Utah Jazz: Matthews passes new tests

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  • LK Anderson
    Dec. 5, 2009 5:53 p.m.

    The Jazz brass sid know what they were doing when they invited Wes to Pre Season camp. Then he proved himself and they kept him at a bargain..

  • db
    Dec. 3, 2009 2:15 p.m.

    Kirienko at the 4 against LA, he embarrassed Gasol at the European games last year!

  • Sloan
    Dec. 1, 2009 9:59 a.m.

    has done a really decent job of coaching as of late. Part of it may be luck and match ups but he put in the defensive grading system. Very smart move.

    He has been playing match ups and pretty much the hot players.

    He beat SA twice, once at SA (big monkey) which may have been luck and timing but it was a W.

    We will know Sloan is a great coach when he comes up with a way to disrupt the LA triangle offense.

    LA is beatable, but the Jazz still do not have good answers for Gasol/Odom/Bynum. Maybe he can find a way to disrupt the flow of that offense.

    Can Mathews/Brewer/CJ disrupt Kobe. Can AK play Odom? and maybe Millsap on Artest? Artest is the least of the worries anyway. Gasol/Odom are where the big problems lie.

    It will be very interesting to see if Jerry can come up with a way to disrupt part of the LA offense or exploit their D. Hopefully both.

    Jerry is supposed to be brilliant. And I would say that some of his moves are. Beating LA consistently is an acid test.

  • pffft
    Dec. 1, 2009 7:23 a.m.

    how about a nightly report card on Sloan's rotations.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 1, 2009 6:38 a.m.

    It isn't hard to look things up rather than make them up:

    Boozer vs. Lakers
    2008-2009 (injured)----9.0----16.0

    He has played better than his season averages against the Lakers except last season when he was injured. Even then, 9 reb and 16 pts isn't too bad.

  • jimbo
    Nov. 30, 2009 11:23 p.m.

    @fan nice post agree 100%

    AK is not what he used to be on defense. He is a good help defender. That is it.

    I like this defensieve score card. Though I think the jazz and the NBA should take it a step further and x traditional payment contracts. Instead a large percentage of pay should be guaranteed with the remainder based on performance. Defensive peformance would work best because players are already motivated to score.

  • fan
    Nov. 30, 2009 6:26 p.m.

    Everyone that gives williams and okur a hard time on defense need to give it up.. Williams plays the 2nd best D behind Matthews.. Ak or brewer do not play man to man defense.. they reach a lot. and only try to get steals. yes, they get those steals. but more often then not they guy they are supposed to be guarding just scored a wide open 3 or lay up because they are too worried about getting in passing lanes or they just got burned because they were reaching.. Williams keeps his man in front of him. If matthews gets pushed to the end of the bench then thats a shame.. and sloan should think about what he's doing. Korver and miles presence on the offensive end is very needed.. One of those two or okur need to be on the floor at all times to open up the court.. with brewer and ak out there teams dont worry about them hitting a 20 footer because they can't consistently. Teams play D from 17 feet out. I love matthews and maynor because they bust their butt night in and night out..

  • Logan
    Nov. 30, 2009 6:24 p.m.

    Well the ones that are playing now are playing pretty darn good. The rookies and the Russian have really earned playing time through their example to the vets about how to go out there and play some defense. Maynor pushes the ball and gets the early offense going. Boozer is in a contract year. It is all good right now. Go Jazz!

  • Houdini@ Matt
    Nov. 30, 2009 5:26 p.m.

    I don`t hate CJ.The only 2 players I hate in the NBA are Kobe and Dirk,that`s it.I wish CJ had half of these two clowns game.I wish he had Millsaps game.so far I haven`t seen it.when was the last time you saw CJ dive after a loose ball? I saw Kobe dive after one in a pre-season game,that`s the difference

  • The Truth @ re: the truth
    Nov. 30, 2009 5:25 p.m.

