I’m still buzzing from that Kevin Durant / Deron Williams showdown last night. I’m interested to see if the Jazz have anything left in the tank after needing overtime to finally exorcise the Thunder.
Tonight’s game features another silky player who gives the Jazz fits: Kevin Martin. By all accounts he’s a stand-up guy, probably a pleasure to be around, but for some reason I can’t stand watching him play. That’s coming from a guy who actually enjoys watching the entire spectrum of pro basketball, from Kobe and LeBron to Kevin Kruger in the D-League.
I’ve tried to identify what it is about Martin that elicits such a visceral reaction every time I watch him play and I’ve come up with a few possibilities: It would be easy to blame it on the high-top fade or even his uncanny knack for killing the Jazz, but I think it has something to do with the half-smirk swagger and the impression that he doesn’t mind getting buckets in a losing cause. That’s probably not fair, and admittedly I haven’t watched him enough to know any better. Anyway, I appreciate his confidence and I’m glad he’s in the league, but just know that I’ve thrown him into my inexplicable villains camp. He’ll enjoy the company of Rajon Rondo, Brandon Roy, and Ron Harper (apparently anyone with an R-O sequence in their name).
Anyway, enough of the nonsense. Let’s see if the Jazz can hang on to that #2 spot.
UTAH JAZZ at HOUSTON ROCKETS – April 7, 2010 Information researched for ESPN by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Deron Williams recorded 42 points and 10 assists in Utah’s overtime victory over the Thunder last night. Williams is the first Utah player to register 40 points and 10 assists in a game since Rickey Green did it on April 10, 1984 (45 points/10 assists).
Williams has registered 10-or-more assists in each of his last nine games. That is the longest current streak in the league.
Kyle Lowery is shooting .333 from the field in the second of games played on consecutive nights this season. Only one player in the league has a lower field-goal percentage than Lowry in those games (minimum: 100 FGA): Ben Gordon (.312).
Kevin Martin is averaging 21.2 points per game since the Rockets acquired via him trade in February. Only one player that changed teams in the middle of the season is averaging more points per game with his new team than Martin: Stephen Jackson (21.24 to Martin’s 21.16).
Aaron Brooks is averaging 19.6 points per game this season after averaging 11.2 points per game last season. That 8.4 points per game increase from last season to this season is the largest for any player in the league (minimum: 40 games played last season).
The Rockets as a team have drawn 238 offensive fouls this season. That is the highest total for any team in the league. Jared Jeffries is the individual league-leader in that category with 55 offensive fouls drawn this season.
Trevor Ariza is shooting .384 from the field and .651 from the line this season. Since the NBA-ABA merger in 1975-76, only three players have shot less than 39 percent from the field and less than 66 percent from the line in the same season (minimum: 200 attempts in each category): Walt Williams in 1993-94, Erick Dampier in 1998-99 and Antoine Walker in 2002-03.
Most career regular-season wins by head coaches who have never won an NBA title: Don Nelson (1,332); Jerry Sloan (1,188); George Karl (983); Rick Adelman (899).
Houston’s starting centers have combined to average 4.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game this season (76 starts by Chuck Hayes; one start by Luis Scola). That is the lowest points per game average for any team’s starting centers in the league and the second-lowest rebounds per game average (5.0 by Oklahoma City). Last season, Houston’s starting centers ranked second in the league in points per game (19.1) and third in the league in rebounds per game (9.8) (Yao Ming started 77 of the 82 games at center for Houston).
Andrei Kirilenko has a .385 career field-goal percentage at the Toyota Center. Only four active players have a lower career field-goal percentage than Kirilenko in this arena (min: 100 FGA): Peja Stojakovic (.336), LeBron James (.373), Baron Davis (.373) and Chauncey Billups (.375).
Rick Adelman and Jerry Sloan have met 70 times as opposing head coaches during the regular season, with each coach posting 35 victories in those matchups.
The Rockets have three players that have started every game this season (Aaron Brooks, Luis Scola and Chuck Hayes). Only one other team has as many as three players that have made every start this season: Oklahoma City (four).