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News » Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2008-08-29

Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2008-08-29

Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2008-08-29
Half a world away from Utah, the Jazz will be well represented at the Beijing Olympics with Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer playing for USA Basketball and Andrei Kirilenko leading the Russian national team.

The three were reunited in Shanghai before the Olympics even started as the U.S. played Russia as part of its warm-up tour. For five minutes at the end of the first half, Williams, Boozer and Kirilenko all were on the floor together.

After leading Russia to gold at the European championships last summer, Kirilenko finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists. He could have been the game's top scorer had he not uncharacteristically missed six of 12 free throws.

Unlike his role with the Jazz, Kirilenko plays power forward for Russia. He flashed a nice post move in scoring on Chris Bosh in the first half and drove twice past Carmelo Anthony for lay-ups in the second half.

"We look forward to him doing for us more of what he did today," Boozer said. "A.K. was so aggressive and very confident -- he played great. Let me tell you, if we can get that out of him in Utah, whew, we might be cutting the nets down."

Williams has his strongest game for the U.S. team, totaling five points and nine assists. Even though he has played at off guard opposite Chris Paul at times, Williams might be the American team's best point guard.

He has been the most effective point guard at bullying into the lane and breaking down a zone defense. Williams also has knocked down his three-pointers and helped force steals with his defense.

Boozer has accepted his role as the 12th man. He is one of only three true big men on the roster, but size is at less of a premium in the international game. The Americans have started Anthony at power forward and played LeBron James at times at center.

The U.S. and Russia are in opposite pools at the Olympics, which means the only way Kirilenko, Boozer and Williams will meet again would come in the medal round.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: August 29, 2008


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