Sunday, August 3, 2008

Perestroika: Kidd to the bench?

Two Jazz Olympians had solid games on Sunday morning. Deron had 5 points, 9 assists, a couple of steals, and no turnovers in 20 minutes of action. He also was the "most effective player on the court" when the U.S. finally made their second half run to hold off Russia's comeback bid. Coach K kept Jason Kidd glued to the bench in the second half, prompting ESPN to speculate that his playing time may dry up. Benching Kidd is the only sensible thing to do against teams like Russia. The legitimate threats to the U.S. (Argentina, Spain, Russia, Lithuania) know that they can't run with the Americans. Typically they pack in a tight zone and force the U.S. into half court sets. Kidd is not a shooter so he's much less effective against zone. He is a master of the fast break, but against Russia the fast breaks were kept to a minimum. Deron is the half court master. Let him roam, Coach K!

The Jazz' other Olympian also had a solid game. No, not Boozer. He only played 5 minutes, scoring 2 points. But Kirilenko proudly led the Russians offensively and defensively. His 18 points, 8 boards, 4 assists, and a steal and block kept Russia in it until late in the game. His only negative was his 50% foul shooting. Kirilenko loves playing Russian basketball.

The highlights below are mostly breakaway dunks for Kobe, Lebron, and Dwayne Wade, but ESPN also sneaks in a Kirilenko layup to be fair and balanced.

Love the blowby move on Carmelo. No defensive effort whatsoever. Don't be surprised if someone like the Bucks puts up 160 on the Nuggets this year.


JC said...

I tried to watch this one too, but only lasted 5 min. Deron might be the key to a Gold, and I don't think that's my Jazz homerism coming out. The Doberman, LBJ and Wade will make the highlights but DWill (and Paul) will be the ones to pick apart the defenses

Orlando said...

I completely agree. Lebron, Carmelo, et. al. will get their 17 points per game, but someone has to be able to find the right guy to get buckets when the other team has five guys stacked in the paint.

Tucker McCann said...

It is really sad to say, but Boozer has been TERRIBLE in these "pre"-Olympic games, arguably the worst player on Team USA. Too bad.

Draft Guru said...

Deron was fantastic. He had 9 assists. I share in the praise of DWill and Paul as facilitators. Those guys are awesome. And Deron is absolutely instrumental in beating a zone defense. No one else knows how to do it! When Deron was in the game, the margin always seemed to increase.

In regards to Boozer, it's a tribute that he's on the team. Unfortunately, I don't consider Boozer a superstar like the others. The team seems to have some specialists (Redd, Tayshaun Prince, etc) that can fill their roles but, I don't see Boozer as having a role. Brutal honesty...he doesn't belong.

Orlando said...

You're right, Pasty. Boozer is not a superstar and therefore he has to find a niche to get playing time. Unfortunately it doesn't look like "undersized, defenseless power forward" is a useful niche in international hoops.

That being said, there's no shame in being the worst player among 12 of the greatest players in the world.

Pasty Gangsta said...

That was Guru, not Pasty, but I'm happy to be confused with him and and agree 100%. Booze is not adding much and appears to be following up his poor playoff performance with a poor Olympics performance. True, the competition level is high, but isn't that when great players are supposed to take it to the next level?