Tag:Mehmet Okur
Posted on: December 4, 2008 9:10 pm

Raptors - Jazz - A game Preview

Welcome to the Jay Triano era of the Toronto Raptors. I won’t dwell too much on what was a sad end to the tenure of Sam Mitchell as we all have opinions and I hope we can all just wish the man success as he moves on to new things.

Well, the Raptors travel to Utah Friday night to take on the Jazz who are 8 – 3 at home so far this year having dropped a game to the Heat as Dwyane Wade scored 23 and the Jazz were again without Carlos Boozer who is out and has been for 8 straight games. Also injured are Andrei Kirilenko and Brevan Knight. While Boozer has been out, the Jazz are 4 – 4 and with Deron Williams back in the lineup, this team can still strike fear in the hearts of many teams that have back court issues. So the Jazz will bring Mehmet Okur, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Miles and the emerging Paul Millsap to the floor. Injuries to the front court leaves this team vulnerable inside and I anticipate they are aware of the front court that the Raptors can field

The Raptors under Jay Triano will still be lead by Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon with Andrea Bargnani and Anthony Parker as well as Jermaine O’Neal. Should Jay decide to start Jamario Moon to open the floor and add some much needed tempo to the offense, we could see a different game plan entirely as Jay begins to implement new facets to a struggling offense. Should the Raptors choose to attack the inside, the Jazz are weak up front with injuries to key front line players.

So here is what I see Friday night

Jazz Starting lineup:

C – Mehmet Okur
PF – Paul Millsap
SF – C.J. Miles
SG – Ronnie Brewer
SF – Deron Williams

Raptors Starting Lineup:

C – Jermaine O’Neal
PF – Chris Bosh
SF – Andrea Bargnani
SG – Anthony Parker
PG – Jose Calderon

I think the difference in this game could be bench depth believe it or not. With the Jazz thin at the PF and SF positions, the Raptors should be able to rotate Joey Graham and Kris Humphries in and out and keep the guys fresh and on top of their game. I would love to see Chris Bosh take around 20 free throws as he returns to attack mode on the offensive end with Jermaine there to take care of Mehmet, I can’t see C.J. Miles or Paul Millsap stopping Bosh, O’Neal and Bargnani on a consistent basis. Rotation will be key as they guys need to keep fresh to take advantage of the thin front line. Rebounding will be critical as the Raptors need to establish their positions inside and maintain the advantage of the glass at both ends. Should the Raptors end up + 10 on the glass, they will have a great shot at stealing this road victory. On defense, we will need to be much better on off-ball awareness and work hard to challenge every shot the Jazz take. I would love to see Jay win his second NBA game and his first as the official head coach of the Raptors. I can’t wait for game time.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com