Yesterday, Amar posted about Zach Lowe's article about Players on Notice. He covered the portion about Al Jefferson nicely, but what I wanted to talk about is the meaning of several of the other players mentioned. What you see are 4 players from the 2010 draft mentioned on that list, including the No. 1, 2, and 4 picks. This could be due to an overestimation of these players abilities and therefore, higher expectations set by those that cover basketball. Either way, you don't see Hayward and Favors mentioned on that list, and I think that's a real compliment to the Jazz. First for the pick, or in Favors' case the acquisition, but also in the way they have managed their development. In Hayward's case he has been given more rope with which to hang himself, but has been solid enough to avoid any grumblings about his performance, short of his still lagging 3pt shooting.
However, with both players it could be a situation in which, unlike the other picks, not much was expected out of them, or at least not as soon. I wonder if this isn't also a product of the Jazz's management of the expectations of these players. KOC said flat out to give Hayward 2 seasons before we judge the pick; he's had 1.5.
Either way, if you look at that draft, you just don't see nearly as much potential as Hayward and Favors have.
In this week's issue of ESPN The Magazine, they have their annual Franchise Rankings. This year the Jazz ranked a very respectable #35, out of all the franchises in the NFL, NHL, MLB, and NBA. Not bad, at all. The link to the article is here.
In it the teams are ranked using a weighted system that includes how the team rated in areas like wins produced per dollar of fan revenue, ownership, arena experience, affordability, and players (plus more). The interesting one is the ownership area. The idea of this is to rank how loyal the owners are to the fans and to the players on the team. In the case of the Jazz, Ownership was the second highest area, with Affordability being the highest. The worst? Title Track, or championships won or expected to win in the fan's lifetime. Sad face.
There were over 56,000 people that responded to the survey, so certainly the perception of the Jazz ownership is quite high. Further, the Jazz rank #10 among the NBA franchises. One complaint I have about the list is the ranking of the Pacers at #3. They get high marks for Stadium Experience and Affordability, but my question is from who? Their attendance last season didn't seem to be indicative of these marks.
On Monday, SLC Dunk got some love from Ball Don't Lie, whom WE love:
Big News, guys! The season starts today! I am, of course, referring to the North American Star League. I found that Gordon Hayward's team (Team Liquid) is indeed fielding a team, but no word yet if Mr. Hayward is on the roster.
For the final spot, I'm curious if anyone has already purchased any tickets for the upcoming season. New season ticket holder? Renewed your seasons? Mini-packages?
I never buy them ahead of time. I am incapable of making plans that far into the future. Plus, there's an advantage to living only a few blocks from the arena; people invite you to games at the last minute.