THIS SERIES IS ABOUT BIG AND LITTLE SHOVELS.
Once upon a time there were 2 great kingdoms separated by only a few miles. And in between these two kingdoms, right on the border of their empires, lied a lake which supplied the kingdoms with all off their water. But one summer there was a drought and the two kingdoms were fighting over the use of the scarce resource. The Kings decided to meet and settle the dispute of who should get the water and who should look elsewhere. The two kings decided that they would have a tributary digging contest and whoever was able to dig the best tributary from the lake, would be able to direct the most water to their own kingdom.
Both kings agreed to the contest and the day came when the contest would be started. The only problem is that one of the kingdoms, the land of Hustle and Bustle, didn't have good shovels and the other kingdom did.
"That's okay," thought the king of Hustle and Bustle. "We only have hand shovels, but if we work really hard and always have people shoveling all day, then we will dig the largest tributary."
Well wouldn't you know, by the second week of the competition, the Kingdom of Hasbeen was off to a much better start. Their ditch was much larger and deeper. The citizens of Hasbeen were so confident that they would win the contest with their big shovels that they decided to take longer breaks and sleep in later and get a later start.
On the other side of the land, the King of H & B, was nervous. He lengthened everyone's shifts and handed out 5 hour energy drinks, so that people wouldn't need as much sleep. "If you guys would just dig faster and harder, then we would be winning this contest."
King Deere was so insistent that many of his citizens got very tired and complained with each other in the hot sun. Accusations flew and work ethics were hindered. One of the citizens of H & B was working so hard that he nearly fell down exhausted of heat stroke. He had decided to take no breaks and had been working for 45 straight hours. He had to rest for 3 days before resuming work.
Two young citizens of H & B came to King Deere. "We have large, normal sized shovel, your heiness. Let us help you. We can dig twice as much dirt with same effort as you other citizen. Let us, we help you."
"No," said King Deere. "You are both too young and your muscles are immature. I think you would just cramp up in the heat of the day. You take your shovels and walk home. Do your mothers know where you are?"
And so the two young men, left the palace confused. As they walked home, they passed an old man, digging frantically away at the ditch with the only tool he had: an old teaspoon.
"Maybe next year fellas," the old man said as the boys walked away.
And so the young men walked into the forest and used their shovels to play baseball in the forest and after the month long competition, the Kingdom of Hasbeen defeated the Kingdom of Hustle and Bustle. Their ditch held 800,000 gallons of water and the kingdom of H & B's only held 750,000.
Hundreds of years later a descendant of King Deere invented hard-working tractors. And there was an NBA coach who liked to work on and collect those tractors. And he took his young team into a playoff fracas with the Los Angeles Lakers.
It didn't matter what the citizens of Hustle and Bustle did, or how hard they worked, or if their technique in digging was superior. They were thoroughly disadvantaged. And in the long run, the inevitable happened and they became exhausted and angry with one another in the process.
When the Jazz can't guard bigger, longer players in the paint, then they are as disadvantaged as the people who dig ditches with hand shovels. It's true. I believe that the Jazz have played very hard these first two games and at some times have played really well. But when they are exerting all of their energy in throwing different defensive looks at not only Kobe Bryant, but Pau Gasol, then it is understandable when they run out of energy in the fourth quarter, or don't have the legs and patience to take and hit the open shot or attack the basket. It is as simple as that. All the same things happened in game two as happened in game one. The Lakers got most of their points in the paint and when we decided to double down, they passed it to wide open 3 point shooters who hit shots. And then Bryant did what he had to do, when he had to do it, which wasn't often enough.
If the Jazz are going to be able to beat the Lakers in LA, then they are going to need to defend the paint without sending the entire perimeter defense inside to double. They need to force Kobe Bryant to beat them and he isn't as explosive as he was a year ago and we are better at defending him. But Gasol is just having it way too easy. He is now 16-22 from the field in the first two games. That's 72.72% for those of you keeping track at home. Gasol has a really big shovel. It is sold on informercials by Billy Mays and it is advertised as the biggest shovel on the market. Gasol bought one, when it was offered for a limited time. Boozer and Millsap are trying to dig bigger ditches with a sand shovel. And that is where all of the Jazz's problems start. And because of it, Jazz players are making mistakes due to lack of energy and having to do too much to overcome the deficits. And Deron Williams is going to exhaust himself trying his best.
The Jazz look tired and slow on offense. We look overmatched. We are just getting by with fantastic shooting efforts by players. In game one it was Boozer. In game two it was Deron and Millsap. But we can't rely on that. We are going to have a hard time winning in Salt Lake City, unless we shoot the ball well.
Forget about guarding Kobe. Brewer is doing an admirable job of that right now. We aren't sending him to the line as much and most of his made shots are made with great effort. We just need to guard Pau Gasol. You know, the guy with the funny facial hair. If we can handle him, then we can handle the Lakers. Or at least they will have a much harder time beating us.
I think it is time to bring in the guys with the big shovels. If you need to find them, they will be in the forest playing baseball.