense.

PF - Yao Ming:

Yao? At power forward? His height causes so much mismatches when he plays center, imaging how much more he can causes as a power forward. He his that unstoppable hook shot, the short jumper, and many other post scoring moves (not to mention he is a great free throw shooter). He is so difficult to cover for anyone, and with Paul giving him the rock, it should make it even harder on the opponents. He can play either post position for us, and play great at either one.

Paul Millsap: This is another one of my energy players off the bench. Millsap is very atheltic for a big man. He can crash the boards and gets lots of rebounds on defense and even offense as well. He is a very good defender and uses his big body to keep the post player from getting too deep on the block and getting easy shots. He is coming off the bench for the Jazz, but that's only because Boozer is there. He could be a starter for a lot of teams. He is pefect off the bench for me because he provides lots of energy and good defense as well as some offense.

C - Chris Kaman:

Kaman showed last year why has been the most underrated big man. He is very good rebounder and defender. He also can score well in the paint as well. He is a big guy that just works hard and contributes a lot to his team. He can hold his own against all the other great centers in the league, and knows how to help his team. Good offense, and great defense makes him a perfect player for my team.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas:

He is a great player to have. He can rebound, play solid defense, and give you some good post scoring as well. Big Z is a perfect big man to come off the bench for me. He can come in and give us that good defense, good rebounding (especially offensive rebounding/ tip backs), and post scoring with his turn around shot and tip backs.

Good luck to everyone with the tourney, and don't forget to keep track of the schedule so you know when to turn your gameplans in.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com