The success of this young season for the Utah Jazz lies solely on one individual that might not be the first that comes to your mind. No its not their start point guard Deron Williams. Its not their new acquisition down low Al Jefferson. Heck, its not even the beast of Tuesdays game against the Heat, trey-dropping Paul Millsap.
|Miles needs to hit this shot|
The keys lie squarely in the hands of newly appointed sixth man for this team, C.J. Miles.
In the Jazz two blowout wins against OKC and Toronto, C.J. scored 21 and 19 points respectively. shooting a combined 8-11 from 3 point range and 15-25 overall. Adversely, in the Jazz two blowout loss's combined with their loss to Golden State, he tallied a total of 16 points 1-7 from 3, 5-21 from the field with 11 fouls in a total of 51 minutes.
C.J. has the ability to stretch the floor, when he is feeling the stroke. However, what I have noticed is that sometimes Miles plants out at the 3 point line waiting for the kick outs. The Jazz are in need of a guy that can penetrate besides Deron Williams, and C.J. could be that guy.
In the Jazz come from behind win against the Heat on Tuesday, C.J. scored 6 straight points for Utah, all slashes to the hoop and making layups. Once his drive game becomes respectable, people are going to have to start respecting that and sagging off, opening up his 3 point shot that, when he's on, he can hit them with the best in the league.
|Bench players will decide Jazz success|
With Okur on the bench, Millsap is thrust into starting duty (why not, the guy would start on any team in the league). That being the case, the Jazz dont have "that guy" coming off the bench to spark a second unit scoring spurt. C.J. is supposed to be that guy for Utah this year. He has shown he can do it. Once Memo comes back, Millsap, and/or perhaps Jefferson will then head to the bench, to solidify a bench that is only improving as the season goes on.
Okur's minutes will be limited his first month or so back in action for the first time since April. That being said, whoever gets put on bench duty (Millsap or Big Al) will see plenty of floor time. Jefferson can only get better as the season progresses. Learning the system is complicated, as has been obvious for Big Al so far this year. He has struggled from the field, and had trouble reading double teams that teams are throwing at him. Once he gets that down, and Okur can stretch the floor for him and Millsap to operate, this Jazz team could be looking at a lot more W's coming their way.
For that to happen, C.J. has got to develop a consistent jump shot, and continue to drive to the hoop. Do that , and this team could be trouble for the rest of the league.