Game Preview: Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns

RJeff goin' to work. That's what Jazz basketball is all about. - Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Start Time 9:00 Easter Time (7:00 Salt Lake City Time)
Location Phoenix
Television Root Sports
Radio 1280

Here we go again.

* * *

I hope everyone enjoyed last night's game, because we get the same thing again tonight. Except it's on the road, where the Jazz usually lose by 20 instead of by 10.

And I start with a plea:

I don't know how many of the regular or Jazz owned media read this site, but please stop treating fans like we're stupid.

We can all see that Jeff Hornacek is doing a very good job coaching and that Ty Corbin is struggling. And we can all see that Hornacek is doing nothing the way Ty Corbin does:

Hornacek has specialist assistant coaches; Ty uses the everybody coaches everything philosophy. Hornacek's P&R game plan is completely different on both offense and defense. Ty and Sid keep talking about how the team just needs to get the shots to fall. Hornacek has talked all season long about how his players need to take the right kind of shots. Ty tries to help the players score well by simplifying things as much as possible. Hornacek gets his players to score effectively by making the offense dynamic and complex. Ty relies on iso's by the top scorer to open up easier scoring opportunities for everybody else (Al the past two years, Hayward this year). Hornacek preaches an abandonment of iso's to help everyone get easier scores. Hornacek embraces analytics and what they say about effective play. Ty Corbin openly derides "numbers games."

Seriously, their approaches are nothing alike. Hornacek doesn't do anything the way Ty Corbin does.

So stop with the "Hornacek learned so much from Ty, and you can see that in his success this year." It's 100% baloney, AND WE ALL KNOW IT!

The more you spew this fake praise for Tyrone Corbin, the more the fans want to rebel. The more you say "nobody could do any better with this roster" the more we want to set ourselves on fire ... because we can see how different coaches with different approaches get very different results ... even with players who have the same expectations based on previous years' performance.

Here's what you can say: "Jeff's doing a terrific job in Phoenix. He's got his players believing in his plan, and it's working for them. Since he's a member of the Utah Jazz family, we're all happy to see him succeeding."

Now about Ty: "Obviously the team's struggling right now. The game plan Ty and his staff are implementing hasn't worked very well so far. I look forward to seeing what adjustments they make to help the team get better."

That's it. You don't have to throw anyone under the bus. You don't have to bash the coaches. Just be honest.

Okay. Rant over. Back to today's game.

What's Going On With the Suns?

Phoenix is, as of right now, in 8th place in the West. This, of course, would be 3rd place in the East. In fact, this seems like a great time to bring up another point.

To all GM's in the NBA: If you are considering a roster move, and it is similar to what an Eastern Conference team would do ... don't do it.

There. Back to tonight's game again.

Phoenix has won four of their past five games. Eric Bledsoe returned from injury, and based on last night's performance looks perfectly fine. That's bad news for the Jazz, because Bledsoe has been fantastic this year. And Goran Dragic ate the Jazz PG's alive last night.

The Suns basically have a lot going for them, and it will be tough for the Jazz to beat them on the road.

What's Going On With the Jazz?

Everybody's healthy (well ... almost. Kanter has a sprained ankle, but he's still playing). Which brings up one of the most hilarious conundrums you'll ever hear: How will the coach find time to play everyone who deserves playing time on a 2-15 team?

I guess this is really a thing.

Once upon a time, Gregg Popovich was asked about why he continued to play Manu Ginobili despite a poor shooting first half. Pop's response: "He's Manu Ginobili."

Well, we have a trio of potential Tyisms that could parallel this, if only our media would ask the right questions:

Ty: He's Richard Jefferson.

Ty: He's John Lucas, the THIRD

Ty: He's Andris Freaking Biedrins!

Oh well, that's the world we Jazz fans live in.

On to better things: Favors has been playing really well lately. Burke is looking more and more comfortable. Jeremy Evans is shocking everybody by playing exactly as effective as he has the past two years. Marv is shocking everyone by playing like a legitimately good player. I was excited when Marv came to the Jazz and was thoroughly disappointed in his performance last year. It's been fun to see him play so well.

And let's hope that some of the good things we saw last night turn out to be more than passing moments of accidental positives: like Burks driving to the hoop, like the offense looking like one designed to, you know, put the orange ball through that hoop.

And let's also hope the team accidentally plays good defense tonight. Actually, I think this needs to be a recurring prayer to the Basketball Gods:

Please, let our guys accidentally defend well tonight. Amen.

* * *

P.S. Still, the most recent photos available for me to post are from the Dallas game more than a week ago. I will keep everyone updated as to when the NBA sees fit to send another photographer to a Jazz game.

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