That's really all you can do with Melo, is just try to shave some points off his
average and make him work for what he's getting. I think that was the big
difference between games 1 and 2. Denver still got scoring from its top players,
but they worked harder to get their points, and the defense was a little tougher
overall by Utah. That is going to have to continue. As to JR Smith, he's streaky
-- he'll have a really good night and then a really off night. But tough defense
and sharp rotations -- and playing bigs against bigs on the inside -- will go a
long way in keeping this series competitive.Peace out from the Jazz
Sloan and coaches deserve some credit. Actually a lot of credit. If you look at
the film you will see that they played a mini match up zone on Melo in the
paint. When the ball would go to him immediately there was a 3
defender wedge in the inside paint. That forced him to the outside to some
degree where CJ and Mathews did a very good job on him. The Jazz tended to keep
him off of his favorite spots and made him shoot contested jump shots. Fez discouraged him from coming into the paint. When Fez went out Melo's paint
points went up. At the start of the game it took a while to get the wedge
working and for Fez to start to throttle off the inside. The Jazz
have to stop the DEN inside game. Fez is one option if he makes the right moves.
It might be worth driving OJ at Melo a couple of times to see if he could get a
foul or 2 on Melo. Even if OJ got blocked it could be worth it in the long
run.OJ can give fouls. Mathews/CJ can't foul out.
DEN will try to get fouls on Fez and Boozer. Millsap always gets fouls. Koufos
will have to be ready to play both C and PF.Early in the year Koufos
focused on rebounding. He was the best per minute rebounder on the team. If he
will concentrate on rebounding he will automatically get enough garbage points.
If he knows when to send the ball back out and reset the offense he will be a
great help on offense.The other area Koufos has to focus on is
Defense. He is a good defender but he has to understand his defensive shifts. If
Nene and KMart don't produce it is hard for Melo to carry DEN. If Nene and KMart
don't get many rebounds then CJ and Mathews can drop Melo's shooting percentage
and DEN will suffer. If DEN gets out rebounded they are in trouble
most of the time. Kofous can do what Fez does. He can block the
middle. He will need to do it in a different way. Keep Nene off of his spots.
But most of all block out. Foul hard on all drivers.Utah may need
10-15 minutes of Koufos.
The bottom line is CJ is the man. Where are Houdini and the rest of the haters
today saying overpaid, bum, no defense, lazy, ship to D-league?CJ
over the past month and a half has been a different player. This series will
ride on Boozer, Dwill and himself.I think we may be a better team
with Memo out against Denver and the Lakers.
DEN is openly stating they "want" a physical game without a lot of fouls called.
They want to knock out another Jazz player. I think Utah
should strategically use OJ like a heat seeking kamikaze missile on Melo. If OJ
drives right at him, Melo is going to get a blocking foul or a knee to the
chest/gut or both. That will make their team think real hard about "thugging"
Utah.Fez's elbow turned the tide last game. I am not talking about
taking out one of the DEN players. I am talking about making sure that Dirty
Denver does not take out one of ours.There is a lot that goes on in
the non contact sport. Sloan is always using code words about it. I am a little
more open. It is a war. There were reasons why so many fouls were
called and why the refs tightened up periodically in the last game.
I think the commitee will stay after Mello until he blows unless he mello's out.
CJ Miles - Miles has been playing well. He decided to take it in to
the hole instead of taking shots every time he touches itHis shots
per minutes has decreased, But more importantly is his free throws have
increased. Dec - .4 free throws per game - HorribleJan/Feb -
1.3 free throws per game - PoorMar/Apr - 2.4 free throws per game -
AverageThis is always related to fg%Dec - 39%Jan/Feb -
42%Mar/Apr - 46%Bugoff. Koufas is not a good player.
Taking his rebound per 48 minutes when he is playing 4 minutes is an absolutely
useless stat. Fes did not discourage them from coming into the
paint. Fes is a much better player than Kosta, and I hope he continues to work
hardI read the play by play.When Fes/Koufas were in the paint
- Denver scored 22 points in 22 minutesWhen they were out of the
game they scored 28 points in 26 minutes. Almost the exact same.
