Yesterday there were a couple of things that caused a bit of a hubbub on the Twitterverse. We shall discuss these.
The first came as Zach Lowe of Grantland dropped an article that shook Jazznation to its very foundation. In his article he was very critical of the Jazz current makeup and pulled no punches when it came to stating what this team is: mediocre, at best. I'm sure most of you read it, but for those that just wanted to bask in the glow of the Jazz victory over the Pistons, the article is here: The Dawn of a New Jazz Age?
This hit me the most:
We have almost a decade of evidence now that Jefferson's failings on defense outweigh his very real value on offense.
I think that gets right to the core of the Big Al debate. The article was also very critical of Coach Corbin:
Not all of this is on Corbin, obviously. The Jazz have below-average defensive personnel, and young players are notoriously slow to grasp the rules of complex NBA defense. And bad defensive teams are often better off mixing up their base defensive strategies to at least introduce some unpredictability. But the Jazz's general lack of coherence is alarming and raises questions about Corbin's future after next season, when his contract is up.
Check out the article and weigh in your thoughts in the comments.
The criticism of Corbin in this piece segue's nicely into the next issue: Ty Corbin's use of critics in various outlets as a way to galvanize his troops, to speak. Its a page right out of the George Bush school of ruse, as the leader creates an unknown, ominous enemy that doesn't understand "us" and is out to get "us". The backlash from the media was understandable as his language insinuated that everyone else couldn't possibly understand what the team is experiencing because we have most likely not played sports at a professional level. Its totally true, but its also totally ridiculous. This article from our favorite @DJJazzyJody sums it up here.
The bigger issue arose later as Ty recounted to Jody that it wasn't used as a method to bring the team together... he was just lashing out:
Didn't have space for all of Corbin's comments. His response to my follow-up about whether his criticism of critics was a team rally cry:— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) March 12, 2013
Corbin: "You talk to any of those guys in that locker room (about) how many times they've been written off before by guys outside of the ...— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) March 12, 2013
locker room. They're used to it. Guys that have played sports aree used to that. If you can't fight your way through that, then you're in...— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) March 12, 2013
...the wrong business, especially at this level. Somebody will always have a different opinon about what's going on. We'll talk about...— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) March 12, 2013
... where we are, who we are and how we have to continue to improve. But we don’t need that kind of rally cry, I wouldn't think."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) March 12, 2013
So, there it is. Some people felt Jody overreacted, but he wasn't the only one. Later in the day Spencer Checketts and Gordon Monson had an interview with Coach Ty, in which Spencer asked about the comments and they too felt he was standoffish and in turn were very critical of him. Their interview is here.
Overall, you get the feeling that Coach Corbin is feeling the heat, and rightfully so. The official line after last season was to wait and see what happens with a full season and (yes there have been injuries, but there always is) so far we are seeing the same results. Its not completely out of reason to say that he may just be dealing with a roster that would be mediocre under any coach, but that is impossible to say for sure. The only way to know differently, and perhaps unfortunately, is to see what happens with a revamped roster next season.
I was discussing this with @SurlyMae last night, but the reality for Ty may be that he's just not cut out to be a head coach, and you know what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. There are plenty of coaches that just fit better as assistants. Think of guys like Brian Hill or Del Harris. Not really a high level of success as head coaches, but have been highly prized members of coaching staffs of on successful teams. And what about Phil Johnson? Perhaps he was just supremely loyal to Jerry Sloan, but what if he just came to the conclusion that he was better as an assistant?
You will (hopefully) hear more about this, but one thing that is true of Ty is that ALL of the players respect him as a coach. i also think he has an amazing knack for keeping a peace in the locker room and that is a very prized quality.
There has been a steadily rising amount of talk about Kanter possibly being the better NBA player. There is definitely some merit in the discussion, but ultimately, I feel that Favors doesn't get a fair shake in the argument. Try as we may, the defensive genius will always play second fiddle to the guy that scores. Period. I've made the comparison between Tyson Chandler and Derrick Favors in the past, and I still think that holds true. I do still maintain that if used properly, he could be deadly in the pick and roll, and that would likely be the difference maker in said discussion.
The other issue is that the defensive player's success is extremely difficult to quantify, because so much is predicated on the actions of the squad he's on the floor with. I believe that Favors has an excellent defensive mind; he just gets it. Watch his actions on defense. He just sees the entire floor from his position around the basket and is excellent at reacting and making adjustments.
The last point that will always be brought up is the fouling. I agree that this is an issue, but I also believe it is something that is: 1. Not entirely his fault as he is often caught a little too late responding to a teammates defensive lapse, and 2. As he develops more of a reputation as a defensive player, he will get the benefit of the doubt on some of these calls.
I know there are a few Dunkers in Northern California, so I wanted to throw this out there: I will be going to the April 7th game against the Warriors, in Oakland. If anyone is interested, get at me on Twitter or email me: a4punk at yahoo dot com