Utah Jazz: Amar gives hypothetical gifts to the team

Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

Note to reader: my ability to actually give hypothetical gift remains to be completely hypothetical

It's Christmas Day, a day for many things -- but in today's modern era -- it is a day that is financially linked towards gift giving. I'd love to give gifts to the team that I love, the Utah Jazz. That said, they all make more money than I do and have probably gone ahead and purchased everything they want. Financially I can't complete. What I can do is offer them hypothetical gifts for things that can't be bought. (For the most part)

So let's get started!

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Al Jefferson -- Starting Center

Big Al is the straw that stirs our drink on offense when the game is on the line. I understand, heck, I admonish him for his defensive shortcomings. But I'm not going to gift him better defensive ability. That's even beyond my ability as far as hypothetical gifts go. I think it's time to move beyond defense though. Al is an offensive player. He takes the most shots on our team, and by a significant margin. I'd love it if he also got to the free throw line much more than he current does. He's #1 in FGA per game, but #4 in FTA per game -- behind two bench players by the way. This season he's averaging only 16.3 ppg, which isn't quite as high as you'd want for your primary option. Jefferson does kill it at the FT line (shooting a scorching 83.8 ft% this year) and if he got to the line a bit more it would really work in our favor. So, for this Christmas the gift I'd give would be to get to the free throw line a little more than he currently does.

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Paul Millsap -- Starting Power Forward

Every year Paul's body breaks down in the middle of the season because he goes all out when he plays. And he always plays hurt when he can. This year I'd love for him to be immune to all the little injuries that he normally sustains from here on out for the rest of the season. He's in a contract year and his performance (his slump) was partly due to unreported injuries. By the time February comes around he's usually being held together by effort alone. If I could give him any gift it would be that nagging injury immunity.

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Marvin Williams -- Starting Small Forward

On media day Marvin fielded all the same questions he normally received on this day, and it was all as per the script. However, one thing stuck with me. He mentioned that with the Atlanta Hawks they used him in a very specific way, and reading between the lines, it means he was used in a limited way. He's more than just a spot up jump shooter. He did outright say that he'd like to get an opportunity to show more of his all around skills on the court. At least offensively, we've seen glimpses of what he can actually do -- from halfcourt alley oop finishes, transition dunks, finishing in the paint but a few feet from the rim, posting up, getting to the free throw line, and yes, also making outside shots. He is very talented and versatile. He can create his own shot against power forwards, and I would not be surprised to expect him to even be able to pass better than he does. Right now on offense the Jazz use him like Randy Foye. (And/or like they used Bryon Russell -- which is how they abused Andrei Kirilenko in his later year) I really think Marvin has more to his game than the playbook allows for him to show. My gift to him would be for a larger part of the offense, and more opportunity to showcase his true ability.

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Randy Foye -- Starting Shooting Guard

Similar to how I understood the capabilities and flaws of Al Jefferson, I think I get Randy Foye now. And I'm not going to wish for the impossible. For him I'd love to give him better, more sensible defensive assignments. Teams hide wing players on defense all the time. I don't like the idea of him being the primary point of attack when we play other teams. DeMar Derozan killed him. Danny Green killed him. Joe Johnson killed him. Arron Afflalo killed him. Kobe Bryant killed him. Even Jared Dudley killed him. I don't expect Foye to get better on individual defense, team defense? Yes. Part of playing better team defense is to be given a reasonable defensive assignment. I don't think Ty has put Foye in a position to succeed on defense this year. As a result, for the most part, Foye has failed to succeed on defense this year. If I could I'd gift him better, more sensible defensive assignments.

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Mo Williams -- Starting Point Guard

Mo is our leader. And he wants to lead by example. He's played in a ton of playoff games, he was one of the main, most reliable players back when he was a member of the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers. He did not get a chance to show that as a member of the point guard heavy Los Angeles Clippers. But he has returned to the lime light. And as a result, he's going to want to lead us to victory. As a result, I'd love be hot more often than not in crunch time. That would be my Christmas gift to him. We saw him continue to shoot against the San Antonio Spurs twice in two games this year -- and for the most part he missed shots. In our last game he made the last shot. We've relied on him this season. Many people may have forgotten that we lose our home opening to the Dallas Mavericks without his hot shooting. Most of us remember losing to the Boston Celtics because of his cool shooting. (That said, it was a statistically improbable situation where he'd miss his last 9 shots of the game, including free throw attempts -- he's missed three free throws all year)

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Gordon Hayward -- Shooting Guard / Small Forward

Gordon is, on any given night, our best player or our worst player. If we just look at scoring, he's had his ups and downs. While Gordon has had games of 23 and 21 points this year, he's also had 8 different single digit games. The rest of his play has similarly been unreliable, at times he looks like a future 20/5/5 guy and still others he's that dude who is racking up turn over stats. If I could give him anything, I'd give him the gift of more consistent play for his Christmas gift.

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Derrick Favors -- Power Forward / Center

Favors has a lot going for him, and a lot of room to improve. Instead of trying to focus on some of his limitations -- and I could have wished him to get a go to move, or a crazier mentality where he tried to abuse defenders with his greater strength, quickness, and athleticism -- I've decided to just focus on what he does already, and make it better. Namely, if I could give him anything I'd give him greater respect from the refs, so that they more accurately count his blocks as blocks, and not his blocks as goaltending violations. Seriously. That would be huge.

