Matthews wasn't entirely pleased with his work Saturday against Roy, saying, "He had 19, 17, something like that, so that's not that great."
It was 19, a smidgen below his season average — but the fact that only four of Roy's points came on 2-for-4 field shooting during an opening quarter in which the Jazz got off to an early 15-point lead helped them roll by the Blazers.
"I thought he did a great job on Roy, because Roy hit some tough shots," Williams said. "He (Matthews) does a good job of staying in front of his man, he does a good job of helping everybody else out, which is equally important."
"(Roy) is a prolific scorer," Boozer said. "So for (Matthews) to do a great job on a guy like that, we can count on him to do that same job on anybody."
"I think first it's the mindset, the willingness," Williams said. "You have to want to play defense, you have to want to stop people in order to be a good defender — because some of the best defenders weren't the best athletes. They just were determined to stop people."
Matthews suggests it's all about thinking defense first.
"Not I've got to hit this shot, I've got to make this play on offense," he said. "You have to be willing to put all your energy on defense, and then whatever happens on offense happens."
But Sloan lauds Matthews' physicality, balanced by a knack for avoiding fouls often called quickly on NBA rookies.
"He tries to guard guys. He tries to get up and take some of the slack up, so they don't have as much space," the Jazz coach said. "He works hard to get over screens, and that's a big thing about playing (shooting guard or small forward).
Every night you play, you're gonna have somebody running off of screens and you have get up and guard them; otherwise, you give them wide-opens shots, and most guys can make those shots."
"He's not afraid to use his body," Sloan added. "He sticks his chest out there. ... He looks like he kind of loves contact, so that's a real plus for him. ... He has the ability to stick his nose in."
Because he does, Matthews — until someone overtakes his place atop of the all-important report-card curve, if they indeed do — can hold his head high.
"They all want it," he said of teammates.
"I don't' want to give it up. There's a lot of pride that comes with it," Matthews said. "Everybody on this team is a competitor, and I'm going to try to stay on top as long as I can."
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