There will still be more to come on Sloan but first, there's a game tonight. I still have yet to make a proper post concerning Tyrone Corbin's ascension to head coach. It still boggles the mind that someone other than Jerry Sloan will be the head coach of the Utah Jazz. That's even harder to wrap my mind around than him stepping down.
This will be another slap of reality in the face when we don't see Sloan barking plays from his seat or going after refs. For the first time in the history of the ESA (Delta Center), another name other than Jerry Sloan will be announced as the head coach. This is when it's going to sink in for a lot of folks. When Corbin takes the sideline tonight, it's not going to be because both Sloan and Johnson are out temporarily, it's his team now.
To paraphrase Shakespeare, "Some are born coaches, some become coaches, and some have coaching thrust upon them" All of those are true for Tyrone Corbin. I do not envy the expectations put on him. He's been told that he can't be expected to fill Sloan's shoes, but he will always be compared to him. He's also tasked with turning the team around and getting them into the playoffs. He will be up to the task though.
So how does the team respond? We'll see tonight as they take on the Suns in part one of a home and home series. The Suns got back to .500 by pounding the Warriors yesterday. They're playing well right now winning 5 of their last 6. They've put up impressive wins against the Celtics and Hornets.
The last time the Jazz played them, Utah was blown out at home in the second game of the season. The Suns are a different team since then having made a major trade sending Hedo Turkoglu to the Magic in return for Marcin Gortat and Vince Carter. That was also the trade that sent Rashard Lewis to Washington and Gilbert Arenas to Orlando.
They're the same type of Suns team that we've seen for nearly the past decade. They're 6th in the league in offense and 26th in defense. However, over their past 4 games, they've been holding opponents to just 92 points a game. I don't know if that's just an aberration on the season or if they've made a philosophic change in their approach.
On the Jazz front, CJ Miles will get the start tonight with Raja Bell out. We'll finally see what most have been asking for and that's a lineup of Deron/CJ/AK/Millsap/Jefferson. That's been our best unit statistically. It does leave our bench very thin, as Price will also sit out and especially if Elson can't go tonight. So look for lots of PT for Hayward, Evans, and Fesenko.
So my question to you is, what will this team do tonight? Does this mid-season reboot get them going? Do they build on the relative success they've had (despite their record)? What are you looking for tonight?