I did not account for 6 of Denver points in the paint (the ESPN game
sometime says 2 point jump shot when it was a 5 foot jump shot in the paint)
Blauch you are right if you take the stats for all of the time Fez/Koufos were
in the game. And that may be a good way to do it. In the first Q it took time
for Fez to figure it out and have an impact. However, once he got
his bearings then he did have an impact. I teach research. I understand stats
and how to manipulate stats to support any position you want to take. I also
understand qualitative methods such as observation which is just as valid as
quantitative methods. I agree with your position based on the
quantitative evidence of the total time Fez was in the game. However, I am sure Fez did plug the middle and the drives decreased once he
got going and hit a few thugs with hard fouls. Depending on which time period
you use as the base you can draw both conclusions. Fez has major
limitations but he also has some big pluses. He is all we have right now. Koufos has played well at times in the last 2 years. Right now we need
his best efforts. I want him to max what he can do well.
Actually Blauch has a very good point. Points in the paint may not capture
"plugging" the middle. To me Fez in the middle cut down on the drives to the
rim. However, Nene, Melo others may have gotten "points in the paint" from jump
shots. What was clear to me is that the Jazz played better with Fez
in the game. I also observed fewer drives to the rim after Melo's head bumped
into Fez. All I really care about is that the Jazz play well with
Fez in as that is what the Jazz have and have to make the best of it. 3 days of practice should help the Jazz offense utilize Fez better. I am pretty sure Koufos is going to have to play in the next 3 games at some
point. He needs to concentrate on what he can do best and that is rebound and
then get the ball back out to a shooter and block out. If he turns into Rodman
for 15 minutes he will be a great help.
I've always like the way CJ plays, even when he wasn't that productive, now he
is maturing and raising his game, I'm expecting from him a carreer game on
either of the games at ESA, so he can fill the hole left by Memo on O; I expect
Korver to have a carreer night as well this weekend. Denver will try to
get fouls on Fes, they know he will be excited by the atmosphere and will be
anxious to show up in front of his own crowd, that might cause him a couple of
early fouls, so the coach staff need to talk with him about it, I really like
have Fes in the court over KK, Fes really bothers to Denver's game because he is
big and they have to play more phisical when he is in, and they don't match that
well against him, because of his size and weight,.I know we can get this
in 6, Let's do it Jazz!!
I think Fez had an impact on offense too, in Jazz system Memo usually post
D-Will and then they pick and roll, drive it, or give it back to the Money man
for his shot, Has any one checked how many points scored D-Will and the whole
team when Fez was on the floor? D-Will scored like 23 points by the half, and
most of the time Big Fez was posting him, got great looks because they can't
move that 300 pounds guy that easy, so somebody else had to come around to get
D-will and that created the room for Booz, can you guys check with the statics
to my point?
Where do all of you see fez in the name Fesenko?
Bugoff - I want Fes to play well. His man on Man
Defense is as good as any on the team. (his play against Duncan was amazing).
Nene only had one drive on fes compared to a couple of times he took
Boozer/Millsap to the hole. His pick and role defense is poor
(hopefully he is better) and his weak side rotation is worst than Boozer. Much
worst than Okur and 10 times worst than Millsap. When a guard drives in the
lane he either does not get there in time or if he does get there in time he
fouls. I have never seen him come over with weak side help and block a shot.
Not once. What the stats also don't show is that 10 of Denver free
throws came on fouls by Fes. Denver went at him the first 3 out of
the first plays with pick and roles and scored every play. To say
that Denver stopped going pick and role is because of fes is not true. The fact
is they made a mistake. All we need fes to do is play well enough so
that give Millsap and Boozer rest.
I think Fes needs more playing time same as KK, but at this time they are all
what we have left to face Den, I hope he is working hard and as the series goes
on he will get better position on the court, that comes with playing time, he
needs to stop with his no sense fouls be on the court at least 20-25 minutes and
get more focus on defense, we have plenty of weapons on the Ofensive game but we
need him on D and obviosly a few offensive rebounds along with a couple of tips
in and dunks will help a lot.
Well, since y'all decided to make this about Fesenko, I'll go ahead and weigh in
on that. While it's true that Fesenko's presence didn't cut down on points in
the paint, can there be a question in anyone's mind that Denver worked harder to
get those points than in Game 1, where Fesenko was in for way fewer minutes?
Also, how many times did Ty Lawson get into the line past the perimeter defense
only to bring the ball back out when he saw Fesenko there waiting for him. And
while he does struggle switching back on the pick and roll, he's not the only
player on the team who struggles with that. Also, he provided some great help in
the post against Billups in the first period that resulted in the Nuggets taking
a tough shot and the Jazz getting the rebound. I don't think anyone here thinks
that Fess is the second coming of Bill Russell, but he has a role to play on
this team, and Monday night he got the chance to play it, and he did well, and
that's just going to improve.
