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Goal: Score More Than 80 Against the Jazz

Did you wake up this Friday morning, flip on the computer to check your fantasy football team, and stare, bleary-eyed, at the big, fat, zero BenJarvus Green-Ellis put up last night? Then, did you glance at your RB options for the other slot this week and silently curse Reggie Bush's and Earnest Graham's knees, Warrick Dunn's size, and Maurice Morris's misfortune to not be named Julius Jones?

I'm probably going to start Dunn against the Vikings, which is similar to the quandary the Bobcats face tonight, when they take on the Utah Jazz without Jason Richardson. Dunn's value is mostly tied up in pass receptions, which is okay against the Vikings, but it still hurts that what little value he has as a primary ballcarrier is utterly gone against the Vikes' front seven. Without Richardson, the Bobcats are probably going to start Matt Carroll and give a plurality of the SG minutes to Adam Morrison. While those two match up well enough with Kyle Korver, they will be absolutely overmatched by Ronnie Brewer on both ends of the floor, if Brewer has a Brewer game. Morrison could be better off the dribble, using his size to hit his patented floaters, but I can't imagine Carroll having any success on offense, unless he's left wide open at the arc, and, on defense, neither will be able to stay in front of a guy who was top ten in dunks last season.

From there, the picture isn't as bleak as it could be, but there's still little good news to report. Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko, and Mehmet Okur all will not play. Williams is still healing from an ankle injury, Kirilenko injured his hand in Wednesday's game against the Washington Wizards, and Okur is still in Turkey to be with his ailing father.

That means the point guard situation is much more manageable. I've seen Deron Williams. I've watched him since college. And Ronnie Price, you are no Deron Williams. In fact, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Brevin Knight get more minutes than Price in tonight's game, since his slight frame isn't at as much of a defensive disadvantage against Felton and, especially, Augustin.

It also means the center situation isn't as much of a matchup nightmare. Where Okur loves to trail the ball down the floor and hit spot up threes, rookie Kosta Koufos is more of a traditional big man. From looking at ESPN's shot charts of the past two games, Koufos has taken his shots exclusively from the left side of the key and under the basket. That is fascinating, considering that Carlos Boozer has also been an exclusively left-sided player the past four games. In any event, Emeka can concentrate on playing against a more standard-issue center without worrying about jumping out to the three point line. It may also mean that Nazr Mohammed will get more PT, since the Jazz don't have a center who can truly challenge him, leaving Emeka to deal with Boozer and Millsap. If Mohammed doesn't play, that will leave Jared Dudley to guard the power forwards.

Without Kirilenko, Gerald Wallace suddenly is the most difficult matchup problem for the Jazz. Small forward starter CJ Miles hasn't shown he can guard anyone this year, and he's getting role player minutes in sum, anyway. If healthy, Matt Harpring would be the clear choice to try to guard Crash, but he just came back from offseason surgery, and it's not likely he'll be effective. Instead, the Jazz are probably best off sticking Miles and Korver on Carroll or Morrison, and then assigning Brewer to Wallace, with Boozer staying away from foul trouble by guarding Dudley. In that case, Wallace would have a tough time taking his man off the dribble, and it might force him into a post game, which probably benefits the Jazz, since that would get the Bobcats away from what they do best, slashing and kicking.

Of course, scoring will be an issue. Sub-70 points is a real possibility, considering the Bobcats play a super-slow pace, they're now missing Richardson, and the Jazz are better on the glass.