Adversity nothing new to Matthews
Guarding Kobe Bryant is a familiar challenge to the rookie Jazz guard
But Matthews, 23, wowed the Jazz during the summer league to earn a spot on the roster and now finds himself guarding arguably the best player in the world, Kobe Bryant. Matthews gets that assignment after guarding Carmelo Anthony, a similarly challenging opponent.
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As opposed to the position he was in Sunday, when he let Bryant drive straight to the basket for a crucial (and easy) layup in crunch time.
"I keep thinking about it," said Matthews, the son of former NBAer Wes Matthews. "It's glaring to me. I wish I would have played it a little different, wouldn't have crowded him as much; I kind of gave him a straight run."
Still, by most accounts, the rookie wasn't as bad on Bryant as some, even though Bryant basically won the game for the Lakers.
"Nobody can guard Kobe Bryant," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said.
But Matthews intends to at least try.
"He's great in the midpost area. He's very patient, looks for his cutters, his teammates, tries to get them involved. He knows when to attack, when to put the game on his shoulders," Matthews said. "I just need to match his intensity and fire."