Before the Mavericks head up east for two games, they have some business to attend to at home. Suffering their second loss in a row and their second home loss on the season to the Denver Nuggets, the Mavs would like to head into the mini road trip on a positive note. Unfortunately for them, they face the Jazz, who aren't the easiest team to get past. The Jazz currently lead the Northwest division by one game and are tied for the third best record in the West at 13-7.
New Stockton to Malone?
Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer are earning a lot of comparisons to the quintessential Jazz duo, and rightfully so. Williams is much further along in his third year in the league than John Stockton was. The assist totals are close, but Williams has become a more prolific scorer than Stockton was at his scoring pinnacle. He's averaging almost 20 points per game and is shooting a very impressive 51.5 percent from the floor. Boozer provides the perfect compliment for Williams and is picking and rolling his way into Malone-type numbers. His scoring is about five points short of Malone's sixth-year totals, but the rebounds, assists, field-goal percentage and free-throw percentages are about the same. As Williams and Boozer grow together and build a strong rapport, they may one day dominate in a similar fashion that Stockton and Malone did.
Brewer breaking out
Coach Jerry Sloan is infamous for holding rookie's minutes to a minimum and letting the reigns loose in their sophomore year. Stockton and Malone both saw a significant jump in minutes in their second years, the same was true with Deron Williams and the same has been true with Ronny Brewer. After averaging 12 minutes per game last year, Brewer has jumped up to starting every game this season and averaging almost 31 minutes per game. He's filled up those minutes admirably as the team's third-leading scorer and is third in the league in steals. He's cut into the scoring of fellow starters Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko, but the Jazz are obviously a much better team with the main thing they didn't have last season―an athletic scoring guard/forward.
Not all that deep
Nobody on the Jazz starting five averages less than 30 minutes per game and no bench player plays more than 20 per game. They get a lot of mileage out of Boozer, Williams, Kirilenko, Brewer and Okur and Matt Harpring and Paul Millsap are a large chunk of their bench talent. Their starting five is young, so it isn't much of an issue late in games, but don't expect someone off the bench to come in and play as significant of a role as any of the starters do.
- Mehmet Okur drink Dimes. And so does Mehmet Okur.
- Ronnie Brewer has ups.
- Kirilenko blocks lots of shots.
Random useless fact
Dirk Nowitzki won't be the only German on the floor tonight. Carlos Boozer was born in Aschaffenburg, Germany.
-Scooter Hendon, Hoops Nerd