Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ode to Paul



The Utah Jazz went into Miami last night to play the Heat who had not lost at home all year. The Heat were the heavy favorites with Dwane Wade, Lebron James, and Chris Bosh, not to mention solid veteran role players. But the odd makers forgot about one little thing called Paul Millsap! Millsap scored 46 points, and willed the Jazz to victory scoring 11 points in the last 28 seconds of the game going 3-3 from the three point line and also scoring a last second tip in to tie the game forcing overtime. Considering that Millsap had only made 2 three point attempts in his entire career and that he is a Power Forward this is impressive. It was nice to see this night because this did not come as a surprise to the Paul Millsap fans. Anyone who watched how he played backing up Carlos Boozer knew that there was no drop off, in fact many (including myself) thought that Millsap was even better, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Now Millsap is a starter, has a good contract, scored a career high and outplayed Dwayne Wade, Lebron James in the final minutes of the game and destroyed Heat power forward Chris Bosh. But let's take a trip down memory lane to his beginning.
Millsap was a great college basketball player, he lead the NCAA in rebounds for 3 years in a row, something no one else has ever done. But Millsap did not have ideal size for a power forward he is 6'8" 250lbs, Many PFs are 6'11" and even 7'0" Take Tim Duncan or Dirk Nowitzki for example. Short PFs were usually very stocky and had the bulk to outbox taller players (6'9" Boozer is 266lbs) Millsap had none of this. He also did not have the shooting range or speed to play small forward. So the scouts overlooked the most important thing, his heart. Scouts got caught up in the numbers and overlooked the fact that Paul Millsap is a beast, a monster among men. Karl Malone, who went to the same college as Millsap lobbied the Jazz to take a flyer on him. With the 47th pick in the draft the Jazz took him. He got a non-guaranteed contract and worked harder than anyone to develop into the beast that he is. Paul Millsap fans have been waiting for years for Boozer to leave the Jazz so that he could get the minutes he deserves. In the 2008-2009 season when he replaced Boozer in the lineup due to injury he had 19 double doubles in a row. 19 people!!! Now he is the reason for what people are calling the Miracle in Miami. But the Paul Millsap fans know better, it wasn't a miracle at all it was just the beginning.

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