Fes entered the second 1/4 with 6 min left and the Jazz behind by 2: Here is
play by play of Nuggets for the rest of the quarter: Nene traveled: Mello missed
23 footer; Mello misse layin; Mello missed 16 footer; Martin missed layup; Mello
missed layup; Billips makes 3 pointer; Billips has shot blocked; Billips
offensive foul; JR Smith missed layup; Anderson-3 second call; Anderson misses
21 foot shot.Jazz now up 62-51; Fes altered shots; You could see it
CJ Miles... Yeah, He is still Garbage, He doesn't know when to take the shot, I
think he is a little bit of a ball hog as well... Until he steps up his D I will
continue to think he is overpaid!! And what is up with all the Stupid Faces he
makes... Makes me not like him more every time!!
Ed and Chuck are exactly on target. I counted 11 times in the first half that
Fes altered what the Nuggets were trying and no points were added that trip. It
is really obvious the difference he makes when he is in. Kouf could do nearly
the same thing because of his size. Boozer Okur and Milsap are not long enough
to make shooters in the lane fear them and alter their shots. AS soon as Fes
leaves the game here come the layups again. I've had a sinking
feeling when the Jazz play the Nuggets every time this year because of the ease
the Nuggets have in scoring. When Fes is on the floor it is a whole different
ballgame.Reading the Denver Post and Colorado Spings Gazette today,
the Thugs are going to be back Fri. All they are talking about is getting more
physical. It's gonna be a war...
Blauch it is obvious to me that you understand basketball. You sound like you
played extensively or coached. I would agree that Fes/Fez has a lot of
improvement to make in a short time period. If he can really improve
his defense then maybe his defense can offset the loss of Okur's offense. I am
concerned about his tendency to foul out. However, I am a lot more concerned
about Millsap's tendency to foul out and strategic fouls on Boozer. Boozer tends to not defend so he can avoid fouls and stay in on offense. If any of Fes, Millsap or Boozer are in foul trouble Koufos is likely to
have to play. It gets even worse if Korver, Mathews or CJ have foul problems or
are having a bad night. As I recall Korver and CJ played a little at
the PF. AK can do that but he is out. I unfortunately disagree with
the idea that all we need is for Fes to give rest to Boozer/Millsap. I just do not believe Utah can beat DEN with the small line up. Fes has to improve as the C to win the series.
Blauch What is the probability that Fes can improve his pick and roll and weak
side defense enough by Friday? Is it something he knows how to do
but just did not? Or is it something he does not understand? Like when to
rotate. Or is he just slow to react? Has his pick and roll defense
and weak side rotations been decent in other games? If Koof has to
play what advise would you give him that would help him and the team the most?
CJ played one of the best games of his career. Lately he has played a complete
game and gone inside and also gotten key rebounds. He has taken some hits. He
has really stepped up. Earlier in the year I felt he should be
replaced but I do not think that any more. The defense and shooting of CJ and
Korver are crucial now that Memo is out. They have to carry the outside game
along with DWill. Mathews was open but did not connect. That will
probably change as he tends to be a little streaky. It really
bothers me that the "Thugs" are openly calling for a more physical game. They
are notorious for "Borderline Dirty", code word for "you would go to jail if you
did that to someone on the street". The Jazz can not afford to lose
another player and the Thugs sense they are going to lose unless they can knock
out a Jazz player. Lots of people criticized the refs for going from calling a
loose game to a tight game but it worked to Utah's advantage and may have
protected Utah players. The refs were fair and even.
One thing that has not been discussed is Fes's offense. Is there a
way to get more points and rebounds out of Fes? I was really disappointed in
his rebounding. I also thought he would get 8-10 points. Any
One thing to remember about Fesenko when he's on the floor is that while he's
not recording a lot of rebounds, he's blocking his man off the boards as well,
plus he gets his hand on the ball a lot to keep it alive. There were a couple of
times Monday that Boozer yelled him off a rebound to grab it himself. It's not
an accident he had such a phenomenal night on the boards with Fesenko playing 20
minutes. Boozer's already a great rebounder, but with Fesenko bumping off
opposing bigs, he does even better.