Last night's loss seem to elicit strong emotions from the fans, from the coaches and from the players. It wasn't just a normal loss. It was a frustrating loss because as Amar pointed out in his downbeat, all players and coaches were to blame. While some of us may place our blame more heavily, on an individual player, a certain group of players or the head coach we all have valid reasoning and support for our opinons.
I feel like this game is a microcosm of the Jazz organization the last few years. Something as been amiss but it seems like none of us can really put our finger on what is wrong. Some fans like to blame the owner, others the head coach, some blame the vets, others the youth and lets not forget about KOC.
Like last night's loss the "something amiss" can probably be blamed on everyone involved in our organization. The Jazz have suffered much starting with the death of Larry and culminating with Jerry Sloan's departure. An organization that prides itself on stability and loyalty have not really been able to see either or achieve either the last four years.
The qualities that have defined the Jazz organization for over twenty years are lost in today's NBA and on today's Jazz team. Without the properties of loyalty, stability, overachievement, and hard work the Jazz are lost without an identity.
Last night Ty went away from lineups that were successful in the Jazz's last two wins. Ty had his reasons whether we agree with them or not. When the going got tough last night the Jazz were unable to recover. Ty chose not to or didn't know how to match the adjustments that the Hawks made, the player looked lost on the court, there were no set plays to overcome the Hawks run.
Not having set lineups, not having set plays and not having the one player able to take the lead, shows the lack of identity that has afflicted the Jazz; not just last night but continually since the 2010-2011 season.
As fans the "something amiss" and the lack of identity is creating friction between a fan base who are some of the most loyal, knowledgeable fans in the history of the NBA.
Jazz fans have had their conflicts in the past, Pro-Boozer vs Pro-Millsap, Jerry is great vs Jerry is too old, AKWSUA vs AK is a crying wimp etc.
Those conflicts seem minor now in comparison to the conflicts we face now as fans. What was wrong with the Jazz in the past always seemed to be minor. We needed a 'making guard" not just a shooting guard, we needed interior defense, in the John and Karl years we needed a stronger bench.
It didn't matter if AK was AKWSUA or an injury-prone pansy. The Jazz overall success and identity weren't tied to AK, they weren't tied to whether Boozer started or Millsap started. They weren't even tied to just Jerry Sloan.
Larry, Jerry, Phil, John and Karl created an environment, a standard that came to define the Jazz for over twenty years. It was greater than them all and thats why it succeeded.
Ty, Greg and our current players for better or for worse are not Larry, Jerry, John or Karl. The Original Core Four were brought together by fate. The fact that their personalities, work ethic, perfectionism and professionalism all were able to mesh and see success for nearly twenty years is a miracle. They all came from humble circumstances, they all were visionaries, they strived for a perfection that was unattainable, they were never satisfied. The drive to obtain the unattainable defined the Jazz.
Maybe the he Jazz are trying to maintain that standard but for whatever reason it is not working. The why of why its not working is the mystery, the issue that is causing a conflict amongst fans. The conflict is not just about having the right players on the floor, Ty's coaching philosophies or the free agents that KOC brings in for the team. Its much greater than all this.
Who within the organization will be the standard bearer today? Ty? The Core 4? Greg Miller?
Have the Jazz lost this standard? Are they searching for something else when they shouldn't be?