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6 Utah Jazz
Arash Markazi
October 29, 2007
This point guard won't settle for second best--from himself or from his team
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October 29, 2007

6 Utah Jazz

This point guard won't settle for second best--from himself or from his team

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Over the years Jerry Sloan hasn't changed too much. The Jazz has the same 1-4 set they call "automatic"--wherever the pass goes they automatically go into that play, so they don't have to run a set route. That gives them fluidity and room for creativity. . . . What's new is that they have Mehmet Okur to spread the floor with his shooting; before, Utah's big guys like Mark Eaton or Greg Ostertag only clogged up the middle. You can't just put a small forward on Okur´┐Żat the three-point line, because he's got enough game in the post to make you pay. . . . Andrei´┐ŻKirilenko might have a better year because they're going to try to push the ball more, and that will get him going in the open court. He's not the most skilled guy, so he can get lost in their half-court system. . . . One thing that might hold the Jazz back is not having Matt Harpring (right knee) available. He gives them another guy who can go into the post off the weakside and cut into the middle. Plus, his toughness and leadership can't be replaced.

FAST FACT

Deron Williams raised his assists average from 4.5 per game (third among rookies) in 2005-06 to 9.3 (second best in the NBA) last season, the biggest improvement of any player in the league.

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