Game Preview: Utah Jazz (16-33) vs Miami Heat (35-13)

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Game #50: Miami Heat (35-13) @ Utah Jazz (16-33) EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT February 8, 2014 -- 7:00 pm MT TV: ROOT Sports -- RADIO: 1280 am / 97.5 fm

GAME 50!!!

Its so hard to believe we are 50 games into the NBA season. We are about 60% through with the 2013-2014 season, wow. The Utah Jazz have a record of 16-33 which is their worst record through 49 games since the 2004-2005 season. Before that injury- filled season (04-05) you have to go back to the first season that the Jazz were in Utah to find the Jazz having such an awful record 60% through the season. The 1979-80 Utah Jazz were 14-35 through 49 games.

Jerry Sloan often talks about the season when he only won 26 games, even in his press conference where he was honored last weekend Jerry said how grateful he was that the Larry Miller stood by him and didn't fire him after a 26 win season (remind you Sloan had been coach of the Jazz for over 15 years at that point).  Jerry knew his job was to win.

Jerry never put blame on the players for losses in front of the media, as expressed by Karl Malone here

** On accountability
Nowadays, we want to take the credit when we play great; when we lose, it’s somebody else’s fault. So Coach Sloan always had us, held us accountable in the locker room. But one thing he always did, when he came out and talked to the media, he always took all the blame. Which, to me, that’s a stand-up person, ’cause a lot of people don't do that now.

I like to look back to see how coaches dealt with losses in the past. Sloan in public like to hold himself responsible, while teaching in the locker room.  We all know Ty Corbin likes to blame the youth, injuries, tiredness, etc. to the media. All coaches have different ways of keeping the team together through difficult times. The Jazz have overcome losing before and we will once again. That 26 win team that Jerry talks about a lot enabled the Jazz to draft Deron Williams, which was a draft that changed the course of the Jazz forever. We know that just two short seasons after the Jazz won 26 games the Jazz went to the Western Conference Finals.

Things can turn around very quickly in this league and with the winning history that the Jazz have I imagine this season is just a bump in the road. That's my hope, that these losses and after three years of mediocrity will get the Jazz back to their winning ways. After the 2004-2005 season it was very apparent that we needed a point guard (and health) to get back to our winning ways. After this season I think it will become apparent once more what the Jazz need to return to their winning tradition.

Tonight the Jazz will face the Miami Heat, their 50th game of the season, looking for their 17th win.

Utah Jazz

The Jazz are on a four game losing streak. The last time the Jazz won was January 27th against the Sacramento Kings in Utah.

Utah in their last four losses has an average point differential of 14.2 ppg.

Averages for the Jazz in their last four losses of basketball-reference.com game factors

  • PACE =  86.2
  • EFG % = .46
  • TOV% = 12.28
  • ORB% = 22.8
  • FT/FTA = .18
  • ORtg=  97.78

The Jazz have broken their record for three point shot attempts two games in a row. The Jazz attempted 35 three pointers last night against Dallas. Ty doesn't seem to happy about the attempts, here is what he said after last night's game.

We’re settling for a lot more jump shots. You see a lot more 3-pointers because of the flow of the offense. You getting shots out short in the clock, and the 3-pointer look more attractive because it’s easier shot to take.

It doesn't seem like Ty is happy with all the jump shots, so that's a good thing. Hopefully we will see the team attacking the basket more tonight against the Heat.

The Jazz have played the Heat relatively  well in the last decade compared to most western conference teams. This is what amar said in in Jazz Jam session

Did you know that the Utah Jazz are one of the few Western Conference teams to have a "respectable" record against the Miami Heat over the last decade? (The Jazz are 6-14 in the last 20) That's almost like a win every year, which is not bad as we only play twice a season. Us! The Jazz!

Isaac: I was actually at a Heat - Jazz game a few years back where Dwyane hit a buzzer beater to beat the Jazz. I think it was during the Deron Williams era. Still one of my favorite basketball memories ever.

Miami Heat

The Miami Heat are playing well. The Heat have won 8 - of - 10 games, five of their last six and are 15-9 on the road. The Heat beat the Los Angeles Clippers in LA  on Wednesday night. Eric Spolstra thinks the rest of two days off will help the Heat against the Jazz tonight. Lebron James on the Heat's play lately

"We’ve been playing some good basketball lately," James allowed. "We want to continue that. When we've got our full unit in there, we can do some special things. We've got 15 guys who can be ready if Spo calls upon us. It’s great to have that now."

The Heat are playing balanced ball.  Against the Clippers the Heat had seven players score in double figures.  The Heat seem to be finding their stride for the season, so for the slumping Jazz, a win will be difficult.

Last Meeting

The last game the Heat played against the Jazz, the Heat dominated, winning by 23 points.  The Heat scored easily on the Jazz, the Jazz were at full strength so no excuse of being short-handed.

Alec Burks was the bright spot for the Jazz with 31 points, Lebron had 30.  The Heat didn't have an answer for Burks. Derrick Favors (17) and Enes Kanter (14)  also reached double figures for the Jazz. Dwyane Wade had 27 points and Chris Bosh had 20 for the Heat.

Here is what JBB had to say about the game.

With 10-minutes to play in the 4th-quarter, the Jazz were within 7 points of the Miami Heat. At that point, Dwayne Wade had started to overwhelm the Jazz in the post and the rest of the Heat kicked into high-gear and went on a 32-9 spurt to close the game.

Here is what Memo tweeted about the game (via moni)

Memo-tweet_medium

Starting Lineups

Utah Jazz

PF- Marvin Williams

SF- Richard Jefferson

C- Derrick Favors

SG- Gordon Hayward

PG - Trey Burke

Miami Heat

PF- Shane Battier

SF- Lebron James

C- Chris Bosh

SG- Dwyane Wade

PG- Mario Chalmers

Injury Report

Utah Jazz

None

Miami Heat

None

Coverage

Heat vs Jazz coverage

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