I'll echo Clark's statements (and others') that the future core of this team need to get the minutes now, but barring injury, I don't know that it happens until after this road trip. The Jazz are playing poorly and their playoff chances are between slim and none. They still have games against the Raptors and TWolves before facing the Bulls. If they drop two of those games, I think you'll start seeing major changes. Hayward would start but I'm not sure if he's take Bell's spot or AK's. I would lean towards Bell but if AK is injured then that's where he'll go.
As far as Favors goes, unless Millsap is injured, he won't be starting. He should be getting the majority of the minutes behind both Jefferson and Sap. I could only listen to the game last night (I didn't want to sludge through my DVR recording), but Favors played well. Supposedly Favors' name was the first out of O'Connor's mouth when the DWill's name came up in trade discussions. If that's the case, then he needs to be developed now and not when the Jazz are officially eliminated from the playoffs.
We only have 18 guaranteed games left right now. With the looming lockout, this may be some of the last games that they get to develop for a while.
Congratulations to Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson for getting honored by the Utah State Legislature for their contributions. Sloan had this to say in his remarks,
I think this is the greatest city in the world to play basketball in," Sloan said. "My biggest disappointment is we didn't have a flag to hang up as world champions.
Governor Herbert declared March 7th as Jerry Sloan Day and Phil Johnson Day. That date has a little significance to me as that's when I started a small blogspot blog on the Jazz in 2007 on that same day.
Congratulations again to Sloan and Johnson. I hope this is the first of many recognitions they receive. Hopefully there's so many that they regret retiring and having to show up to all of the ceremonies.
By now you've all heard about the crying that occurred in the Heat locker room after they dropped another close one to the Chicago Bulls. I don't see the big deal with it. I'm sure there have been tears in every locker room. The only difference is that it normally goes unreported or they come after an emotional run to a title. Either way, emotions are a huge part of the game. It's only been blown out of proportion because it was the Miami Heat. In some ways it's self-inflicted. Everything they do is magnified, so I don't know why this would be any different.
Brian Mahoney from the Canadian Press caught up with Gordon Hayward and asked him his thoughts on the matter. After all, Hayward's near-make in the NCAA title game could have sent most men to tears, right? Not for Gordon,
I've never cried after a game," Hayward said. "Just not something that I do.
When asked if he's seen tears in the locker room, Hayward replied,
I don't think I've seen anyone cry," he said. "They may go home and shed some tears or something, that's up to them. If they want to let it loose and shed some tears, then go for it.
Clearly Hayward is no robot, I don't think. Some guys let it all out and some move on quickly. I don't think you want to see too much of one side though. You don't want to see a guy let a bad loss (or 4 or 5) wear on him. At the same time, you don't want to see a player dismiss a game so quickly either.
As for Hayward? He'll process the games data, store it in his RAID array, and continue to look for other human weaknesses.
Devin Harris had no doubts that the Carmelo rumors weighed on the Nets as a team. He said it impacted the 19-year old rookie Derrick Favors the most as his name was brought up in trade discussions as soon as he was drafted. However, now that he's been traded to a place that wants him and because he no longer worries about it, Harris says that Favors has changed just in the past few weeks,
You get more of everything: offensive rebounds, post moves, shooting the jumper with confidence. He's doing things you didn't see in Jersey. He'll reach a point when you'll see the killer mentality. He just has to stop thinking the game, and just go out and react.
That's says a lot coming from the only guy that's played with Favors on a consistent basis. He's not there yet obviously, but every Jazz fan should be excited about what he can do.
Karl Malone is EVERYWHERE