Thanks for all those that stopped by for the game thread last night. At last count there were 555 comments with roughly 80% of them talking about some sort of sucking or crapping.
I'm hoping by the end of the regular season to be pushing the 1,000 mark and have to start a new game thread. So for those lurkers, jump in on Friday.
Late, late last night I flipped the switch on VoteDeron.com. The movement has started. I'll get a post on this by itself later today, but make sure to follow @votederon and add it to your reader.
In my recap I wrote about giving things a little time with Boozer. However, thinking about that some more, I don't think we have that much time. You look at what Denver did when they traded Iverson the first week in November. They got Billups here early in the season and it paid huge dividends. Had they waited until the break, I don't know if that trade works out the same way.
If the Jazz are going to move Boozer, it should be quickly. I know the Jazz aren't going to dump Boozer for nothing, but the closer we get to the trade deadline, the more leverage the Jazz lose. Of course there could be some teams that are so far out of it and they just want a salary to come off the books, the might do it. There might be a contender that loses someone to injury that might get desperate. What will end up happening is that the front office will be content to just stick with Boozer and at the worst, let his salary come off the books.
The problem with that is that we've now just wasted another year of Deron Williams. That would leave only two years left (plus a player option) on his contract.
This team could contend, last night notwithstanding. But we know the Jazz won't go far in the playoffs again unless we have a scorer. Ronnie Brewer looked like he might be coming along with his pre-season and his shooting last night. But I want to move from contender into a favorite. Moving Boozer for a wing scorer would change that.
If you're planning on the future, it's now. We know Boozer isn't going to be back next season. If that's the case, the keys to the PF position should be handed over to Millsap yesterday.
Getting a scorer now also allow him to gel with the team for the entire season and get to know the offense.
I'm not saying this just because I'm tired of the Jazz not doing anything. I'm just tired of the Jazz reacting instead of being proactive. Make things happen instead of waiting for the right situation.
That was a little bit longer than I normally write for the Downbeat, but it just kind of kept going.
They have PSAs and other videos to discourage kids from taking drugs and other harmful activities. Paul Millsap needs to create a campaign on avoiding the worst outlet pass in the entire history of the NBA. "When making an outlet pass, make sure to not practice your jump ball throwing skills lest you have the ball come back in your face."
Can I ask a question. When players are going up for blocks, why are they using their right hand? Shouldn't they be using their left hand to block as it's on the side of the body where the ball is? Shouldn't they only go up for the block with their right hand if it's a lefty? Not that it would have made much difference in this case.
Maybe some of the calls last night were retribution for the excerpts leaked yesterday from Donaghy's book that he's trying to get published? A 5-second call on Deron? A double lane violation? One involved the Jazz when they were playing Denver while Iverson was on the team.
And then there was the ongoing feud between Javie and 76ers superstar Allen Iverson. The rift was so bad that Philadelphia general manager Billy King often called the league office to complain about Javie's treatment of Iverson during a game.
Iverson was eventually traded to Denver, and in his first game against his former team, he was tossed after two technicals. Afterward, Iverson implied Javie had a grudge against him, saying, "I thought I got fouled on that play, and I said I thought that he was calling the game personal, and he threw me out. His fuse is real short anyway, and I should have known that I couldn't say anything anyway. It's been something personal with me and him since I got in the league. This was just the perfect game for him to try and make me look bad." The league fined Iverson $25,000 for his comments, but most of the league referees thought the punishment was too lenient and were upset he wasn't suspended. As a result, we collectively decided to dispense a little justice of our own, sticking it to Iverson whenever we could.
Shortly after the Javie-Iverson incident, I worked a Jazz-Nuggets contest in Denver on January 6, 2007. During the pregame meeting, my fellow referees Bernie Fryer and Gary Zielinski agreed that we were going to strictly enforce the palming rule against Iverson. Palming the ball was something Iverson loved to do, but if he so much as came close to a palm, we were going to blow the whistle. Obviously, our actions were in direct retaliation for Iverson's rant against Javie. True to form, I immediately excused myself and made an important phone call.
Sticking to our pregame pledge, each of us whistled Iverson for palming in the first quarter-we all wanted in on the fun. The violations seemed to affect Iverson's rhythm and he played terribly that night, shooting 5-for-19 with five turnovers. After getting repeatedly whistled all night long, Iverson approached me in an act of submission.
"How long am I going to be punished for Javie?" he quietly inquired.
Scary to think that the refs are really that unprofessional. Seems that they're just the muscle behind the NBA mafia. The whole thing is damning if true. I'm more inclined to believe him for the fact that Jose Canseco was discredited when he published his tell-all. But everything he said has come turned out to be true. Not one person he named sued him. Isn't that the tell?
Apparently though the NBA threatened to sue the publisher into oblivion and it was dropped. I have to tell you, it shook my faith in the NBA.