Happy Birthday to our favorite man child, Derrick Favors.
Derrick just hit the ripe old age of 22, making him a grizzled vet on this very young Jazz team.
Last night I had a brief Twitter conversation with Andy (Salt City Hoops), Tony Parks (1280), and a few others about which player(s) have the highest expectations this season. One could make a case for just about any of them. The other part of the conversation is which player will draw the biggest ire for underperforming? The bottom line is that we are going to learn an awful lot about who these players are going to be in the league.
Oh, and my personal thought: Hayward. I think he is seen as the one already having shown a lot of talent, so if he underwhelms there could be a big backlash.
Hickory High has a fantastic tool they put together to show, graphically, how well each team drafts. There are a few ways to look at it, but it's essentially based on each player's draft position and how that player has contributed in win shares. Needless to say, the Spurs are the cream of the crop.
The page is here: http://www.hickory-high.com/?p=8224
Any guesses as to where the Jazz rank, before you look?
Lets take this time to put something to rest. Not too long ago, Tom Ziller wrote an article on the main SBN NBA page outlining the distinct difference between "tanking" and "rebuilding". What the Jazz are doing is not tanking. They are not resting players on suspect injuries. They have not made head-scratching moves sending away good players for nothing. What the Jazz are doing is more akin to the 08-09 Thunder than it is to the 06-07 Celtics. They have (what appears to be) a solid group of young players and the imperative to find out the value of each and every one of them. They need to determine which will be performers, and which will be the Jeff Green's that are dispensable if it improves the chance to win a title. If in the process of doing this, they suffer through another brutal season in the W/L column (again similar to the 08-09 Thunder), that's just an added bonus.
Already there have been numerous mentions of the Jazz going into full tank mode. Check here and here. The baffling part is that much of it is coming from the same people that were confounded when the Jazz went through two transaction periods (the start of last season, and the end of the free agency period last February) without making a move to free up playing time for Favors and Kanter. I guess because they didn't retain one of Millsap or Jefferson this pushed them into the area of tanking? Sounds suspect.
I love NBA related art. If I ever have a place of my own, the walls likely be adorned with it. Here are some great ones:
Rachel B. Glaser - NBA Paintings
Michael Pattison - Patrick Ewing
Rare Ink - Stockton and Malone
Tamir Barkan - John Stockton
Reggie Duffie - Bird and Dr. J
Jacob Weinstein (Free Darko) - Charles Barkley
If you enjoy the NBA themed art, check www.doublescribble.com frequently.