These are My Inner Thoughts- Boom Tho



-It seems like these days that all we can think about is the Jazz's slow starts to games. If it is such a big deal with fans and with the media, then it must be at least in the back of the minds of the players. I wonder if the slow starts haven't just become an expectation at this point? When you get into a rut, you have to change your routine or else you come to accept your performance as normal. That might be the best reason to change the starting lineup. Because it isn't normal and not changing the personnel is a form of acceptance.

-I can understand why Coach Sloan hasn't changed the starting lineup yet. He is looking "at the big picture" as he has said. Part of the big picture is that Sloan doesn't want to look like the bad guy to the players and benching a player usually appears to be a demotion. If you bench one guy, it looks like he is to blame for the slow starts when in reality, it has certainly been a combination of problems. Gordon Chiesa once said that you change two of the starters in order to avoid placing blame on just one player. Coach has a lot of things to consider, including keeping team chemistry while changing chemistry on the floor.

-However, I don't think that Sloan's options are limited, as he has suggested. He may have too many options. Eleven players are now contributing to the good of the team. There's a case to be made for almost all of the bench players to start and a case that almost all of the starters could be bench players. If you replace Raja with Cj, you get the best 5 Jazz players from an overall +/- standpoint. If you start Hayward, you get a player who can run the floor and will certainly show hustle and give his all. Same is true for Ronnie Price. Replacing either Jefferson or Millsap with Okur would possibly give our offense better spacing. And if you replace Jefferson or Millsap with Fesenko, you start the team's best interior defender statistically. Tons of options. Hard for Jerry to know which is the right one though. My gut tells me that Jerry never changes the starters, barring an injury.

-The best point guard debate will be neverending story part 7. There were six of the movies, right? There are so many great point guards in the league and the pecking order is going to change several more times this season. The funny thing is that I don't believe the Jazz, Hornets, Bulls, Thunder, or Celtics would trade their point guards for any of the other mentioned floor generals. They are all so good and so vital to their current teams' successes. Derrick Rose is the anointed best PG for this week, as the highest PG on espn's MVP watch and after the TNT NBA crew named him the best. And there's a decent chance that Derek Fisher or Mario Chalmers is the point guard who wins the ring in 2011. Awesome.

-Speaking of the Bulls, I continue to think they are the Utah Jazz of 2007-2008. Their are tons of similarities besides Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer. Derrick Rose's hypothetical rise above Williams and Paul, is just like Deron and Paul's ascension to the top over Nash, Billups and Jason Kidd in 2007. Many NBA experts will pick the Bulls to be title dark horses this season, like they did with the Jazz in 08. Both have/had great home records with inexcusable road losses. I can't think of two more similarly controversial players than Luol Deng and Andrei Kirilenko in terms of production and large contracts. After tonight, both teams may be 28-14. And both teams are/were 2nd round fodder. Sorry Chicago. If it makes you feel any better, 2010-11 Utah might not be any better than the 07-08 Jazz. I still think this team has a higher ceiling.

-Do you remember that tall guy, Rod Benson, who played for the Utah Summer League Team? He's a fantastic writer and every NBA fan should read his latest piece. As a fan, it's tough to swallow the bitter pill that Benson concocts, but he paints a realistic perspective of what motivates most NBA players. He talks about a twitter question of "how many NBA players love the lifestyle more than the game itself?" and he posits that it is 90% or higher. Part of the reason is that when young kids dream of playing in the NBA, they dream of game winning shots, shoe contracts, A-list girlfriends, and VIP suites; they don't dream of morning shootaround, long road trips or sacrificing for the good of the team. I think that all of the Jazz players want to play well, and I know they WANT to win all their games and a title, but when it comes down to it, putting in all that hard work and effort is harder than just saying it should be done. There's nothing fun or glamorous about setting a hard pick or cutting as hard as you possibly can to the basket. Part of the issue is that these guys get paid salaries. They get the same amount of money if they play or not, if they win or not, and if they give a full effort or not. It's human nature to do just enough to get by, when you will be paid regardless of your performance. I think about my own job. It would be very difficult to come in and work my hardest on a Saturday, if I weren't being paid by the hour. Rod Benson certainly gives NBA fans something to think about.

-Here is something that every NBA player should know. Fans care about how hard you work too much. We watch, we hope, we break down numbers for 4 hours at a time, in order to understand something about the game we didn't before. We lose sleep over your performance. Days, weeks, and years are made when you achieve greatness. We give large portions of our measly paychecks to watch you, at the arenas, or on our TVs. We risk public ridicule and perceptions by wearing your jerseys. We do it because we enjoy it, but we do it because we want to be a part of your success and your failures. We won't ever get to go to special parties or marry a Kardashian, or do something of any significance with millions of eyes on us. Don't take it for granted. Help us fulfill our dreams as fans. Please. If you can't do it for the love of the game, do it for us. It's all some of us have.

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