Utah Jazz: Hero Ball & Mo Williams

This may come as a shocker to many, but as a local sports blogger I make $0.00 for running this site. So, every work day I go to my day job from 5:30am to 3:00pm. These are pretty sweet hours in my opinion. So,  when I take my 10 minute drive home I listen to the beginning of all the afternoon drive sports talk shows. Yesterday, Gordon Monson made two complaints about Trey Burke’s play in the national title game in the few minutes I was listening to 1280: 1. Burke was jealous of Spike Albrecht and 2. He played too much “hero ball” in the 2nd half. Then I saw Mo Williams go into a bit of “hero ball” last night in the Jazz game and I started to wonder what causes players to do such a thing…

In thinking about this I have come up with a few reasons as to why Mo Williams seems prone to doing this.

Reason 1: Mo has the ball in his hand. All point guards do, unless they play for the Miami Heat. They are going to be bringing the ball up the floor most of the time on the offensive end. iHoop.com says this about point guards:

Point Guard is arguably the most difficult of the five positions to play on the floor. He is responsible for getting his team into its offense, making sure all of the players are aware of their roles on the floor, and, above all, creating scoring opportunities for both the players around him, and himself—in that order.

Reason 2: The Jazz offense at the end of Jazz games has two options. First get it to Big Al on the block and let him pump fake his opponent to death. Second, pray Mo can pull something out of a hat. Last night against OKC, the first option was nowhere to be found. So, Mo tried to create on his own. Unfortunately, when players start to dribble to create something for themselves everyone else on the floor stops moving with out the ball to find the open spot or cut to the rim. This led to several jump shots by Mo Williams. I thought most of these shots were good opportunities, but this is not the ideal way to execute the offense. This leads into the main reason Mo Williams has to go into “hero ball” mode.

Reason 3: The Jazz don’t move when the 1st option is to run an ISO play for Jefferson. All of the Jazz players move to one spot on the floor when Jefferson gets the ball. The three-point shooters pray he will pass it to them if the double team comes, but most of the time it goes back out to Mo Williams with little time left on the shot clock. By this point no one is ready to receive a pass to potentially score and Mo has no choice but to create something on his own.

When I hear “hero ball” I think of selfish star players that won’t give up the ball in the clutch. I immediately lose some respect for those players. However, when it comes to point guards I am beginning to think otherwise. Point guards do not typically go into “hero ball” mode just to try to take over the game. It is because there is not a better option. Trey Burke wasn’t getting any help on the offensive end in the national title game so he had to do something. The same goes for Mo Williams, if everyone else is just going to stand there what else is he supposed to do?


About the author

Grant Bagby

Since moving to Utah in 2005, I have changed from following all sports in D.C/Virginia to following all sports in Utah. I am a Chicago Bulls fan first (Born and raised by my father), but I am also a hardcore Jazz fan with 7 years of being a season ticket holder under my belt. I started TornBySports to write about the BYU/Utah Rivalry after Max Hall ran his mouth.