The Suns were able to do what the Jazz weren't, come back to tie up their series with the Lakers, 2-2. For the most part, Phoenix hadn't been able to play anything resembling defense against LA who put up 128 and 124 in their first two games.
However, the Suns have thrown a zone at LA at home and it looks like it's working. In the first two games, the Lakers shot 58% from the field. In games 4 and 5, LA is right around 48%. With exception of game two, the Lakers haven't shot the three that well and are just 18/60 (30%) in their last two games.
The Jazz seemed to have the same affect on LA when they played the zone at times. However, LA hit those threes or would get the offensive rebound so we weren't in the zone for long. It will be interesting to see what happens with the rest of that series. Will Phoenix keep up the zone in LA if the Lakers start making those threes?
Cross one off the list. It looks like Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau will get the coaching position in New Orleans. That's the only position for which Tyrone Corbin has interviewed. I thought he would be getting one for the Atlanta job but they've already given two interviews to Avery Johnson and Dallas assistant Dwane Casey whereas Corbin hasn't had even one yet.
That's kind of surprising that he hasn't had one yet given his ties to the team. There are still open positions but I don't think his chances are good for any of those spots.
The Crotty Kid (probably the best pseudo-name ever) has an update on Ante Tomic from 2008's draft. I believe my words were that he would never see any time in Utah.
Might he be a part of this season's plans given the need we have for players in general and big men? He is putting up some decent numbers.
What if instead of going big, the Jazz went with shooting? That's what the TSN is suggesting, along with David Thorpe,
Analyst Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com has Hayward going 18th but claims his mock draft is "long overdue for an update." He said he would not rule out Hayward going in the 10-15 range to a team that likes "versatile, high basketball IQ guys with intangibles, whereas others who value athleticism, strength and perimeter defense more might have him in that 18-25 range."
Thorpe agrees with me, though, that Hayward is being generally undervalued. Thorpe calls Hayward a "likely" lottery pick and suggests the Utah Jazz, selecting ninth, might be the team smart enough to pick him.
"Hayward was one of the more impressive guys in Chicago from a purely skill/athletic standpoint," Thorpe said. "He looked fantastic in just the smoothness of his athleticism, his size. He's still not shooting well, but they think that'll come around. People think he's just kind of in a slump and maybe he'll fix that."
O'Connor has stated that they're going to take the best player available, regardless of need, which is how it should be. However, I think the Jazz have a clear plan already for this summer and whether or not that includes Carlos Boozer. So while they should be drafting the best player available, I think the need of a big, defensive player has a bit more weight in this year's draft. Even if they somehow bring back Boozer, we still have that need.
In 6 words, describe yourself as a Jazz fan. Mine, "Cautiously optimistic with hint of realism."