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Jazz comes to Motown

Essentials

  • Teams: Utah Jazz (19-19) at Detroit Pistons (14-23)
  • Date: January 12, 2013
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

After defeating the Milwaukee Bucks last night on the road, the Detroit Pistons will be back home tonight to host a Utah Jazz team that also played last night, but fell at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks.

Typically, any discussion about the Jazz these days usually revolves around Al Jefferson and his offensive contributions to the team.

Jefferson has long been known to be an underrated player capable of producing points in bunches from the low block with an effective hook shot and/or push shot that he easily gets off over defenders.

Jefferson’s game has been a little different this season given the sudden regression in his post game.

Indeed, there was a time when Big Al was seemingly just unstoppable with his back to the basket regardless of the player defending him. He was never the quickest player, but he understood how to utilize angles to his benefit especially when he unleashed a drop step on defenders and then reversed course and went to his ever-effective hook shot.

This year though, the former Celtic has been awfully predictable in his execution of post moves, favoring the right hook shot every single time it seems, and he’s had trouble converting these types of shots. Per MySynergySports, the Jazz center is only converting 40.1 percent of his shot attempts in post up situations.

And yet, Utah greatly benefits from his presence on offense because he still does a multitude of other things on the court to get himself into scoring position against opposing defenses. He’s a decent midrange shooter and has proven to be effective on occasion in the pick-and-roll, especially playing alongside Paul Millsap considering that he not only stretches defenses but also puts the ball on the floor — very underrated in this aspect — to get to the rim and finish.

The Jazz offense looks a bit more potent with Jefferson on the court because he allows his teammates to play to their strengths, whether that’s cutting or shooting open jumpers and the numbers reflect this. NBA.com’s advanced stats tool tells us that Utah scores 99.4 points per 48 minutes on 45.8 percent field goal shooting with the center on the court as opposed to 94.4 points per 48 minutes on 41.7 percent shooting with the big man on the bench.

Thus, tonight we will get the opportunity to watch Jefferson in action, but it won’t be a picnic in any way shape or form because he will have his hands full with Greg Monroe.

In terms of pedigree, Monroe isn’t yet the equal of Jefferson, but it’s still worth noting that both have played for losing teams throughout their NBA careers. Nonetheless, the Pistons’ starting center is still evolving as a player and although his post game can certainly use a bit of refinement, his passing game is a joy to watch and it opens up the offense for the rest of his teammates in a way that Big Al cannot.

In some respects, one could say that Greg Monroe is this generation’s version of Anthony Mason; a player with point guard skills trapped in a big man’s body, but that knows how to utilize the skills at his disposal. Hence, the Georgetown product has not yet reached the point where he can dominate the game from the low block, but he is quite good in the high post as well as pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops because he can catch the ball and assert himself offensively or just switch things up and be the hub on offense and feed shooters and cutters when defenders rotate to him in the paint.

Greg Monroe and Al Jefferson couldn’t be more different players, but their games are still important enough to their respective teams that their matchup tonight should present a rare opportunity to watch two offensively gifted centers go head-to-head with the outcome of the contest relying heavily on their productivity.

Read about the Jazz

Salt City Hoops.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.

16 Comments

  • Jan 12, 20136:51 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    So i was curious if anyone has heard any rumours about any offers we have had for our players?? Yes we have had some guys playing really good of late and if they can all keep it up until the trade deadline (Feb 21) then what teams could we see calling and who is the most likely to be sort after??

    As for tonight’s game if we win then we will be 10th in the east and not too far out of the 8th playoff spot. I feel if we didn’t blow those 10 or 11 games where we led by double figures then we would easily be the 6, 7 or 8th seed. We are just missing a guy that can score the ball consistently. I hate to say it but Aaron Afflalo would be the perfect guy to fill that role. He is a great defender and he stretches the floor. If he ever becomes available again then i really hope Joe chases him because he is exactly what we need on this team.

  • Jan 12, 20138:19 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Pistons are hard to beat when Knight and Monroe are playing like this….

    I feel like the starting line up has taken it personal with all the talk about the 2nd unit being better

    • Jan 12, 20138:36 pm
      by NickB

      Reply

      That’s what I thought too. I was wondering when the starters would start to prove that they deserve that title. It was getting pretty ridiculous how much the bench was outplaying them.
       

  • Jan 12, 20139:08 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    I hate when we dont allow Knight to run the PG spot, and just make him a jump shooter…its puts him in a box and the offense doesnt look good

  • Jan 12, 20139:14 pm
    by jinzzy

    Reply

    it’s official ,frank is stupid . utar cant stop bk watsons is playing d on him jesus

    • Jan 12, 20139:32 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      Exactly, I hate when they take the ball out of Knight hand… it kills the offense..

      If Monroe is dominating let him dominate but if he is not we need to be wise 

    • Jan 12, 20139:38 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      oh well….

      We traditional play terrible with leads unless the 3 ball is falling consistently…..

      Poor Adjustments from Frank… Out coached today 

  • Jan 12, 20139:30 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    why did we just double jefferson?…giving up the open 3?

    Sometimes we get double time happy 

  • Jan 12, 20139:38 pm
    by Venice

    Reply

    They just gave up…we really need to give the ball to knight..he’s not a fcking spot up shooter for Christ sake.Give him the fcking ball!

  • Jan 12, 20139:47 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Bynum strikes again. Probably won’t be enough. But wow.

  • Jan 12, 20139:48 pm
    by Venice

    Reply

    I Take back what I said. DEFENSE DETROIT !

  • Jan 12, 20139:58 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Monroe 7 To’s …. the Offensive became too predictable

  • Jan 12, 201310:01 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    That’s it, i’m just going to watch the first half of piston games from now on. They have given away double digit leads time and time again it is starting to become a joke. You just know this team is a player that can close games away from being a playoff team. And a coach that has a better feel for the tempo of the game of basketball. Frank is the Forrest Gump of coaches…Forrest Frank is what i will call him from now on because he is so slooooooooow to adjust!

    • Jan 12, 201310:04 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      he doesnt adjust to the teams he play…

      The Bucks are NOT the Jazz…..

       

  • Jan 12, 201310:02 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Our advantage was at the guard spots…ALL GAME!…Bynum showed that at he end of the game…

    We played into Utah hands when we were trying to pound it inside… they have 4 athletic strong and long bigs … but they have never poor guard defensively…

    Not going to put it all on frank put thats a simple adjustment…

    put the ball in Knight, Stuckey, or Bynum hands and make Utah defend speedy guards… 

    • Jan 12, 201310:22 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      but they have never poor guard defensively…” i meant very poor guards defensively”

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