    You forget one thing, the Jazz offered Memo an extension at what 12 mill? Right now, who would you rather have Booz or Memo? Boozer has been playing better defense this year. Last year Booz struggled with his jump shot and lift in the playoffs, probably due to recovery from his knee. This year he is lights out. If Booz goes 25 and 12 the rest of the year and walks without compensation would the Jazz look foolish? thats why I think he gets traded. Personally, I think he is making them look foolish for taking Memo over him. Lets see how the year progresses.....

  • Defense vs Offense
    Nov. 30, 2009 5:02 p.m.

    Offensive stars all hit thier slumps but a great defensive star can be consistant all the time because he doesn't have to put the ball in the hole to be great at defense. I really don't know what I'm talking about, I just wanted to get in on the frey!

  • Re Matt
    Nov. 30, 2009 4:32 p.m.

    I don`t think anyone hates Miles,we just don`t want lazy unproductive players on the team,players that just look to shoot,no rebounds,no defense,no team play

  • WY Jazz fan
    Nov. 30, 2009 4:18 p.m.

    The Thanksgiving day game was a big ey-opener. The Jazz had over 3 24 second shot clock violations for the Bulls. It was the best defense I had seen in a long time. I was very happy to see it. Now I know why with the score card of defense it makes a lot of sense. Since Sloan has been a defensive mind coach since he began. I have noticed other coaches who stress defense more than offense seem to be getting better results also. Matthews has the right attitude and if you wan to to play in the NBA and be a good player you WILL play defense and let offense take care of its self. But most fans want the flash and show off type players and play.

  • Matt
    Nov. 30, 2009 2:59 p.m.

    Doc your hate for C.J. Miles is evident in your postings. You sound almost as hateful as Mad Max going off on Utah. You sound alot like Houdini.

    On a more positive note the Jazz are playing the best ball they have played in a long time. The whole team seams to have bought in to the quest for better defense. They are really playing unselfish right now and it is paying off big time. I hope we see some more of Fesenko tonight to slow down Marc Gasol in the paint. Go Jazz!

  • Miles
    Nov. 30, 2009 2:23 p.m.

    @doc: Do you ever watch the Jazz play the Lakers? I didn't think so.

  • rvalens2
    Nov. 30, 2009 2:11 p.m.

    Any chance the Jazz might release the grades to the public or better yet show us the entire report?

    I'd love to see how the players all stack up.

  • @Purplepeople
    Nov. 30, 2009 12:45 p.m.

    Just a though, the jazz are way over the cap. An undrafted rookie gets paid even less than a 2nd rounder. If they didn't think he would get drafted maybe it was intentional to not draft him to pay him less money.

  • RE: Worried
    Nov. 30, 2009 12:40 p.m.

    Randolph is another tough guy to check,it`s like guarding an elephant....a quick elephant with great post moves....I agree this Memphis team reminds me of OKC,lots of nice yong talent,we`d better come out focused...

  • Aggie Man
    Nov. 30, 2009 12:28 p.m.

    @ doc
    I'll be interested to get your diagnosis on C.J. after he has been back playing for about a month or so.

  • Houdini: Memphis= problem
    Nov. 30, 2009 12:10 p.m.

    Kinda worried about a couple of match-ups tonight,Gasol/Memo is a biggee,I`d like to see Fes get some real minutes tonite,also Mayo/Gay are both good shooters,physically Matthews matches up better with Mayo at the 2,Brewer needs to come up big on Gay,which I think Ronnie can do it,we`ll miss ak tonight as he`s quick and long enough to bother Gay,I`m kinda worried about this game

  • @PurplePeopleEater
    Nov. 30, 2009 12:02 p.m.

    Not to be too technical, but the Jazz 2nd Pick (Goran Suton) was cut by the Jazz. Matthews wasn't drafted at all. I would be sure to check my facts before I started saying things like "naysayers can eat cake" and "Jazz brass know what they are doing". Actually, if anything, this proves that the Jazz brass don't know what they are doing.

