SALT LAKE CITY UT - DECEMBER 8: Francisco Elson #16 of the Utah Jazz and James Jones #22 of the Miami Heat during the second half of an NBA game December 8 2010 at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City Utah. The Heat beat the Jazz 111-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
We just lost to a Miami Heat team that is getting better as the season progresses. Fine, they have some really good players. But we lost to the Miami Heat after they were down after three quarters, and they were on the road. Yes, we weren't up by 22 points against them, but they got the job done in the 4th and we didn't. End result? Miami walks out of this game with a win. They out-Jazzed the Jazz. I *am* upset about this loss. The Jazz had a chance to sweep this team, and ended up getting housed in the 4th quarter, in our house.
This should never be accepted, let alone expected.
As a Jazz fan, I'm accustomed to winning at home. The Jazz have a rich history of winning at home. Jazz fans, especially the ones who live in Utah and go to the home games, are some of the loudest and most loyal fans in the league. If you don't win the games at home, you relinquish whatever home court advantage a passionate fan base affords you.
It's too sad to go down and look at our home records of previous seasons (even in this era alone), so I'm not going to list them. Instead I'm going to list some games from this season:
- Oct 28, 2010: lost at home to the Phoenix Suns, 94 -110
- Nov 15, 2010: lost at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 108 - 115
- Nov 19, 2010: lost at home to the San Antonio Spurs, 82 - 94
- Dec 3, 2010: lost at home to the Dallas Mavericks, 81 - 93
- Dec 8, 2010: lost at home to the Miami Heat, 98 - 111
The Jazz need to win these games. The Jazz need to win these games that are on OUR OWN HOMECOURT, period. Yes, the Jazz beat the Lakers and New Orleans at home over the last few days, but if we are supposed to be 'the real deal' and a contender for at LEAST 8 playoff wins this year we should EXPECT to win games against good teams at home. We, as fans, can't brush off these 5 losses. Especially not when our Jazz are averaging only 92.6 points per game at home, and letting the VISITORS run up 104.6 points per game on average. That's an average margin of defeat of -12.0 points.
That's, on average, five blowout losses at home to good teams within the span of the first 13 home games.
FIVE OF THIRTEEN.
Calm down Amar, you're over reacting . . . right? I don't think it's over-reacting to be upset that we lose nearly 40% of our home games in a blowout. That's not 40% of our home losses are blowouts. That's 40% of all of our home games are blowout losses.
That's not acceptable after 10 games into the season, and that's not acceptable after 82 games either. Why should be it acceptable now, after 23 games? It shouldn't be. Franky. it is not.
Why are we losing? Is it a lack of talent? Did our front office not get good enough players over the years? Is our system wrong? After a while, those issues don't matter and it becomes a point of pride for the players on the team.
We know that "home is where the heart is." These Jazz aren't showing that. Instead, we vaguely remember past glories. Do you remember 2003-2004, back when Tom Gugliotta and Michael Ruffin were starting games for us? That team didn't have the talent that we do now, but that team played with heart. That team won 42-40 in a tough Western Conference. At home they also played with pride, losing only 13 times despite being one of the 'worst' teams on paper. We already have 5 losses at home, and it's only the beginning of December. That team beat some good squads at home, like the Lakers, Pistons, Sonics, Suns, Nuggets, Rockets and so on. (remember what those teams were like back in 2003)
At the risk of sounding redundant, the Jazz need to play with heart at home. Maybe Frank Layden needs to bring in an artificial one into the locker room like he did back in the early 80's? Home is where the heart should be, even if the players aren't showing it.