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Enes Kanter -- Center / Power Forward

While the Muslim Kanter may not really celebrate Christmas, I'm still giving him a hypothetical gift. And for the 20 year old who already gets into clubs despite being under rage . . . I'm giving him the ability to grow one or two more inches in height. He's at 6'11 right now. If he could be a legit 7 footer it would extend his career and improve his financial situation for years to come. It would also make it easier for him to play 'big'. Which is what we want him to do. A legit 7 footer would be more than a handful for other teams, while it would also give him a better view of potential passing angles, while allowing him to get blocked a little less.

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Jamaal Tinsley -- Point Guard

For Christmas Jamaal gets another few years of beating father time off the dribble.

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DeMarre Carroll -- Small Forward

The only thing that keeps DeMarre off the floor right now is that he's not a legit three point threat. If he could get to that vintage Raja Bell / Bruce Bowen level from that corner three he would start on a contending team. So if I could give him a gift, it would be that shot at a consistent level. He does everything else he's supposed to do great. (Seriously, look at his assist to turn over ratio!)

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Earl Watson -- Point Guard

This one is probably the easiest one -- Earl would be a lot happier if he increased the success rate of his alley oop attempts. That would give the Jazz more easy buckets, keep his targets happier, and give him a few more assists per game. And it's something that has worked every year he's been here. I guess he's got a lot of rust still from not having a pre-season. He's not quite in form yet and it shows. And if I could give him something, a greater success rate on those passes would be it.

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Alec Burks -- Apparently now a Small Forward

Meaningful minutes. You know it, Ty knows it, I know it. That's the only gift he needs.

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Jeremy Evans -- Power Forward

I really don't know how likely this is because of his low minutes this season, but I'd love to give Jeremy Evans a chance to defend his Dunk championship. He's really had a lot of energy to spare this year working on those if he chose to. And it's pretty much the only thing he has done this year . . . we all remember what he did to Ronny Turiaf.

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Kevin Murphy -- Shooting Guard

The only reasonable gift I could hypothetically give to Murph would be the patience to understand and accept that rookies have an uphill battle on this team, and in the NBA at large, second round picks need to really make their mark by focusing on one skill or trait. Murphy can be an NBA player, yes he's older than Favors, Kanter and Burks; but, I think he has a lot to learn. And I think he has the capability to learn and find a niche still. So, patience.

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Raja Bell -- Shooting Guard

For Christmas Raja needs a team that wants him. If I could, I would give him that gift.

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Tyrone Corbin -- Head Coach

Ty needs more respect from the referees. When Ty yells they just ignore him. They don't even give him technical fouls, let alone adjust how they ref the game. When Jerry Sloan started to complain (and he didn't complain all game long) they knew it was something they were missing (or ignoring) and adjusted accordingly. Sloan fought for his players. Ty is trying to do the same thing, but to no affect. The gift I'd give would be more respect from the refs.

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Sidney Lowe -- (Top) Assistant Coach

More clothes picked out by Prodigal Punk.

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Jeff Hornacek -- Assistant Coach

More one on one teaching time with attentive pupils who have potential. You know, if we had any guards who could benefit from his experience.

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Michael Sanders -- Assistant Coach

For Christmas if I could give him any gift it would ALSO be more clothes picked out by Prodigal Punk.

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Brad Jones -- Assistant Coach (Player Development)

The gift I'd give him for Christmas (which may last just one day) would be for me to stop blaming him for being part of the problem in the whole "Morris Almond didn't have any player development" issue.

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Mark McKown --Assistant Coach (Strength and Conditioning)

Clearly, the only thing I'd give if I could would be an assistant strength and conditioning coach (and future successor) named Karl Malone.

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Gary Briggs -- Athletic Trainer

Gastric Bypass surgery

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Brian Zettler -- Assistant Athletic Trainer

A year's supply of Slim Fast. (TM) (I guess money can buy that)

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Greg Miller -- CEO of LHm Group of Companies

More fruit baskets from random fans.

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Kevin O'Connor -- Execuitive Vice President of Basketball Operations

No Comment

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Dennis Lindsey -- General Manager

I'd love to give him the hypothetical gift of complete autonomy.

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Randy Rigby -- President of Utah Jazz / LHM Sports & Entertainment Group of Companies

An easier to understand, and more clear, role with the franchise -- with directed tasks that fans can then accurately grade in terms of capability and performance.

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Walt Perrin -- Vice President of Player Personnel

Walt gets two things, the first is a free lesson on what advanced stats are with teacher Andy Larsen; and the second would be some great draft picks in the 2013 NBA Draft.

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David Fredman -- Scout (I'm guessing lead scout)

The gift I would hypothetically give him would be the gift I really do give him if I had his e-mail address --> a whole bunch of Myck Kabongo YouTube videos.

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The Jazz Fans -- aka the people who pay for everything

We, the Jazz fans, deserve a team we can all rally behind and root for. It's not the customers fault if they don't like the food as a restaurant if the food is poorly prepared and undercooked. The customer has a right to not like something they are paying for. We're all paying for this team. And the thing I'd give us all is a team we all can love, the way we loved previous Jazz teams.

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Merry Christmas Jazz fans, once again from all of us here at SLC Dunk!

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