Notes from Shootaround: Nov. 12, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010
By Jon Newberry

A few topics of note after talking with the team following Friday’s shootaround:

Injury Update:

Mo Evans will come off the bench and be available to play limited minutes tonight after missing the past eight games to take care of his right knee that underwent surgery during the offseason.

Marvin Williams and Pape Sy remain inactive, with Williams getting very close to a return to the floor.

(UPDATE: I guess “very close” was an understatement. Sometime between shootaround and warm-ups it was determined that Marvin’s knee was healthy enough to go, so he is starting tonight.)

Thoughts on the Jazz:

Whenever the Jazz come to town Deron Williams is going to be a main topic of conversation. Now in his 6th year in the league, Williams has firmly established himself as one of the top point guards in the NBA. He enters tonight averaging 21 points, 10 assists and five rebounds per game. He poured in 30 points in Wednesday night’s win in Orlando and will bring a match-up problem to the Hawks guards because of his size and strength.

“Best point guard in the league,” commented Jamal Crawford following shootaround, “but I’ve been saying that for a while now.”

Coach Drew wouldn’t go quite that far, but he agreed that Williams brings a complete game to the floor. “He might not have the speed and quickness of a Chris Paul, but he makes up for it in other ways. His savvy and just his ability to play that position. He’s good in transition, he’s good at pick and roll, he is a good jump shooter, a good decision maker, he’s as good as there are at that position. Plus he’s got size, which is huge.”

Other than Williams, the Jazz feature some impressive big men. Al Jefferson (16.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg) was their big offseason acquisition after losing Carlos Boozer, and Paul Milsap is one of the hottest players in the league right now after dropping a career-high 46 points against the Heat on Tuesday.

Overall, this is a very typical Jerry Sloan team. On paper they may not look intimidating, but they are probably going to overachieve this season under their Hall of Fame coach.

“This team is a very disciplined team,” commented Drew, “You’re gonna have to beat them, they are not going to beat themselves. You have to play focused for 48 minutes and you have to play at a high level.”

Playing at a high level is exactly what the Hawks need to get used to doing. Hopefully tonight will snap one streak and start a new one.

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