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The Downbeat - 22 March 2010 - #190 - The Final Twelve Games Edition

 1_medium  Returning to the scene of decline?  Kevin Garnett will be back in Utah for the first time since his injury that kept him out for a month and eventually kept him out of the rest of the season.  As a player with 40k+ minutes under his belt, he should be on the downside of his career anyway, but did that knee injury speed things up?

I've read even on Boston fan sites that he's not the same KG.  His numbers are down a bit but I don't think there's been that much of a drop off.  I wonder how much that injury has cost him though.

  Good weekend for the Jazz as they not only beat the Hornets, but the Mavs fell to the Celtics, the Nuggets went down against the Buck, the Knicks lost, and the Thunder got beat by the Pacers.

The only downside was that Phoenix beat Portland and are still a game back.

  The Jazz host Boston tonight before heading out to Toronto, Indiana, and Washington before coming home to play the Knicks next Monday night.  

If they're going to make a move on Denver, this could be their best week to do it.  Denver has a five-game road trip starting with New York, then Boston, Toronto, Orlando, and Dallas.

They do have some tough games after that, but most of those are at home.  I really think it will all come down to Phoenix.  The Nuggets play @ Phoenix the night before the Suns come up to play the Jazz on the last night of the regular season.  The perfect scenario would be that the Jazz already have the division won by then.  If not, then hopefully they beat the Nuggets and then are worn out when they come to the ESA.

Remember though, the Jazz have to finish three games better than the Nuggets over these last 12 games since they hold the tiebreaker.  That's still a big jump.

  So Okur missed the Hornets game with another stomach ailment.  I haven't been keeping track officially, but I believe that's the 52nd game he's missed this season with a stomach ailment (virus) and the 250th game as a team because of stomach problems. I don't think there's been anyone on the team that hasn't had something.

Also, how would you like to have to call in sick to Sloan? How would that conversation go? "Uhh, coach, I'm not going to be able to make it in today. I have a, uh, cough." I would think the minimum requirement for me to call in sick to Sloan would be the loss of an appendage. Anything other than that and I'm showing up.

That scenario leads me to some other thoughts. When we think of professional athletes, we often imagine them living the high life in their huge houses, driving around in their Maseratis, and using C notes for kindling. What about the mundane work things that they have to do? Can you imagine Memo walking into HR, "Uh, I have to change my W-4 form and add, uh, a new baby to my insurance." Do they have to sit through sexual harassment training videos each year? I want a reality show that shows the mundane.

Still waiting to hear on the group rates for tickets.  I'll try calling the guy again today as it's been a while.  At worst we'll jump on ebay or stubhub and grab a section or two.  It's coming though.