Utah Jazz News -- The Downbeat #1157: The "Get better / be better" Edition

Improvements, Improvements everywhere! - Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

It may come as a surprise to some, but Tyrone Corbin, the current Jazz head coach and future motivational speaker, has been lampooned a bit on the internet for saying "Get better" or alternatively "be better". This is probably been done the most on this website by me, some other contributors, and countless other people who post/comment here. I do think that there are kernels of wisdom in that saying though. It's a little detached and binary. While few specifics are given on what one player needs to do in order to achieve said state of "being better", or any particular plan on how a player must perform to "get better" remain mysteries -- the bottom line is that if a player is better, then they will be a better player. And as we've seen over the last three seasons, the Utah Jazz are nothing if not strongly supportive of being a meritocracy.

The players, particular the returning players who may feel marginalized, need to prove that they did get better, and are better this year.

I also feel like our front office, coaching staff, development staff, media, PR, and fans all need to also embrace this mantra. After all, our team didn't have a rocking home court experience, the fans didn't show up to home games, and some could argue that our team did not either. We all need to get better and/or be better.

So let's help one another to achieve this. Give the fans a product they can root for. Then the fans will show up to games, and bring energy to help the team win. A team that gets income from fans, and wins on the court, is a stronger team. We all don't exist in vacuums. We all need to help one another because we all affect one another.

Also Ty Corbin needs to get better / be better too. But not in a lampooning way either. I'd love for him to develop into the next great Utah Jazz head coach and it's always been my hope for him. We have him on potential. We have hopes for the potentials of our young players like Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks, Trey Burke, Rudy Gobert, and Jeremy Evans. But those guys haven't gotten the burn that Ty has gotten on the court every game. As a point of reference, in a Jazz uni Derrick Favors has played in 3723 minutes over 168 regular season and playoff games. That's only 46.2% of the available time. Ty has "played" 100% of the time in all the games he's been head coach for.

Let's all be better / get better this year.

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Speaking of getting better, SB Nation is going to get better. And as a direct result this BLOG is going to be better. Mychal Lowman (@My_Lo) and I drove up to Chicago yesterday to take part in an SB Nation meetup. It was more of a business meeting in a loud location though. Getting there was, as it always is, an ordeal in itself. (Flashback: here's how it went when Mychal and I did a similar trip to the NBA Draft Combine last May) There's going to be a full post on that, and more information sent out via e-mail to our team . . . but let me share some quick information with all of us right off the bat.

  • The changes over the last year were necessary (like the site redesign, etc), but not everything worked as well as we wanted
  • There are more changes coming based upon demand from users, and also based upon the learning the company made over the last year
  • Participation is up, despite some people not liking change
  • Communities are where it's at, and it's obvious that Utah Jazz fans are the best fans in the world
  • And also I think they're going to play a Game 7 in Utah to settle the score for '98 sometime soon.

Okay, that last one may not be happening, but this trip was invaluable. I'm sure Prodigal Punk heard some of the same things when he went to the SB Nation meetup up there in NoCal, and Clark will be hearing some of the same stuff when he goes to the one in Raleigh next month.

As a whole the company is on the rise, based not on money, but on the strength of our individual communities. Because of all the people reading the site today, the love you have of your team, and the effort you put into it -- that's what makes this a great place. So thank you, thank you for everyone who loads up the page, writes fanposts, comments on the posts of others, or just plain lurks.

I used to think it was up to us to bring "the content". But now I see that it's the community that matters. And we're only going to get better (the blog) by making sure the needs of the community are served. So please tell us what you want!

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Did you check out the P3 articles up at Salt City Hoops? Scott S got a chance to go there this summer and he's doling out a lot of great info: Part 1, Part 2. Our players have obviously been putting in the work (even dudes like Jerel McNeal worked out a few times this off-season there with the rest of the team). They are getting better. Even Matt Moore noticed.