  • Re Doc
    Nov. 30, 2009 11:46 a.m.

    You are right about Miles,soft is the best way to describe him,I`d keep Brewer and trade or waive Miles,Korver and Brewer are both tougher defenders

  • Totally Embarrassing
    Nov. 30, 2009 11:19 a.m.

    What a joke.

    A rookie shows up and punks a bunch of NBA veterans on the defensive scorecard.

    This team ought to be truly embarrassed that with all their knowledge of the game they have that they can't beat Matthews at defense.

    Especially Brewer ought to be ashamed. Brewer looks to be twice the athlete that Matthews is. He sure has a better body and looks to be stronger.

    The more I type the more I realize that these other players are mostly gutless sissies who just want to pile up their offensive stats and not bother with defense.

    Brewer needs to be gone. If Matthews can play better defense and we all know he can shoot and score OUTSIDE THE PAINT (unlike Brewer) there is really no reason to pay Brewer anywhere near what he wants to make.

    If he wants to get real on his salary then maybe.

    We need players who can make their man defend them on the perimeter and BREWER is INCAPABLE of that necessity.

    Bye Brew.

  • re: The Truth
    Nov. 30, 2009 11:14 a.m.

    regarding Boozer

    "He certainly making Jazz management look foolish as long as he keeps playing this way and stays healthy."

    You must be joking. The Jazz management already know Boozer is a beast offensively. Don't forget they are the ones who went and believed in him and offered him the big contract to come here.

    The injuries and the defense (lack thereof) are also what the Jazz have watched since Boozer has been here.

    He has missed half of his games he was paid to play. The games he did play his defense has been poor.

    Now, how is it that Boozer is making management look foolish?

    We know Boozer is an undersized power-forward who gets eaten alive by the front line of our nemesis the Lakers.

    Boozer is the same as he has always been. He is an injury waiting to happen and only an interview/microphone away from demonstrating what a selfish myopic person he is....again.


    Its a layup drill when those two are in the lineup together.

    One of them has to go.

  • @the Mailman
    Nov. 30, 2009 10:40 a.m.

    Portland is one of the better teams. And what makes you say another slump is around the corner? (just curious)

  • doc
    Nov. 30, 2009 10:11 a.m.

    Matthews is Sloan's type of player: tough and hard nosed who gets the job done as opposed to a guy like Miles who is soft and unproductive.

    Along with Boozer, Miles will eventually be traded. The Jazz need to get their financial situation readjusted also and moving those two will go a long way in making the Jazz a financially healthier franchise.

    I am really looking forward to seeing how Matthews plays Kobe Bryant. I am sure he will take his lumps, but I sense that he'll get in Bryant's face as opposed to the cream puff style of defense we've been seeing from Brewer and Miles.

    Plus, the Knicks keep losing and the prospect of getting a guy like Derrick Favors to replace Boozer down the road gets more likely: I like what has been happening lately with the future fortunes of the Jazz.

  • Miles
    Nov. 30, 2009 10:10 a.m.

    Matthews will have Brewer's contract spot next year. Matthews can actually hit a shot from more than 3 feet from the basket.

    We still need a 3 on this team. We either play a 4 or a 2 at the 3. CJ is not a 3. AK is not a 3. Millsap is not a 3. Brewer is not a 3. Not having a ligitimate 3 in one reason our defense suffers.

    If Dwill would play some defense, we could hold teams to under 90 a game.

  • PurplePeopleEater
    Nov. 30, 2009 9:58 a.m.

    The two rookies have really benefited from the Jazz injuries. Time will tell if the team will benefit from seeing what these rookies can do.

    They both seem much more mature experienced than most rookies.

    Once again, the Jazz 2nd pick comes through. Naysayers can eat cake! The Jazz brass know what they're doing.

    Hopefully, New York stays near the bottom this year, then we'll see some more infusion of talent for this already-deep team.

