It looks like the NBA taking control of the Hornets is imminent. New Orleans' majority owner George Shinn had a deal in place to sell his share of the team to minority owner Gary Chouest. Chouest is a local businessman that would have been able to put a lot of money into the team and make them viable. However, he got cold feet and backed out and there hasn't been anybody else that has made an offer.
The NBA is trying to buy the team in order to keep them in New Orleans. Now, it's not the NBA per se that's buying the team, rather it's the other 29 ownerships that will chip in on the estimated $300M price tag. I don't know if that's an equal share or if it's split proportionately, but that would be about $10.3M for each team.
So what does this have to do with the Jazz? Well, though the current teams have no affiliation, the current Jazz of course came from New Orleans because they couldn't support the team in the late 70's. We of course became benefactors of that move.
The rumors are that if the NBA buys the team, that it could mean the end of the NBA in New Orleans. The reason for that is that while they will try to keep the team there, there haven't been any other potential buyers come forward since Chouest backed out. What difference will it make if the league owns the team?
There could be some ownership groups from other markets such as Kansas City, Anaheim, and even Seattle that come forward with big offers for the team. If that's the case, the owners may want to get their money back and approve the sale to anyone willing to buy.
Of course, that could inevitably mean the departure of Chris Paul. That may have happened anyway, though they have been making moves to keep him there. Though we'll always have the Williams/Paul dynamic, the thought of him not being on the Hornets is sad. Normally I couldn't care less where he ends up, but the Hornets fans are as passionate about Paul as we are about Deron. If he goes to another team, he'll be a favorite there as well, but I don't think any team could have the fervor for Paul as Hornets fans do. It would be the same with Deron. The constant back and forth between Jazz and Hornets fans about who is better just wouldn't be the same if he's with the Knicks or whoever.
This is just my opinion, but if the Hornets stay, the chances of Paul staying with the team are much better. He may want the brighter lights of the bigger market, but I think he still has some strong loyalties and commitment to NOLA. If the teams heads to another market, all of that is gone and so is Paul.
I was just looking through the splits for the season to see if anything stood out between wins and losses. A lot of the stats are very close. There are a couple of things that you would expect to see between a win and a loss:
- Field goal percentage drops from 48% for a win to 42% for a loss
- 3P% drops from 37% in a win to 25% for a loss (more fuel for the Sloan fire)
- The Jazz actually have more FTAs in a loss than in a win, 27.7 to 24.4. However, they make the same number, 20 per game.
- Turnover jump from 11.3 a game to 16.2 when the Jazz go down.
Those are just per game numbers and don't take into account pace, etc. The number that jumped out at me the most though is that when the Jazz win, they put up 106.8 points. When the Jazz lose, they score just 88.5 points a game. The Jazz are #22 in the league in pace with just about 91 possessions per game, so that's going to appear to be a little low.
However, the difference between the two is 18.3 points a game. That seemed a bit extreme just looking at it. So I looked at some of the other top teams in the West to see what their differential was:
Team, PPW-PPL, Difference
UTA, 106.8-88.5, 18.3
SAS, 109.7-89.7, 20
LAL, 111.3-101.8, 9.5
DAL, 99.9-90.5, 9.4
DEN, 110.8-96.3, 14.5
PHX, 113.7-105, 8.7
OKC, 107-96.9, 10.1
Only San Antonio has a bigger difference. Defense will win championships, but you still have to put points on the board. If our offense is sputtering, it's going to be an ugly night.
My first quarter (before everyone switched to semesters) of college my friend and I went to our first college basketball game. It was a small gym and despite having a good team, there weren't a lot of people in the crowd. It may have been because of the weather, I don't remember.
Anyway, I'm glad it was relatively quiet because it allowed us to hear this gem that has somehow stuck with me all these years. One of our star players went up for a shot at a rim and a defender came over to help. Our guy ended up changing his shot a bit and missed a bunny. Sound familiar? As a result the other team got the rebound and headed back the other way. The only reason I remember this otherwise forgettable moment was that the guy that missed the shot, ran back up the floor, and screamed to himself, "Man, dunk that sh@$!"
If I could remember who that was, I would say that the Jazz should hire him to sit on the bench and scream that out every time the Jazz go up for a layup instead of dunking it. Moni points out how percentages for dunks are down across the board. Maybe a little Karl Malone montage before each game to get the guys going?
That phrase rings in my head every time this happens. It's also reverberated through my head on some non-basketball decisions that I've made. It's a great motto really. You still can't use it in game threads though.
Another tough week for the Jazz even though 3 of the 4 are at home. Tonight of course the Grizzlies come to town. They're having a down year but they beat the Lakers and Heat at home in addition to beating Dallas earlier in the season in Dallas. They just lost a hear-breaker in Denver last night so hopefully they come in mentally and physically drained.
Then we have a repeat of teams when the Heat come Wednesday followed by the Magic on Friday. The Magic are 8-2 in their last 10 while Miami is 6-4, having won 4 straight. Those are going to be tough, tough games.
Then, to cap it off, they head to Dallas to play on Saturday. Despite a win there the last time they headed to big D, the Jazz are 2-11 in their last 13 trips. After last week's beating, it would be nice to return the favor.
A good Griffith video from the Jazz
Griffith player file (via OfficialUtahJazz)