I'm constantly in the middle of some really long posts. As a consequence, I don't post very frequently. This Friday afternoon I wanted to rectify that by making a short sweet - audience participation - style post. Simply put -- what are some of the things about your team that you've always hated? (Yeah, next week expect a "Things you always loved . . ." post.)
Here are some of mine.
This isn't supposed to be overly negative, but be accurate. You can like something/someone but still see the flaws in it/them.
- Pout-y Deron Williams -- D-Will was one of the most talented guards in the league, and Top 3 All-Time in Jazz franchise history. When things are not going his way and he starts to deflect blame onto the refs, his team mates or whatever he starts to pout. When he's in this mode is seems to lack his killer instinct, and seems to nurse the chip on his shoulder, instead of play better because of it.
- Catch-22 Memo -- This is simply put a Catch-22 and not really something I hate, but a problem with Mehmet Okur that I think we all grieve over at some point -- he's the king of the long two pointer because one of his feet happens to always be on the line. If he takes this shot it is the appreciable difficulty of a three pointer, with the ultimate reward of only two points. If he takes the time to get both feet behind the three point line he is out of rhythm and the defender has a chance to get in his face. Either he takes the long two (which usually goes in), or he gathers himself for a three (that has a lower chance to go in).
- Jerry Sloan needing a whipping boy / dog house -- We all know that Jerry Sloan is a great coach. But sometimes needing a whipping boy seems outdated. I know Jerry always said that motivating players wasn't his job, but you know what? Motivating players was exactly one aspect of his job that he never did. Yes, Jerry did a lot of things well. But he did this one thing very poorly. What is worse is that over his very long coaching career he did not appear to get better or improve in this regard either. Jerry's motivation ability was like Shaq's free throw shooting over his career -- both couldn't bother to work on it.
- Greg Ostertag's mental focus -- the easy thing to be upset about Greg would be his lack of consistency. I'd rather be annoyed by his lack of mental focus. There were countless times on offense where he wouldn't even be following what was happening with the ball. There were countless times on defense where he would just let his man shoot over him, without putting his arms up. Even if he was inconsistent in action he could have at least been mentally 'in' the games he was playing. Sometimes he'd block 3 shots in a game. Sometimes he'd get three fouls in the first half. That's inconsistent. What was worse was that he'd be super focused one play, and then spend the next five plays trying to remember the Wheel of Fortune puzzle answers from a show he watched last week.
Andrei Kirilenko and Matt Harpring's inherent incompatibility -- You may not remember it, but there was a time when Jerry Sloan would start both of these guys (Andrei at the 2). Aside from that season they both did play hundreds of minutes on the floor together. They just did not work out very well with one another. There was a level of competition between the two that existed, and fans could be guilty of seeing situations that may not have actually been there. For example, it seemed like Matt Harpring would miss a lot more layups than usual, when the assisting pass was made by Andrei. Furthermore, Andrei seemed to save his most spectacular passes, with the least possibility of being caught, for Matt when the two were on a fast break. It makes no sense for people to make work harder for one another, especially when the are on the same team. Perceptions aside, neither of them made life easier for one another - as both were paint oriented non-athletic wings who has shaky accuracy from any type of range outside of 15 feet.
- Carlos Boozer's mouth -- from saying "AAANNNND ONNNNEEE!!!!111!!!" on any shot attempt close to the basket (many of which would miss) to saying on the radio in Miami and Chicago that a deal was in place (2 years before free agency) Boozer put in the time, consistently, to lose what little respect I had for him.
- Jarron Collins' career arc -- We've had a lot of crappy centers in our franchise history. But did you know that Jarron Collins actually got worse every year from his rookie year. He did. Look it up if you don't believe me.
- Kyrylo Fesenko's confidence -- part of this is his fault, part of this is the coaching staff's fault, and part of this is the fault of perception. He's afraid to make a mistake because a mistake will bench him. Because he's afraid to make a mistake he shuns basketball instinct and confidence on the court by over-thinking things (which is very hard to do when you only have 74 brain cells). By playing timid and mechanical he makes it easy for the refs to call travels and fouls on him. He's in a no win situation, and as easy as it is to blame everyone else -- I am willing to put the majority of the blame on himself here. I'm quite the Fesenko apologist, partly because we've seen what he's capable of doing. He's physically intimidated the biggest stars in the NBA. He's been capable of finishing plays near the rim. We've seen him use spin move dunks and away from the basket hook shots off of post ups. We've seen him change a ton of shots - he is actually the best guy at closing out on guys spotting up on the team according to MySynergySports. He just doesn't do it all game long. And it's not a concentration issue, Fes is totally dialed into the game. Even on the bench he's often the first to react to things on the court. It's not a consistency issue either because he doesn't get consistent playing time to prove it. (His metric stats, like rebound % seems stable game to game) He's like the cowardly lion because he gets called for dumb fouls by the refs, and gets yelled at and benched by the coaches (for actually trying to play defense -- Boozer was never yelled at for NOT trying, btw).
- Brevin Knight's butter fingers -- remember when he joined the team? He already knew all the plays because he played against Sloan for over a decade at this point? He was supposed to be that great back-up PG that we've searched for since Howard Eisley left. Instead, man, all I remember was his inability to shoot from range (sound familiar Earl Watson?), but also he was a turn over machine. Even in the back court when not defended. Ridiculous.
- Gordan Giricek's travel 'go to' move -- Giricek was not as bad as we may remember him to be. I have no doubt in my mind that he would win a one on one game against Kyle Korver, easily. He has a way more complete game -- for one, he can do more than just be a spot up shooter. Unfortunately, we only got to see that complete game for about 60 games because the rest of the time all we'd see him do is get called for traveling because he'd move his feet before putting the ball on the floor. That used to piss me off, especially because he was also a better defender of 2 guards than Derek Fisher was (who was starting at shooting guard, if you remember). If you re-watch that Houston/Utah seven game series you'll see Giricek playing better defense on Tracy McGrady than Matt Harpring and Derek Fisher. Of course, because of Sloan's Doghouse and Giricek's traveling problems he didn't get more playing time. We did turn him into Kyle Korver, and had a lot of success with him because Kyle knew better than trying to put the ball on the floor. (Which probably worked better for Deron Williams as well)
- David Benoit and open three pointers. Not going into it.
- Bobby Hansen and the inability to make easy plays -- you may not remember watching much of him. He played a few seasons ago. He had to do all the crappy jobs for those Jazz teams, like defend Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. He also had no idea how to finish easy plays. Behind the back layup in traffic between two defenders? No trouble. Open jumper from 5 feet? Mission Impossible for that dude. It was very frustrating for me.
- Morris Almond's "I gotta get mine" mentality -- Morris Almond is an NBA talent. Sure, he's not at the NBA level at all aspects of the game, but scoring -- for sure. I don't think this can be argued. Passing the ball? Not so much. Sure, part of it was playing at Rice where he was the best scorer. Part of it was going down to the Flash where they didn't even run the Jazz offense, and they just let Morris do whatever he wanted to do. Part of it was whenever he got playing time on the Jazz, he was also the only good player out there in garbage time. There's a lot of "situational factors" that led to Almond never passing. His entire post-High School career was all build upon positively reinforcing the fact that passing the ball meant his team had a worse chance to win games. It's no surprise that he brought that to Utah. It's no surprise that is part of why he's not in the league any more.
- Ronnie Brewer's jump shot -- not his fault, but man, so bad.
- Milt Palacio's clutch ability -- you remember Boler used to call him "Cap'n Crunch" ? Man . . . I hated that.
Add your own!