    Love the fact that they're paying someone to spend hours dissecting each game from a defensive standpoint. This can only help with more wins against the better teams as the season progresses.

  • Houdini
    Nov. 30, 2009 9:34 a.m.

    Here it is in black and white,Matthews doesn`t need to score a bunch just keep playing the tough defense..I`d hate to be in Korver or Miles shoes,I think he should get lots of their minutes if and when they return

  • DrGreedo
    Nov. 30, 2009 9:00 a.m.

    One statistic tells the story. In the first 8 games, the Jazz gave up an average of 103 points per game. Over the last 8, in which Matthews has started, they've given up just 94 per game. Certainly, the improvement is obviously not all due to him, but he seems to have provided a strong defensive effort that has either motivated or shamed the other players into focusing harder on defense. If you watch the game closely, you'll see much better defensive rotation by all players on defense - except in the OKC game. Even Boozer is doing much better defensively.

    Would Matthews be on the team if the others hadn't gotten hurt? Probably not, because of finances more than anything, and because he wouldn't have had a chance to prove himself. But things happen for a reason, and something is certainly working defensively. But this is just the defensive spark the Jazz needed?

    Will the Jazz revert to old ways when the others return? Yes, if we go back to the old system, with Brewer at 2 and Miles at 3. This system works - let's keep it this way!

  • The Truth
    Nov. 30, 2009 8:40 a.m.

    I think other players on the Jazz roster would be good at Defense if that was their only ticket to staying in the NBA. Could Matthews be the reason a SG or a SF hasn't lit the Jazz up for 40? I want to see him against Kobe. I'm also back on the BOOZ BANDWAGON after his monster effort versus the Blazers. Well at least until the end of the year or the trading deadline when he's gone. He certainly making Jazz management look foolish as long as he keeps playing this way and stays healthy.

  • Matt
    Nov. 30, 2009 8:04 a.m.

    Very interesting article, thanks!

    I was pretty convinced that Matthews would end up in the D-league as soon as Korver and CJ got back, but now I'm not so sure.

    The Jazz defense has definitely improved since the season began. I've been impressed with Booze's effort. Its fun to see!

  • ManGenuis
    Nov. 30, 2009 7:44 a.m.

    briiliant articles.

  • the Mailman
    Nov. 30, 2009 1:11 a.m.

    Would this guy even be on the roster if CJ and Korver didnt get injured, and will he just sit on the bench when they come back?

    Sorry for not getting all warm and fuzzy but lets see how this 'new defence' goes against some of the better teams..

    The last post was a good one, lets see how the coaching is when Sloan gets some options back, cos right now he is being forced into these rotations.

    I fear it will be the same old story.. hope im wrong but i know im not. The next slump is just around the corner.

  • This may be a real
    Nov. 29, 2009 11:34 p.m.

    turning point for the Jazz. There will be some per pressure to play better D and there is daily accountability. Sloan is taking D seriously and not just talking. Further, the players can SEE what they did wrong and will fix a lot of things on their own.

    It would be nice to know the roster ratings top to bottom and the relative rankings on boxing out, keeping you man in front of you etc.

    The Jazz may not want to make that public but just keeping a record of daily/weekly progress will make a big difference over the course of 82 games.

    Mathews can shoot especially when open. But having a perimeter defender to go with Brewer and AK gives a little more flexibility to the rotations. Mathews is one more tool Sloan can use for winning.

    Sloan seems to be doing a lot more coaching and for the most part better coaching. His rotations are not on auto pilot. We will see if that kind of coaching continues when he gets everyone back? Is it because of the injuries or is it a real change.

    How about a coaching evaluation for each game?

  • CL
    Nov. 29, 2009 9:22 p.m.

    That great that the Jazz are grading the players on D. It will be interesting to see if CJ will put in the effort and work hard enough to get back into the rotation or starting line up. This is what he needs, to show him scoring isn't the most important thing in the game.
    I'd like to hear how Fes compares to Okur and Booz.