Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s eighth game of the season against the Jazz in Washington are TAI’s Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20) and guest Spencer Ryan Hall (@saltcityhoops), who writes about the Jazz for the TrueHoop blog Salt City Hoops.
Wizards Starters (0-7):
A.J. Price, Jordan Crawford, Trevor Ariza, Jan Vesely & Emeka Okafor
Jazz Starters (4-6):
Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson & Derrick Favors
Utah Coach Ty Corbin Pre-Game…
On his big lineup change (starting Derrick Favors for Marvin Williams and moving Paul Millsap to the 3, as well Randy Foye inserted for Gordon Hayward at the 2) and facing the winless Wizards:
Q #1: What have you done for me lately?
(What’s the status of the Jazz over the past week?)
@saltcityhoops: After a win at home over Phoenix last Saturday and a dramatic triple-overtime win in Toronto on Monday, the Jazz were in a nice position to put together some wins on the road. Sadly, dropping winnable games against a Rondo-less Boston team on Wednesday and against a mediocre Philly team on Friday night leave the Jazz desperate to avoid being the team to give the Wizards their first win.
11/10 PHX W, 94-81 | 3-4
11/12 @TOR W, 140-133 | 4-4
11/14 @BOS L, 98-93 | 4-5
11/16 @PHI L, 99-93 | 4-6.
Q #2: Who threw out my alarm clock?
(Which player(s) are we sleeping on?)
@saltcityhoops: The Jazz are starless team, but Paul Millsap is the glue. Surprisingly, he’s also third in the league in 3-point percentage. The newcomers are playing a much bigger role than most expected. Mo Williams was recently leading the team in scoring and assists, Randy Foye is getting all the minutes everyone expected for Alec Burks, and Marvin Williams is enjoying playing with no expectations.
After a million (5) DNPs, DeMarre Carroll busted out for 17 points last night. Derrick Favors started slowly this season, but he’s been playing well of late. The breakout season everyone was hoping for Gordon Hayward hasn’t really happened, but he’s been at least solid, if not spectacular. The limited minutes for Enes Kanter and the complete DNP-ification of Alec Burks are the big mysteries of the season. Also, Jamaal Tinsley plays for the Jazz!
Q #3: What game-within-the-game counts most?
(What matchup between two players or between each team in a particular statistical category is most important.)
@saltcityhoops: The only statistical category that matters to me is sneaking out of DC without the ignominy of being the team that lost to the Wiz. They won’t lose all 82, but here’s to one more.
Q #4: How it’s going down?
(TAI’s general key to the game.)
@rashad20: Shaun Livingston was signed this past Thursday to shore up the Wizards putrid, John Wall-less backcourt, and given his height and high basketball IQ, he will definitely help. But in order for the Wizards to defeat the Jazz, they will need big defensive performances out of Emeka Okafor, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, and maybe even Earl Barron. Utah’s Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap average 31.7 points and 20.9 rebounds from the center and power forward positions respectively. Marvin Williams has not played especially well this season, but he’s 6-foot-8 and a threat inside and out. And Derrick Favors has averaged 7.4 rebounds off the bench, but he’ll be starting tonight, while Williams will come off the bench. This Utah team is physical and strong, and although the Wizards are without their strongest post player in Nene, they will need yeoman efforts out of his replacements. Randy Wittman agrees:
Wizards Practice, Friday Nov. 16, 2012:
The Jazz is favored by 3.5 points and the over/under is 189 points (via USA Today).
@saltcityhoops: Jazz 98 – Wizards 88
@rashad20: 100-88, Wizards. Shaun Livingston is here, which means all is well with the world. Livingston’s passing will be infectious, the Wizards’ big men will rise to the occasion they get their first victory.