I wasn't able to catch too much of the Utah-Denver game last night, but what little I saw of the Jazz with Boozer impressed the hell out of me.  During Utah's second quarter run - the only snippet of the game I got to see - Jerry Sloan threw this gi-normous lineup on the floor of McLeod at the point, Kirilenko at the off-guard, with Harpring, Boozer and Okur up front.  The Jazz settled into an active zone with AK as the Roving Russian, essentially cutting off Denver's dribble-penetration from both wings.  Since the Nuggets can't shoot the ball (and I didn't realize how bad it was until last night), they had to settle for a combination of off-balanced Ruben Patterson runners and DeMarr Johnson 20-footers.  Denver scored 14 in the period; more impressively, Utah shot over 58% from the field on the night, with a wicked inside-out game in which Okur recorded three 3-pointers on top of the four field goals he hit inside coming off of those illegal Matt Harpring screens.  Night in, night out, the Big Turk consistently puts together one of the better shot charts in the Association. 

Clarifying previous comments about Corey Maggette's defense, I think it warrants mentioning that Corey has a very bifurcated defensive game: he plays an exceptional brand of one-on-one defense and is virtually impossible to take off the dribble.  In contrast, many nights he's a lazy off-the-ball defender who is the lost (or unwilling) cog in the rotation.  My theory is that Corey is that dude in the pickup game who resents having to play defense off-the-ball because it might keep him from being the first guy out in transition, where he's the best player on the court.  As a counterweight, take Juwan Howard. Any athlete in the league with a hint of a first step can take Juwan off the dribble. So in order to stay in the league and start for a coach like Van Gundy, the middle-aged Howard learned how to harass guys, drive them off the block, smother and, when necessary, hold offensive players from getting to their spot.  Corey is the anti-Juwan.  And a good number of those open looks San Antonio got on Tuesday night were courtesy of # 50. 

More tomorrow on how we size up against the less-soft Jazz, now that Boozer is manning the post and allowing Kirilenko to go crazy as a one-man zone.  And let me just call it up front - I'm officially placing a moratorium on all posts addressing AK's "one freebie a year."  Enough of that story.  That's the problem with you heterosexuals - you undermine family values with your unabashed promiscuity.