The Downbeat #905 - Mr. Brightside

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Wherein we TRY to see the silver lining.

Three point shooting:

The Jazz are currently shooting an eFG% of 55.7%, good for 9th in the league. Last year they were 27th. We have to hand it to Foye and Millsap who are shooting 52% and 46%, respectively. Foye especially has been fantastic this year having shot over 100 three's and maintaining such a high percentage. Hell, even Mo and Marv's 35% is better than the 32% the Jazz got last year. This is further magnified by the fact that last year the Jazz's 3PR (rate of three point fg's to regular fg's) was 2nd to last in the league at 15.3 and this year it is up to 22.3. This means that the coaching staff deserves a virtual high-five for evolving and bringing an important part of the modern game into their offensive scheme.

The Home Record:

Lets face it, as much as anyone reading this loves everything to do with going to see a game live, we also go to see a win. The Jazz have come through on that front. Any recent tough losses not withstanding, the Jazz still sit at 6-1 in The Solution, which is right up there with the best teams in the league. But wait, there's more. The Jazz have only played 7 home games, compared to say, OKC and LA who have played 11 and 12 in a friendly environment, the outlook for the Jazz is fair. Watch for this team to make its way up the standings in January and February when the schedule becomes a bit more favorable.

Tis the Season:

The Jazz do fantastic things for the community, and it is never more evident than during the holiday season. Yesterday the Jazz players spent their off day bringing a little brightness where it is desperately needed, visiting Primary Children's Hospital, Shriner's Hospital, and the VA Hospital all in one day.

http://www.kutv.com/news/features/local/stories/vid_2438.shtml

I am especially grateful to the organization for getting up to the VA Hospital. As a Vet it is something that hits close to home. I've been up there many times and it can be a very depressing place. The staff at the George E. Wahlen Hospital is one of the best in the country, but there is only so much they can do, and even though it is one of the biggest VA facilities in the country, it often gets overlooked locally. BZ, Utah Jazz.

Millsap Will Come Around:

I mean, he has to right? Despite his recent struggles and the loss of Favors, Marv, and Mo for stretches, the Jazz are staying afloat. His PER is down to 18, compared to 22 last year. In fact, with his FG%, FT%, points, and steals all down quite a bit, it is no wonder the Jazz have struggled as they have. The bright side for Paul is that he has already shot 21 threes this year, compared to 31 last year, and is killing it with that 52% rate.

The injury rumor will persist until we hear otherwise, but for now we just have to assume that he is in what would be the first real slump of his career. Based on who he is, as a player, we have to assume he will find a way to work himself out of it.

Chauncey on Blast:

A small victory comes out of the atrocity that was the 4th quarter of Monday's game. HoopIdea, which is a part of ESPN's True Hoop Network, has been fighting the good fight against flopping for over a year now. They were right on top of the Billups 3 pointer flop, handing him the "Flop of the Night" award and saying:

Many plays contributed to the Jazz loss, but it's hard not to feel Bavetta's call had outsized impact, even though it was a call that anyone watching on TV could clearly see was a mistake. The replay was aired before a single free throw had been attempted. Hundreds of thousands of TV viewers could have correctly reversed the call on the spot. But thanks to NBA rules, the game's officials had no access to that replay in real time, and so Billups got his free throws.

Now, we wait and see if Stern will reverse the call of his Dark Apprentice and give us some justice.

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