It's training camp time, and that means it's time for all the stories about what great shape guys are in. Usually this is in the form of "(Player X) lost/gained 15 lbs. of fat/15 lbs. of muscle." But Utah Jazz blog Salt City Hoops had an interesting look at how some Utah players improved their performance at athlete training center P3 in Santa Barbara, California. One player jumped out at me.

"Alec [Burks] was the biggest winner," said (Dr. Marcus) Elliott (of P3). The staff really admired him for his work over the past couple years. He has apparently improved in a number of areas from hip stability, knee position and trunk strength, all of which affect quickness. They recognize the unique opportunity Burks will have this season to finally get steady minutes, potentially even as a starter. He is considered one of their more "elastic" athletes. He reached a vertical height of 12′ 2.5″ during an approach this summer. When he first arrived in May 2012 he maxed out at 11′ 8.5″. That height is especially worth noting considering that he also weighs 11 more pounds than when he started."

This is all very exciting stuff (see this 2K Insider?). I'm all about seeing physical changes to behavior result in specific changes in action. (Kinda my wheelhouse) When I last talked to P3 earlier this summer I was more concerned with other information. I'm not at liberty to milk that interaction into a few posts though. (Some things gotta remain secret) : )

For those who do care about the whole process of player improvement . . . part of it is based upon directed training. Some of it is experience. And some of it is just learning how to be better. No, really. That's the sad thing, Ty is right. Sometimes mastery of a behavior means more than just being younger, faster, or stronger.

My guy Alec Burks went from a Max vert at the NBA Draft Combine of 11'7.5" to 11'8.5" in the span of a year (Predraft May 2011, to May 2012). In the last year and a bit he's gone up to 12'2.5". That's a grand total of being +6.0" to his maximum reach and brings this 6'6 guard into the land of the coveted 12'+ group. That's a higher max reach than the following guys (predraft numbers): Jason Smith, Kevin Durant, Brook Lopez, Tyson Chandler, B.J. Mullens, Tristan Thompson, Cody Zeller, Thaddeus Young, Patrick O'Bryant, Gerald Green, Travis Leslie, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Nene Hilario, Kenneth Faried, Andre Drummond, Al Horford, Kris Humphries (who was a workout wonder at the combine), Steven Adams, Ben McLemore, Michael Beasley, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Chris Bosh, Eddy Curry, Brendan Haywood, and countless others.

Of course, we'd hope that those guys all worked hard to get better / be better over their NBA careers as well.

We also hope that the directed training will also go hand in hand with the Jazz for Burks and the rest of the crew. Our rebounding from the perimeter players was horrible last season, with the exception of Burks on the offensive glass. Being stronger, faster, and able to reach for more balls will help him on the offensive glass this year. But we'd love for our guards and wing guys to get more defensive rebounds too.

That would truly make us better.

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What are you guys doing here, Trey Burke is meeting fans today from 1 pm to 2 pm at the Fans location at 1400 S. Foothill drive!

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And the end of the day it call comes back to Coach Ty, who was recently selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise as the best player to wear the #23 jersey. Reactions below:

  • http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2013/9/20/4753792/cavaliers-troll-tyrone-corbin-lebron-james-23
  • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1781801-cavs-website-ranks-best-players-by-number-in-team-history-leaves-out-lebron
  • http://nesn.com/2013/09/cavaliers-name-tyrone-corbin-not-lebron-james-greatest-cleveland-player-to-wear-no-23/
  • http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/229940/Cavaliers-Website-Places-Tyrone-Corbin-As-Best-No-23-Then-Switches-To-LeBron-James
  • http://www.insidehoops.com/forum/showthread.php?t=312752
  • http://thatnbalotterypick.com/cleveland-cavaliers-website-chooses-tyrone-corbin-over-lebron-james-as-the-best-23-in-team-history/
  • http://slumz.boxden.com/f16/cavs-pitch-lebron-off-great-start-accidentally-list-tyrone-corbin-their-greatest-23-a-1980515/

LeBron knows what's up. He's gotta get better / be better.

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