The Downbeat #740 - The "Where The Hell Am I?" Edition.

This year's playoffs has already seen some crazy stuff happen. From season ending injuries, tantrums that lead to suspensions, to insane come from behind wins. This has to give the Jazz some hope, right? I mean, they say that the game to steal is game 2, like the Sixers did with their whomping of the Bulls last night. Oh yeah, and a guy broke his hand because of another tantrum.

Apparently it is a unanimous decision between the coaches to continue to start Josh Howard (as if they would publicly say differently). It just seems like a really bad time to reintegrate the guy and get him back in game shape. Not to beat a dead horse, but this seems like what we would call in the management world an "escalation of commitment" and it seems rampant in sports. This means that a manager (or in this case coaches and gm's) make a decision and then sticking with it even when it appears to be wrong. It usually arises out of some form of hubris, and therein lies the problem. It takes a great deal of hubris to get to the level of an NBA athlete. The greatest are oozing with it- to the point of being obnoxious (Think Jordan and Kobe). This is also why the best also make the worst coaches and management. Of course there are a few exceptions, as Larry Bird is doing alright, but for the most part it is a recipe for failure.

The data suggests that the Jazz should be starting and playing their "big lineup" the majority of the minutes. We'll see if Coach Ty can pull himself off this path of escalation and make the right decision.

Staying with this theme of decision making- the rotations were pretty bad in the first game. In my mind, and maybe you agree, there is absolutely no reason to have a lineup of Tinsley, Kanter, Burks, Carroll, and Favors. Its just a bad idea to have that much inexperience on the court at the same time, and when it happened in the last game they got chewed up. This means that there should always be at least 2-3 starters on the court at the same time. Actually, let me amend that: There should be at least 2-3 of Harris, Millsap, Hayward, Favors, or Jefferson on the floor at the same time and the younger the players coming in, the more of those listed should be in the game.

Yes, the experience is invaluable, but in sticking with their theme of "winning culture" a demoralizing loss in the most important games of their careers up to date, is not moving toward that philosophy.

It has come out that Tyson Chandler will be named DPOY this year. I haven't delved into his numbers personally, but from what I have read this seems like a good choice. On that note (heh, note), I would love to see Favors grab one of these. Maybe I'm huffing the same fumes as Locke, but that kid astonishes me. I have grown unbelievably fond of him, as a fan, and I can't wait to see what he can do and I really want to see what he does on a big stage like the playoffs. Just as Clark mentioned yesterday, Favors playing big minutes could be a medium for dramatic improvement, and send his confidence into lower orbit.

I'll end with a story. How big of a fan am I? I was heading in the direction of home, from California on Sunday, with the intention of staying the night at my Dad's house in Vegas, then finishing the trip on Monday morning (12 hours in the car is brutal). Well, the weird tip off time meant I either leave at 4:00 am to get to Vegas in time, or not leave California until after the game, putting me in LV at around 7:00. Neither worked for me, so I tuned in to the game on an app on my phone. I suffered through the entire game dealing with buffering every 5 minutes. But that's not the important part. I got so sucked into the game I missed my transfer at Bakersfield and only realized it when the CA-99 turned into the I-5 and I was on my way to Los Angeles. I drove 30 minutes out of the way and was forced to back track, adding an hour onto my trip. The moral of the story is if you're going to listen to the game have a good navigator.

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