40 at 40: Halfway there

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

So this is the 20th post in this series, the halfway mark. The Jazz are at the halfway mark of their season as well. And many of these guys seem like half finished products. Such synergy. Much meaningfulness. Connected. Wowe.

In half an hour the Utah Jazz will tip off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Let me be the first to say that I was not able to write 40 long-form research posts in two days. This one, #20, is the half-way point. And thanks to the amazing support and help from the entire crew at SLC Dunk, from the regulars doing their Downbeats to Diana pinch hitting today and hitting two homeruns -- without these guys and gals I wouldn't have even got to #20.

This is the halfway point of this series. Seeing how so many people have enjoyed the posts, and seeing how we have three days idle after tonight, I will continue and COMPLETE this series for you, the readers, of this site. When I decided to write 40 posts I did so because I was upset at the way some individuals expressed their ideas about who we were. We, the people who visit this site, the people who lurk, the people who comment, and participate in game threads, we who write here, and I guess me, the guy who posts the most articles. I was tired of internalizing these insults and wanted to channel that in a productive and positive manner -- by writing a ton of posts in short succession.

I did not end up writing more than some people write in an entire year, in two days. (Unless that person doesn't write that frequently) But I did write a lot. I got a chance to investigate problems with this season. I got a chance to fall in love with the heroes of the past all over again as well. For me this entire exercise was priceless. I learned a lot. I came into it knowing much about this franchise, but in the research period between writing each article I enriched myself with information I did not know.

By doing this I got better. I got better at Photoshop. I got better at Excel. I got better at finding things online. I even got better at being able to write -- even if it doesn't seem like it.

This was a good experience for me, and I could have just spent the two days playing video games. I didn't.

Experience is valuable when you have limited time. And this brings us to the 2013-2014 Utah Jazz. We're more than halfway done the season. There are only 40 more games, and 86 total days left. Many of them are scheduled for travel.

There are a number of things that happened in the first half of the season that were good. Gordon Hayward looked like himself with the ball in his hands, and got his Butler Bulldog game on. Derrick Favors went beastmode a few nights. Trey Burke came back from an injury to his shooting hand and led us to wins and he picks up Rookie of the Year votes along the way. Marvin Williams is playing much better now that he's finally not on the court at the same time as a ball control volume scorer. Richard Jefferson is finding ways to contribute after two idle seasons. Alec Burks has show up on the biggest of stages and kept his swag intact despite a career of non-sense DNP-CDs. Rudy Gobert dominated the DL, and is a legit NBA player. Brandon Rush came back from what used to be a career ending injury. There have been plenty of ups for sure, like Mike Harris having a baby, and John Lucas III making yet another fanbase fall in love with his personality.

There are a number of bad things too -- from injuries, to players shooting lower than they should, persistent rebounding troubles, fouls. I could go on and on, but this isn't that post.

Still, with half a season in the books, there are many questions still.

  • Can Jeremy Evans play the 3 in non-garbage time?
  • Is it possible that Enes Kanter, with practice, could become a stretch big with three point range?
  • Can he even hit them in a game, regardless of %, and will it help floor spacing?
  • Is Ian Clark an NBA player?
  • If our DRB% is so bad, and Rudy Gobert is the king of DRB% (or Andris Biedrins ), why don't they play more?

I would love for you all to list the questions that you have in the comments section. These are the persistent things that we need to figure out before the season ends. In this season of Development & Discovery I think that it's important to also analyze and reflect.

Over the last 2 days I reflected quite a bit and found myself ready go to for the second half of this season, regardless of the direction we take. I wonder if our coaches, players, front office, media guys, PR guys (not the same thing), and you SLC Dunk readers can do the same thing.

The more questions you post the more things I can track as the season goes forward.

This is #20 in the 40 at 40 series. I can't believe the Jazz are 40 years old. But crazier, I can't believe that this season only has 40 more games in it. (I can't believe I didn't write 40 articles before this Wolves game!)

What I can believe is in you, the readers of this site. I make content for you, because I can. You deserve the best, and I'm sorry for having some non-SLC Dunkers be the straw to break the camels back over a perfectly good weekend I should have played videos games on.

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