What is right with the Jazz?
The past few days on here on SLC Dunk we have focused on everything that is wrong with the Jazz. Well I am here to say maybe all isn’t right, but a lot of things are right.
The Price is right.
While Ronnie Price has been on the team for the last few years we haven’t had anyone’s role yo-yo more than Price. Ronnie has bounced from 2nd string to 3rd string and back nearly every year since he has been here. The thing about Ronnie is he has never let that affect his play. I mean Ronnie has been the back up to Jason Hart, until he took the spot from Hart and gave us the block on Luke Walton’s dunk in the playoffs. So Ronnie had worked his butt off that year to become the backup PG, only to lose his spot the next year to Brevin Knight. That year he was the 3rd point guard the entire year until the 4th quarter of the last game of the playoffs, when it was clear that Ronnie would never back down in a game (there is no wonder that Sloan had Ronnie in last night). He single handedly got the Jazz within striking distance of the Lakers. Sloan admitted after that game that he should have played Ronnie more. Then he was our backup PG, until Eric Maynor looked like he was the better player and about to take the spot. Then we trade Maynor and Price is back to the 2nd string PG. Now this year we get Earl Watson to come in and be the back up PG only to see Ronnie do what Ronnie does and hustle his way back onto the floor.
Last night against Miami, Ronnie might have not shut D-Wade down and he might have committed a flagrant foul that could have cost us the game. But in true Ronnie Price style, he worked his but off hit a big 3 that tied the game in the 4th, played the point down the stretch and ran the pick and roll, splitting the D and getting the ball to Elson leading to his game winning FTs. Lets face it the Price isn’t perfect, but the Price is right.
Has a player made a bigger impact without being in the game down the stretch than Raja did last night? Raja gives this team the veteran leader that we have been missing since he who must not be named left SLC for Laker Land. Raja hasn’t done anything amazing on the court yet this season, but he has been very important. Raja’s halftime speech apparently would make Matt Foley proud. Raja emphasized that you can’t control if shots are falling, but you can control your effort. Apparently the Jazz took it to heart in the fact that they scored 84 point in 29 minutes against a team that only gives up about 89 points an entire game. The effort the Jazz played with in the second half might not be entirely because of Bell’s speech, but everyone, from Millsap to CJ to Deron, said that it helped.
He has ice in his veins in the clutch. He can replace Korver as our late game foul shooter.
Looks like he knows how to be big and knows when he shouldn’t be on the floor.
Big Al is still averaging 16 and 9, even with 2 MIAs. Things will only get better here.
Memo is getting more healthy and will only give everyone more room to move when he returns.
CJ has had moments as CJ miles. Though last night he played more like CJ Kilometers. He is playing a better floor game and better D, even if he is Jekyll and Hyde shooting the ball.
Millsap was quietly the best player for the Jazz through the first 6 games of the year. It wasn’t that quiet around here, but nationally up until last night the Jazz were still dumb for replacing Boozer with Millsap. But let’s face the fact that Millsap is the best PF to play for the Jazz since the Mailman. Millsap is now getting so much national love that he can assure himself that no one will ever talk about the Jazz losing Boozer again. Millsap is exactly who we all hoped he would be. Though I don’t know if he should be entered into the 3 point contest, he has developed a better jumper than any of us would have imagined. His J is so smooth that when we need a bucket I hope that Deron can penetrate and find him for a 15 footer, because I feel like it is a sure 2 points. The best part is he hasn’t fallen in love with his new found perimeter success. He still is the guy that led college hoops in rebounding for 3 years. The way he attacked the glass and got that game winning put back last night was just a reminder, that he is still that guy. We were all talking about CJ maybe getting love for MIP, but really this should be Millsap’s award this year, even if he really hasn’t improved as much as just had improved opportunities. I could go on and on, but it already feels like Paul Millsap day.
Plus Let's not forget
Ak47 is still AK47
Deron Williams is still Deron Williams.
Jerry Sloan is still Jerry Sloan.