In light of the latest news about Deron Williams, it is really easy, as a Jazz fan, to feel a little sorry for yourself. But just like Barack Obama, R2D2, and a dove with an olive branch in its mouth, I am here to bring some hope to what seems like a dark situation. At the risk of jinxing my favorite team, the Jazz have a legitimate shot at starting 9-1, even if Deron were to miss the entire 5 game road trip. That is mind boggling. And although it is mostly due to some advantageous scheduling and even more adventageous injuries and suspensions, it is also due to a small transaction that occured shortly before the preseason began: the trade that brought Brevin Knight to the Jazz.
I have said before that this trade equaled the Gasol to Lakers trade, not that it brought the Jazz from competing for the playoffs to competing for a title, but in the fact that the Jazz gave up a nickel to get a dollar. While I am dying for the opportunity to have D Will back, I am also not losing sleep at night over the fact that Price and Knight are leading the team. Price has struggled in a starting role, but has played solidly and Knight has really steadied our team a couple times. But for all our troubles, just think what the team would look like with Hart, not Knight. yack.
I mentioned a few days ago on a live thread that this is the best back up point guard tandem we have ever had and while it might not be true, it isn't certainly untrue. You could argue them against Eisley and Vaughn (97-98) or Starks and Crotty (01-02). It isn't hard to compete with the same 3 backups the Jazz have used in the last 20 years (Crotty, Eisley, Vaughn), but I decided to see if Knight and Price fit into the top 10 seasons by a Jazz point guard in the last 20 seasons.
10. Tie- Keith Mcleod and Milt Palacio (05-06)- They both took turns starting before Deron secured the job, and it is sad that they even make this list, but they both averaged 6 points and 2 assists/ 20 mins of playing time and shot a decent FG%, although Cap'n Crunch only shot 6% from the 3 point line during the 05-06 campaign. That's not a typo.
9. Mark Jackson (02-03)- At the tail end of his career, this all-time great backed up Stockton for one season, averaging 5 pts and 5 assts/ 20 mins while shooting 40 % from the field.
8. Jay Humphries (92-93)- played some shooting guard as well and had terrific seasons with Milwaukee right before we acquired him, so we may have expected more than the 8 pts 3 assists he contributed per 20 mins.
7. Derek Fisher (06-07)- I am personally one of the fans who appreciated everything Fisher gave us and I wish it could have lasted longer. He averaged 9 points and 3 assists per 20 minutes. He gets docked for getting his number from the shooting guard position and for singlehandedly costing the Jazz about 700 points that season by stepping on the line when he shot threes.
6. Jacque Vaughn (00-01)- The perpetual backup averaged 6 pts and 4 assists during his 20mpg, but also shot 43% from the field and 40% from downtown.
5. Ronnie Price (07-08)- Ronnie P has had a slow start to this season, but last year he was productive. He averaged 9 points and 3 assists per 20 minutes and his hustle was refreshing if not contagious to the second unit. I also think he will be better later this season, when he's back in a backup role.
4. Delaney Rudd (90-91)- Similar to Price in size and production, Rudd averaged 8 points and 6 assists per 20 minutes while shooting a good percentage from the floor (43%)
3. Brevin Knight (now)- His per 20 minutes numbers aren't great at 6 points and 5 assists, but the guy gets a boost for almost never turning the ball over and for shooting 46% from the floor. He has the fewest turnovers of any point on the list and he has helped win ball games in this early season.
2. John Crotty (01-02)- Who could ever forget this guy's chest hair and 7 different stints with the Jazz? I made fun of him his whole career, but during this season, he had 8 points and 4 assists per 20 minutes while shooting 47% from the field and a staggering 57% from the 3. That's not a typo. But I think he only took like 11 3s that year though. Just kidding. I would still take B Knight and Ronnie P over Crotty in his prime.
1. Howard Eisley (97-98)- Nothing flashy and when I watched him, it infuriated me, but the guy not only produced, but is the only guy on this list to backup-lead a team to the NBA finals, twice. Put in 8 and 4 in 20 minutes, but shot 45% FG and 40% from the arc. Efficient.