I am not really sure that anyone deserves a POG for last night's game. I once again looked at naming an opposing player (Matt Harpring) for his impact on the game, or someone in particular to blame. Subjectively I was mad at Rashard Lewis for refusing to rebound and for taking long three pointers rather than taking the ball to the basket, even after they saw that they could score if they went inside. I was mad at Nick Collison for failing to rebound and for taking weak shots at the basket and turning the ball over. In truth, though, the loss wasn't enough their fault for me to dump it onto their shoulders.
I was in a bit of a quandry.
Finally I decided to go back and read my gameday warmup. I saw three words. Rebound. Rebound. Rebound. Then I hit the passage where I listed what I expected from players. Only one player really achieved what I asked of him and that was Chris Wilcox.
Defense on Boozer
Boozer has averaged over 20 points per game, and Wilcox kept Boozer under control while he was guarding him. The primary reason that Boozer only had 14 points in this game is because Wilcox held him to 3 points in the first half. 14 points is a season scoring low for Boozer.
Wilcox is the only player on the team who rebounded. He rebounded above his season and career averages. He pulled down 41% of the teams rebounds himself. He had 40% of the teams offensive rebounds on his own.
Controlling the Ball
No turnovers in 39.5 minutes.
He only took six shots, hitting four of them, and he missed his only free throw. He led the team with a 67% eFG. He also led the team with a +12 Help Value, though his +/- was a mediocre -8. We didn't need him to score, and he didn't though he did score most of the time that he took a shot. He wins the POG for the day, simply because he played his role to perfection and did what was required of him. His team let him down on the boards and the guards turned the ball over too much. In the end, though, it all boiled down to those three words from my warmup. The Jazz are rebounding and that allows them to control games. The Sonics gave up 20 extra rebounds (19 offensive) to the Jazz which led to 20 extra shots at the basket. It is amazing they ever had a shot to win the game.
NOTE: I am leaving for England in a few hours and will not have a Gameday Warmup for today's GSW game. Cheer on the team for me, I will catch a replay on Sunday via NBA.com after I get in to Bristol. I should still have a POG for that game on Sunday.