2007 Utah Jazz Season Preview
The Jazz surprised a lot of people by going to the NBA finals in 2006- 2007. This season look for Utah to once again contend for the Western Conference title. Overall, this is a good NBA club. What’s lacking is defense and that extra bit of scoring that will put them over the top.
The frontcourt had a fine regular season and a diminished post-season. Forward/Center Carlos Boozer (.561 FG%, .000 3P%, .685 FT%, 11.7 RPG, 3.0 APG, 20.9 PPG) played well throughout, but center Mehmet Okur (.462 FG%, .384 3P%, .765 FT%, 7.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 17.6 PPG) and forward Andre Kirilenko (.471 FG%, .213 3P%, .728 FT%, 4.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 8.3 PPG) were disappointments in the playoffs. In six professional seasons, Kirilenko’s numbers have not improved but slowly declined. Second-year player Paul Millsap (.525 FG%, .333 3P%, .673 FT%, 5.2 RPG, 0.8 APG, 6.8 PPG) adds a rebounding dimension that greatly helped the team last season.
Guard Deron Williams (.456 FG%, .322 3P%, .767 FT%, 3.3 RPG, 9.3 APG, 16.2 PPG) is one of the finest up-and-coming point men in the NBA. He’s a fine ball handler and passer who can hit the jumper and from downtown. Shooting guard Gordon Giricek (.462 FG%, .426 3P%, .816 FT%, 2.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 7.8 PPG) can certainly pop in baskets, but he’s a poor defender and shows no inclination on improving that part of his game. The problem in the backcourt for the Jazz is the lack of depth and the fact that Williams seems to have to do everything.
If they can speed-up the maturation process and get some of underachievers to step up, the Jazz could go deep into the playoffs. The talent is there but is the will present? Some more depth at guard would help and a shot of adrenaline upfront is needed. A big jump this season is unlikely. Maybe next year Utah can take a giant leap if they can push the envelope. Then again, in order to do that a lot of young guys will have to develop, keeping their noses to the grindstone.