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Article:Jazz Update 1/14/8: Preview of Bucks vs. Jazz

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After John Stockton retired from the Utah Jazz at the end of the 2003 campaign, it was a race between three young point guards to see who would wind up inheriting the job.

There was the often injured Spaniard Raul Lopez.

There was the Puerto Rican journeyman Carlos Arroyo.

There was the rookie second rounder Maurice Williams.

Unfortunately for the Jazz, they went with Lopez (who they believed would overcome injury after injury and develop into a top guard) and Arroyo (who they signed to a nice contract due to him torching Allen Iverson at the 2004 summer Olympics). Williams wound up signing with the Milwaukee Bucks and officially made his way onto many Jazz fans’ front office regret list.

The flipside is that the Jazz wound up being awful in the 2004-2005 season and wound up with Deron Williams.

Tonight its Williams vs. Williams as the Bucks travel to the Energy Solutions Arena. The Bucks (15-22) have had their troubles of late, as their frontcourt players are battered and bruised. The Jazz (21-17) are shaking off an awful December and the team is looking to make it their fourth win in a row at home.

This is a very winnable game for the Jazz; the Bucks haven’t won a game in Utah in six years. The plan will be to attack the basket and to take advantage of Milwaukee’s limited front court. Dan Gadzuric is listed as having a bruised left shoulder and Josh Voskuhl is suffering from a strained right hip. Former University of Utah standout Andrew Bogut has a long night ahead of him, having to deal with Carlos Boozer, and healthy and surging Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko.

With all the injuries, the Bucks might have to play Yi Jianlian at the center and play small ball. If they want to be competitive tonight, Mo Williams and Michael Redd are going to have produce big time.

If the Jazz win this game tonight, they’ll be back into the playoff hunt. They will be tied with the Golden State Warriors for the eight seed. I’m not saying that this is a make or break game for the Jazz, but they definitely need to get back on track.

The game starts at 9:00 pm Eastern time.

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