I Love Josh Howard, So Shut Up Edition: The Downbeat #670

Before there was John Stockton there was Rickey Green. No, no not Power Roping extraordinaire Rickey Green (http://powerteamroping.org/) but Rickey Green the American basketball player.

Due to the longevity of the careers of John Stockton, Karl Malone and Jerry Sloan, the Jazz hold many records in the archives of the NBA. We know Stockon's all-time leading assists and steals records, Malone's scoring and free-throws records and of course Sloan's coaching records (wins and time with the same franchise).

What Jazz fans may not know is that Rickey Green holds a very special place in the history of the NBA:

On this date in 1988 Utah guard Rickey Green scored the NBA's 5,000,000th point as the Jazz beat Cleveland 119-96

-The Associated Press

Rickey Green like the point guard who followed him with the Jazz was taken 16th in the NBA Draft. Green was selected in 1977 by the Golden State Warriors. Green played 14 years in the NBA for eight different teams. Green's greatest season was the 1982-1983 season and followed that by representing the Jazz in the 1984 NBA All-Star Game.

Thanks to Scratonicity (now seanp33) for the heads up on this great article on Grantland ranking the top ten rookies. Our very own Alec Burks came in at #8:

Coming into the season, Burks was touted as a talented offensive player who struggled on defense. Burks' offense has been average so far this season, but he earned his first ranking here because of his defense. According to Synergy Sports, Burks has been holding the players he guards to 0.717 points per possession. That places him in the top 16 percent of all NBA players. Burks is particularly adept at chasing defenders around screens away from the basketball. In these situations, Burks holds opponents to 0.583 points per possession on 33.3 percent shooting. He uses his speed and size to stick close to his man and challenge shots. It has been impressive to watch Burks commit himself on defense, especially after being criticized before the draft for a lack of effort defensively. If his offense picks up, Burks should become a mainstay in these rankings.

by: Sebastian Pruiti

Can I be totally honest here, OK here is goes. I was NOT excited about the Jazz drafting Alec Burks. I remember telling Lou the day I came home from the Pre-Draft workout that included Alec Burks that if there was one player that I didn't want the Jazz to draft it would be Alec Burks. I was not impressed during the interview, he couldn't even remember Coach Corbin's name,he had such a cocky attitude in my mind. (I am pretty sure I emailed Moni all about it because it bugged me so badly).

I have never been so happy to be so wrong. (here is my a post about my excitement of Burks over the summer) I couldn't be more excited to have him on our team. I love that he plays defense, as evidenced by Pruiti's article, I love that attitude now, he's not afraid of anyone and will do what he wants on the court. I am excited to see his offensive development to go along with his stellar defense (that we never EVER would have gotten from Jimmer).

One rookie that was not mentioned in Pruiti's article was Enes Kanter. I see Kanter doing well and growing within himself, the kind of growth that only us Jazz fans can see. I love Kanter's rebounding and his effort, however, I sigh every time he dribbles the ball after he gets an offensive rebound. Well it caught me eye when I saw on twitter yesterday someone else talking about Kanter's habit of dribbling:

Eaton_1_medium

Eaton_tweet_medium

I laughed and laughed when I saw this tweet, I cannot tell you how many times my dad and I would scream at the TV "Mark, go up go up, don't dribble the stupid ball, just go up! "

I do love that Eaton is involved with the team, its nice to see old Jazz players helping the new guys. I am ecstatic that Eaton is talking to Kanter about defense.

We finally have a game tonight, after a long three day layoff. We take on the Toronto Raptors (328 of you feel like we will win, compared to 8 of you who said we would lose)

Josh Howard is listed as probable (an upgrade from day-to-day). I was pretty excited about the signing though it was more of a "we're signing who, um OK". I did however, fall in love with Josh quite quickly after he got his rust off. Now the question is, CJ Miles is playing well (unlike when Josh was in the lineup), Burks is developing we already see his defense, Raja is playing how we always wanted him to and well Hayward is doing his thing. So if Josh plays tonight, where does he fit in? Who's minutes will Josh get?

Lastly, the Jazz had their player autograph party for season ticket holders. I heard great things about this party from @fingersone. Fingersone (Debbie) reported that all the players genuinely seemed excited to be there, that Paul Millsap's line was the longest of the bunch, that Earl Watson was surprisingly kind of shy. She also commented how Millsap was much more animated than she has ever see him. I just love how Millsap is coming into his own this season.

CJ tweeted out his favorite thing to sign during the event.. see it here

Did any of you go to the autograph party, if so please share your experience with us in the comments!

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