Thursday, July 2, 2009

Why Bringing Back Paul Millsap Doesn't Make Sense

It seems like almost everyone is in love with Paul Millsap and can't stand Carlos Boozer. Sometimes it just boggles my mind how biased the fans can be. If Boozer misses a game, fans will get mad at him for being fragile and not toughing it out. If Millsap misses a game, the fans love him more for it, because he is a "hustle" player.

I can understand why fans would get mad at Boozer for his comments last December about "getting a raise." I was upset as well. But we all say dumb things. Sometimes I say really dumb things. Get over it, it is a part of life. It doesn't make him a worse basketball player.

Enough about off the court nonsense. I'd like to take a look at where it really matters: on the court.

First, I'd like to take a look at Millsap's last 37 games of last season. That is almost half a season. After January 25, Millsap had only 7 double-doubles in 37 games. He scored 2o+ points only once in those 37 games. He had 10+ rebounds in only 8 of those 37 games. He had 2+ blocks in 8 of those 37 games.

Boozer came back on the 3rd to last game in February. If you look at the minutes they got, they are both in the low to mid 30's a game. In Boozer's last 23 games (keep in mind he never really got back to full strength), he scored 20+ points in 7 of those 23 games, had 10+ rebounds in 13 of those 23 games, and had a double-double in 13 of those 23 games.

Millsap is the best backup power forward in the game, but he would be one of the worst starting power forwards in the game. People forget that he has usually played against other team's backups, not their starters. Plus there is also the issue that teams didn't scout and prepare for him much when he was a backup. As a starter people noticed his weaknesses and prepared for him, hence the not so impressive 2nd half numbers.

I saw a lot of things I really didn't like with Millsap in the 2nd half of the season. He looked tired and overmatched. I don't know if he is ready to play 40 minutes a night for 82 games + playoffs. He is very small for a power forward. He isn't the inside presence that Boozer is, and that has a lot of bad ramifications for the Jazz. Boozer makes it easier for Okur and Korver to spread the floor and also makes it easier for Brewer to play inside by the rim. Millsap also isn't the offensive player Boozer is, and I'm pretty sure that he never will be. Boozer is one of the top 3 offensive power forwards in the game. And the Jazz need Boozer's offense badly. He is someone you can rely on every night, and you can't say that about Okur or Kirilenko and probably not Millsap.

So sigining Millsap is a luxury, not a necessity, and while maybe, perhaps, there is a chance that someday he might be a starting power forward that makes you an elite championship contender he isn't that guy right now. Boozer is. Boozer makes you elite and puts you into championship contention right now. In fact with Boozer and Okur in the middle, you have perhaps the best PF/C combination in the game. I really can't think of any other PF/C of another team that is better than those two right now. Not Bynum and Gasol (Bynum needs to develop), not anybody. I know they aren't great on defense but that is where Kosta Koufus steps in along with the guy who should be the new backup power forward, Andrei Kirilenko. That is another topic for another day, but the irony is that the Jazz already have a guy on the team who makes a better extra power forward than Millsap the guy they are intent on bringing back.

1 comment:

louisiana jazz man said...

makes sence to pay him and bring him back the only worker on the team. if he goes to oklahoma you will see the team will be hurting.