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NBA / Nov 17, 2009 / 12:30 pm

Eric Maynor Is Quietly Dominating In Utah

Eric Maynor

While struggling to understand why Matt Harpring was analyzing game tape on NBA TV this past weekend, it got me thinking about the Utah Jazz. Being from Denver, I don’t normally enjoy publicly praising Utah for any of their success. Still, credit due when credit earned. While Brandon Jennings and Ty “Mbenga Banga” Lawson are undoubtedly on top of the PG rookie heap right now, Jazz rook Eric Maynor is right behind them.

With Deron Williams away from the team to deal with personal matters and backup point guard Ronnie Price out with injury, Maynor has finally gotten a chance to play. Maynor, the 20th pick out of Virginia Commonwealth, had only played 31 minutes the entire season prior to being thrust into the starting role two games ago with the departure of Williams. In his first starting appearance, Maynor dished out 11 dimes to go along with 13 points in a road win over Philadelphia.

The 6-3 Maynor then came back in his second starting appearance Saturday night at Cleveland, only to pour in 24 points and log a team-high 41 minutes in a four-point loss. Maynor’s surge has surely secured him more playing time when Williams and Price return from their respective absences. Along with fellow starting rookie, Wes Matthews, who is another nice surprise for Salt Lake, the young Jazz have put a spark into Jerry Sloan‘s team.

As of Tuesday morning, the 4-6 Jazz have looked flat much of the season thus far—with a few exceptions here and there—and are not the same Utah team we have been accustomed to seeing in recent years. They are really hurting for bodies right now too, with Kyle Korver and C.J. Miles also out with injuries. Outside of Williams and a few nice spurts from Carlos Boozer and Paul Millsap, the Jazz need another solid contributor. Matthews is good and I really like his upside—I compare him to what Anthony Morrow brings to the Warriors—but he’s an undrafted rookie shooter that will only add about 8-10 points a ball game. Ronnie Brewer is still inconsistent and Mehmet Okur continues to remind me of the old timer that banks-in hook shots and finger rolls during pick-up games at the Y.

Maynor has an opportunity to be a driving force behind one of the Western Conference’s best teams over the past few seasons. I don’t think Utah is anywhere near playing how they want to be yet, but if there were one man I would trust in preparing my team for the ups and downs of the regular season, it would be Sloan. Hopefully Maynor can continue to contribute in bunches for the Jazz and pair with Williams when he returns.

When the year is all said in done, I think Maynor will be right alongside the top rookies in the league for production and value to their team. To think, most people were looking past this draft class, citing no star power. This could end up being one of the most solid point guard drafts in recent memory.

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  • http://www.FireLuviSmith.bastard Chicagorilla

    Maybe it is more Sloan than Maynor.

  • kevin k

    I concur with Chicagorrila

  • Dave

    this year’s theme is Remember the Alamo! With the Knicks first pick there is a strong possibility of two lottery picks for the Jazz. Maynor should get significant time, and of course DWill needs to play but his time should get cut way down to preserve his health for when we have these two lotto picks/trades/whatever. No reason to waste a year on those legs if yaknowwhattameanya’ll.

  • Chaos

    I am definitely rooting for maynor since i am a VCU alum but this will allow deron not to play so many minutes that he is accustomed to playing in the past. he has literally been the team in the past and the team has struggle to win games with out him there. this would prove to be a blessing, even thoughprice can flat out play, maynor has more upside and seems t be a better fit and williams can get some rest for late game play

  • flavur

    This draft is definitely starting to look like one of the best drafts the NBA has had in a while especially one of the best pg drafts now all we need is to see Blake griffin play and it’s title will be set as one of the best drafts.

  • King

    Maynor was up there with griffin, Blair and curry as the most NBA ready college players

  • shonuff

    Im say it now as I said it on draft nite…THE SIXERS SHOULD HAVE DRAFTED ERIC!!!!!!!!!!! HE WOULD START FOR THEM NOW AND BE THE POINT THEY NEED!!! BAD MOVE AGAIN PHILLY

  • Dave

    both Maynor and Wes Matthews played four years in college, I think that says mucho.

  • halgreer09

    Certainly wish the Sixers had taken Maynor. The guy’s a winner and does whatever necessary to get the job done. He definitely makes the players around him better.

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    harp was on nba tv because he’s an injured white guy from the atl area. he may retire, and his agent is trying to get him auditions all over the place.

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    one of sloan’s mantras is that you can’t lose playing time / a position due to injury. so when deron and price get back and are healthy, expect maynor to go back to garbage time, or the nba-dl.

    he’s going to have to get cj and kyle time too when they return, mostly at the expense of wes.

    it’s not right, but that’s how he’s been coaching for years (inable to really make meaningly adjustments to his style to change with how his players are performing)