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The Downbeat - 2 August 2010 - #284 - The Decision 2 Edition

It looks like these one-hour specials are going to become the norm. The NBA is releasing key match-ups from the upcoming season tomorrow,

On Tuesday, Aug. 3 (7 p.m. ET), NBA TV will air the exclusive announcement of the national television schedule for the NBA Tip-Off '10, Christmas Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day games, which will air on TNT, ESPN, ABC and NBA TV. Rick Kamla will host the hour-long NBA Schedule Selection Special, while Chris Webber and Craig Sager will provide analysis of the key matchups. TNT analysts Steve Kerr and Kenny Smith will join the trio via satellite.

Hmmmm, I wonder who will be playing on Christmas? That might be as suspenseful as Decision 1 was. Who will be the opening game for the Jazz? Here are the first two games of the season that the Jazz have had going back to 2004,

2010, @Nuggets, Clippers
2009, Nuggets, Clippers
2008, @Warriors, Rockets
2007, Rockets, @Suns
2006, Mavericks, @Warriors
2005, Lakers, @Warriors
2004, Blazers, @Mavericks

The Jazz are 6-1 in those openers with the lone loss coming last season against the Nuggets. If there's a pattern there, I say we open against the Rockets this season.

Raja talks to the Standard-Examiner,

Bell, who played just six games last season because of a wrist injury, said he is rested, refreshed and raring to start his new life with his old team.

At a press conference last month he said he wanted to make an "investment" in a team's future.

He felt he wasn't going to have that with a stocked team.

"I can sleep at night knowing that I gave 110 percent, not (feeling) that I watched an entire ballgame (from the bench)," he said. (emphasis mine)

This. As the kids say.

One of Siler's final articles talks about the Jazz going over the luxury tax. He had this from Greg Miller,

After acquiring Jefferson and signing Raja Bell to a three-year, $9.72 million deal in free agency, the Jazz have $73.7 million committed to nine players for the upcoming season. The NBA's luxury-tax threshold has been set at $70.307 million.

"I'm not sure that it's something the fans should get used to," Miller said. "I wouldn't be willing to go into the luxury tax if I didn't think we could be very competitive."

I don't know the specifics of what it takes to break even if you're a luxury tax payer, but I'm guessing that you have to at least make it to the second round of the playoffs. Is that what he means by "very competitive?" If we don't go into the luxury tax now, do they feel that we aren't going to be competitive?

As long as we have Sloan, Deron, and a core, I don't know how we cannot be competitive. So while he's saying we shouldn't get used to it, if we do remain competitive, it might require going into the luxury tax each season.

This is the NBA off-season, so this is what you get, and that's anything remotely related to the Jazz and the NBA. Former Jazz summer-leaguer/training camper and USU player Spencer Nelson has signed,

Gran Canaria have snapped up experienced forward Spencer Nelson ahead of their EuroCup campaign.

The 30-year-old joins from Peristeri Athens, and has previously played for Aris Thessanloniki, Benetton Treviso, Upim Bologna, and Bamberg. During the 2008/09 season, he played EuroCup basketball with Aris, averaged 10.6 points per game and 6.4 rebounds.

Yeah, I don't know anything about any of those teams, but good for Spencer. I actually found that looking for stuff for Fesenko if you're wondering.

Monday, poll courtesy of P_Dizzle. This is in US sizes, so use this handy conversion chart.