March 23, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) holds on to a rebound during the first half against the Denver Nuggets at Energy Solutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
We here at SLC Dunk appear to 'have it in' for a few players. I contend that this is not by design, but purely by coincidence right now. There are 10 people who regularly contribute here, and by the sheer amount of arguing we go through in our staff meetings, suggesting that there is an agenda here (aside from wishing our team was as awesome as possible) would be to misunderstand how we do not have a 'hive-mind'. (Ten people can't even agree on where to eat for lunch, after all.) That said, we are aware that we seem to have been writing a little too negatively. This is to fill the unfilled niche of criticism that seems to not exist according to the traditional media sources, for better or worse.
BUT (and this is the important part) we do not like having to constantly criticize the team that we LOVE. After all, we do LOVE this team, in case you forgot. Sometimes the readers here forget that we do. And sometimes we, the major contributors here, forget to show it as well. (Our passion routinely does not seem like it comes from a point of unending love for the team, but "apparently" from some crazy mean place because we are mean people who want only to write mean things.)
I'm guilty of writing mean things. But that doesn't mean I don't see really positive things too. I do. And one of them happens to be with the remarkable play by Al Jefferson. When you divorce himself from the notion of having to be the primary option, or best scoring big (and we all know that right know he is both), and just look at the traditional center stats -- he is clearly the best one we had since we had a 7'4 man-monster patrolling the paint.
*Data set is all games in a Utah Jazz uniform (regular season + playoffs combined)
He plays a super rate of minutes, and gets the job done in the paint -- and he's not even a 7 footer. In fact, he's the shortest one of that entire group. He also ALREADY has almost as many blocks as both Felton Spencer and Jarron Collins combined. (He's only 33 blocks behind) So congrats to Big Al, I see what you *are* doing. And you are doing some very good things. And yes, I did not factor in minutes played and minutes per game and I probably should have -- but I'm not going to go back and figure out how many MPG Felton Spencer got in a Jazz uniform. I don't want to get bummed out.