Monday, May 12, 2008

Game 5 Issue List

Fantastic game on Sunday: an action-packed thrill ride in a must-win situation. Even freedarko thought it was the best game of the playoffs so far. But I'm not here to slap the Jazz on their collective, sweaty backs. I've come here for one purpose, and one purpose only - to rain on the parade.

Issue 1: All-Stars - Last night I fervently prayed to David Stern that Deron never be named to the all-star squad. Jazz all-stars are cursed: announcers now refer to Kirilenko as "the one-time all-star"; last year in the western conference finals, the lone Jazz all-star, Okur, averaged around 8 points per game; and now, all-star Boozer is disappearing before our very eyes. After he checked back into the game in the fourth quarter, Boozer contributed a total of 6 points (1 fg), 2 rebounds, 2 fouls, and 2 turnovers. The offense was obviously not running through him as Deron was frantically looking for Okur and Korver, not the big Alaskan. To win in LA we need Boozer to command double teams, not get his pocket picked by Derek Fisher.

Issue 2: More Millsap - Aside from the crazy doctor on the baseline holding up homemade signs that say "BAD CALL," and the monochrome-slightly-feminine-baby-blue-hued crowd, the real reason the Jazz are so tough at home is Mr. Paul Millsap. He is a cyclone of energy at home, going up for dunks, getting his hands on passes, and generally creating more havoc than a 6"6' power forward has the right to create. I love when Luke Walton tries to guard him. But on the road, he loses a bit of his edge. I'd love to see him barking in Staples on Wednesday.

Issue 3: Krunchtime Korver - Korver logged nearly 30 minutes on Sunday. He played the entire fourth quarter and the overtime. That is too many minutes for a one-trick pony. I know, I know, he's in there because he is money from the line when icing games. But it drives me crazy to have a huge defensive liability - who hasn't exatly lit it up from the field this series - on the court while LA mounts its comeback on Derek Fisher's back. Give me somebody that can D up: Brewer, or Millsap, or Harpring! Ok, not Harpring.

Issue 4: Can we win in LA? - The Jazz obviously have the advantage in the dry mountain air beneath the Wasatch. But to win this series, the Jazz need to claim victory in Los Angeles. Game 5 is the time to blow the horn of ascendence on the national stage.


The Golden Griff said...

I agree that Brewer needs to take some more of Korver's and/or Harpring's minutes. He's a step above in overall defense as well as offense and defense in transition. The contrast of the Jazz's fast break in yesterday's game when Brewer was in compared to the other two was huge. This is even more true if Korver is not knocking down the outside shots

Orlando said...

Right. Like I said, I have nothing against Korver - he's a nice piece of the Jazz puzzle. But I think leaving him out there for the entire 4th quarter, just because we have a lead, is foolish.