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Utah vs Atlanta
I showed up about 5 minutes after the game had started, but I hadnít missed much. The Hawks lead 13 to 10, and CJ Miles free throw made it 13-11. The Jazz struggled though most of the first quarter as Jermaine Boyette had a terrible time managing the clock, and the Jazz would need to throw up a desperation shot as not to get a violation. The Hawks had a small lead after the first quarter.
At the start of the second quarter Utah used most their star guys, including Kris Humpries, Robert Whaley, Deron William, Kirk Snyder, and CJ Miles. Atlanta came out with Josh Smith, Josh Childress, Royal Ivey, Salim Stoudamire and Arthur Johnson. The Jazz defense caused the Hawks many problems early on, and the Hawks first three shot attempts where all air balls. The Jazz had struggled of their own in scoring, it seemed on every play down the court there would be an offensive foul. Offensive fouls were so prevalent, that both Deron Williams and Robert Whaley had to go to the bench early because of foul trouble. Kris Humpries was the guy who really hurt Atlanta. First with a Tim Duncan Style bank shot, then a Kareem Abdul-Jabber skyhook, and finally a Karl Malone style pump fake banker for a foul and two points.
The Jazz started the third quarter with Williams, Snyder, Humpries, Whaley, and Spencer Nelson, the Hawks came with Ivey, Smith, Childress, Marvin Williams, and Sharrod Ford. The Jazz broke out with an early 6-0 run on the Hawks. The Hawks defense really had a hard time stopping the Jazz penetration. Williams got at least two easy lay-ups, Humpries, Snyder, Whaley, and Olu Famutimi also got easy lay ups during the third. When the Hawks did stop the Jazz guards from penetrating, the ball handler would make a pass to just inside the three point line to either Miles or Famutimi for a wide open jumpshot. The Jazz pulled most their NBA caliber players at the end of the third and the Hawks made a run. Salim Stoudamire cut it to a 6 point game at the buzzer of the third.
The first part of the 4th quarter the two teams teeter-tottered back and forth, with neither team gaining or losing ground. Then Famutimi got a nice block on Marvin Williams and the Jazz went on a 10-2 run to blow the game open. The Hawks did get with-in 6 or 7 a couple of times but the Jazz would always answer with 3 or 4 points to quell the run.
Players to Watch
Jermaine Boyette: He needs to work on his clock management, he would never set up the offense until 10 seconds on the clock, then the Hawks would press him and force him into making a bad pass or taking a bad shot. I donít think Boyette is NBA ready yet, a team may take a gamble and sign him for a couple of years then send him to the NBDL.
Olu Famutimi: for a guard this guy really plays big, he had a couple of above the rim jams, and did some nice rebounding. Plus his block on Marvin Williams was fantastic. He could be a solid contributor off the bench for any team or a solid starter for a NBDL team.
Kris Humpries: he really looked strong and confident, he used a great array of shots and moves to free himself and others for easy shots. He still needs to work on grabbing the ball, a couple of times during the game he lost the ball because of ďbutterfingersĒ. But overall Humpries looked better then I have ever seen him, he isnít ready to start in the NBA yet but should be a solid bench player next season.
CJ Miles: Miles is very lanky and needs to bulk up, but other then that its hard to find a flaw in his game. He is a good passer, and ball handler, especially for someone right from High School. Miles probably isnít going to be playing in the NBA right away, but will be a good player someday.
Andre Ownes: decent player, and good ball handler, much better then Boyette, but he looks to shoot first pass second. Owen may make the NBA next year on a 10 day contract but other then that he will be in the NBDL or other minor league.
Robert Whaley: Strong, and doesnít care about stats, Jerry Sloan will love this guy. Whaley isnít anything special; but he will be a solid role player.
Deron Williams: Wow! He looked like a NBA veteran out there, he made the right passes at the right time, and shot the ball at the right time. He needs to work out staying out of foul trouble but other than that he is ready to be a starter in the NBA.
Josh Childress: He need to move around more, many times during the game heíd just stop moving and basically disappear. Then other times he looked like he was the goto guy. Iím not really sure what Childress can do, he didnít do anything that really struck me tonight.
Boris Diaw: I thought the days of defenseless Europeans shooters who canít shoot were over; apparently not. The Hawks tried matching Diaw against Williams which didnít work because Diaw isnít an offensive threat. Diaw will be another name in a long list of bad Atlanta Hawks draft picks.
Royal Ivey: he had a solid game defensive, offensively he didnít look to score much, but did some nice passing and set nice screens. Ivey will probably be backing someone up in Atlanta next year.
Josh Smith: He had some very nice dunks, but one of them in the third was during a Hawks run, he then turned around and yelled something which got him a technical, this goes to show that he still hasnít matured enough. He should be getting more minutes in Atlanta this coming season.
Salim Stoudamire: very quick combo guard, with dead-eye shooting. Stoudamire caused the Jazz guards fits with his pull up jumpshot. He didnít look for his shot much though, which leaves me to wonder why? Stoudamire will probably be the starting two guard on the Hawks come next fall, he will be considered a steal of the draft.
Marvin Williams: with the exception of a nice breakaway jam, he didnít do half what I expect of him. But in his defense he didnít play as much as I thought he would either, which could be an indicator of things to come. Williams needs seasoning and the Hawks might be willing to send him to the NBDL for a while.