I have officially abandoned all attempts to make sense of this season. One week ago (Seriously ... just one week ago) playoffs looked iffy, and if the Jazz were going to pass anyone, it would be Denver. Because Houston was playing great AND had the easier remaining schedule. Chad Nielsen (@Lord_Chadeous) of the Utah Jazz Blog even boldly declared that beating Houston wasn't necessary ... because the idea of catching Houston was absurd.
And here we are. In eighth place, in the playoff spot for today, and Houston has lost 5 straight (starting with our win one week ago).
So enjoy the ride. Unless something totally unexpected happens (normalcy) expect the last week of the season to be just as ridiculous.
Early in the season, I often ranted about the Jazz game plan—specifically how it demanded 1-2 guys (we know who they are) to carry the team. The problem was those two guys weren't All-NBA type players capable of carrying a team. They are good players, but not as good as everyone was pretending.
Well, look at how things have changed. Here are the per-game stats during April of the five guys I believe have taken the team out of meh-land into legitimate quality:
17.8 ppg, 4.3 rbd, 3.8 ast, 1 steal, 0.5 block, 49% FG, 50% 3P, 86% FT, 40 min/game
16.5 ppg, 1.5 rbd, 5.9 ast, 1 steal, 44% FG, 40% 3P, 70% FT, 33 min/game
18.8 ppg, 7.8 rbd, 2.6 ast, 2 steals, 1 block, 49% FG, 74% FT, 37 min/game
19.1 ppg, 10.3 rbd, 2.2 ast, 0.5 steals, 2 blocks, 51% FG, 84% FT, 39 min/game
8.8 ppg, 8.7 rbd, 0.8 ast, 0.3 steal, 1.2 blocks, 56% FG, 65% FT, 24 min/game
You could argue that the team revised its plan. You could say guys got better. You could say a lot of things that ultimately don't matter all that much. What matters is those when you have those numbers from our top five players, our team plays pretty well.
Congratulations to Golden State for playing some dudes named Dominic Maguire (Toby's second cousin) and Mikell Gladness 50 combined minutes last night to make sure the Warriors lost. You can't be too careful. Special props to Mikell, who stole Hasheem Thabeet's seemingly uncontested run at worst starter on an actual NBA team.
Other notable tanks:
Charlotte accidentally kept the loss closer than 40 points. But they tried. They gakked up only 66 points. it wasn't their fault Chicago could only score 100.
Detroit got back to business after their accidental 50-point victory two nights ago and lost to Atlanta by 32. Glad they could get back on the right track.
I don't remember any kind of tanking like we are enjoying this year. Not ever.
It was a nasty head-bump, but it seems that DeMarre and Derrick are okay.
Derrick Favors and DeMarre Carroll both passed initial concussion tests. Carroll will take more tomorrow.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) April 19, 2012
Blake Ahean's 10-day contract is up. I hope he gets another. Just because (pic from Kyle Kirkham —@kyle11kirkham):