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Sunday Syncopation #15

Another Sunday . . . another Syncopation . . . this time, with a poll!

  • This has been a fun week, all of two games (wins at home to flawed East teams) . . . woo. Exciting? The game were fun, and included lots of dunks, fancy passes, and the worst basketball sequence we'll ever see (the Hayward / Fesenko butterfingers and airball-fest in garbage time). [hopefully] The rest of the month is going to be much more grueling . . .
  • The coming week is a a four game Eastern Conference road trip. Back in November we had one, and I predicted that the Jazz would go 1-3 or 0-4; and just the opposite happened. That one was against some of the better teams or teams that routinely gave us trouble in their gyms. Each of the four games were back to back sets. This time . . . this time things are quite different.
  • The first game is a stand alone game against the up and down Washington Wizards (3-3 in the last 6). Andray Blatche and Nick Young are banged up, and Josh Howard is out. Still, they have some players on that team that will, eventually, lose to our Jazz.
  • The second game of the road trip is another stand alone game, this time against the New Jersey Nets (who may or may not have some hit and run participant on their roster). The Nets aren't hopeless, but they have lost five games in a row. Thankfully for us, Anthony Morrow (the perfect storm for lower end bench guy who is good at threes who can burn us) is expected to miss this game. This game is going to be harder because the Nets are more desperate -- and it's always fun to see Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar lose to us.
  • The Last two games of the road trip are the biggies. Game three is in Boston against their Celtics. They are big inside and we're flat out going to lose this game unless we can establish some sort of reliable inside scoring game. Al Jefferson will be playing against the team that drafted him, so I think it will be special for him as well.
  • The last game, against the wretched Philadelphia 76ers, is a potential throw away game. If the Jazz win in Boston, I think they would be playing at a high level - and probably have some run off success against this team (not unlike what happened against the Bobcats back in November). If the Jazz lose, I can see the Jazz limp through this game. It's funny that we're talking about another East road trip and I'm thinking that we can win more than we lose. (This is a great change from a few seasons ago where we would expect to go 1-4 on road trips out East)
  • Of course, the party doesn't stop there, the next game (after two off days) is a game in LA against the Lakers . . . but we'll talk more about that next syncopation.
  • I like the NBA Developmental League. I don't know how many people do, but I can't get enough of it. I used to make my mom watch D-League games when she'd visit us. I'm not the only person who is crazy about it . . . but I can tell that a greater majority of people don't give two hoots about it. Some of these guys are probably the Jazz staff. Don't believe me? Well . . . if the Jazz cared about the NBA-DL they'd actually be using the Flash as more than they currently are. The Jazz appear to ambivalent to the Flash that they don't even call up Flash players to the Jazz during periods of crazy injury (unless they are already on contract). Sundiata Gaines wasn't a Flash player. Neither was Jeffers. This point really sucks, especially since the Jazz are supposed to treat the Flash like a farm team. Teams in the NHL and MLB have farm teams, and know how to use them. The Jazz (and I guess, NBA in general) have yet to figure out the NBA-DL.
  • Sometimes a player can go down there, and get their act together. The Jazz sent CJ down to the DL when he was a rookie, and CJ freely admits that it was quite therapeutic just to get on the court again. Fesenko was a double double guy who hit 60% from the free throw line with the Flash over his career.
  • Other times, being in a non-Jazz system with little in the way of checks and balances may reduce a player back to their baser instincts -- I think we all can see that Morris Almond went bombs away in the Flash - but none of what he learned helped him become a robust NBA player. The Flash relied upon 'Mobe' like his team back at Rice did . . . to similar results. That's the opposite of what he should have been directed into playing like.
  • Still, I can't shake the idea that the Flash can be useful to the Jazz - but the Jazz need to put some more effort into it.
  • Right now the Flash are 10-9 (which isn't bad as they don't have serious NBA appointees on their roster). Our collective boyfriend, Ryan Thompson, may still make us forget about Wesley Matthews . . . but right now he's getting his seasoning down with the Flash. He's playing 25.5 mpg, and he's shooting 48 fg% (not bad for a guard), and 30% from deep. He has played in 11 games so far, and I'm happy that he's getting to play, period. That said, if he continues to improve there's no 'hold' that the Jazz have on him that will prevent some other team from calling him up.
  • I'm currently researching information on an article I'm writing about how well players fare after leaving the Jazz. For the longest time people have believed that the Jazz get the best out of players - and they only do worse when they leave. I wanted to explore this, and the findings are quite interesting. I love how David Benoit is basically the Jerry Sloan of the professional basketball circuit in Japan (maddness).
  • I also love how Rafael Araujo is still a beast, despite no longer being on all the bull shark testosterone. (NSFW as there are 'swears' in that video) If you are on twitter you've already seen this . . . if not . . . enjoy

  • No one wants to read this, but Jeremy Evans has a crazy enough rebound rate that he'd be 2nd best on the team if he played 36 minutes a night. He'd also be 2nd best in blocks per game as well. Glad we all agree that a) per minute stats don't remain so great when you greatly extend someones' playing time, and b) he really needs a fourth meal of the day before he can get regular NBA playing time.
  • The whole Millsap vs. Jefferson idea is silly. They are both on the team. They are both locked up for a number of years. They are both young. It shouldn't be a 'tastes great!' vs 'less filling' idea, it should be a 'tastes great *and* is less filling' point of view. Quality bigs are hard to find in this league. And we have two guys who play both ends of the floor. Even the biggest Carlos Boozer homers have to admit that Boozer didn't play defense consistently; both of these guys do. And that's fantastic.
  • Any of you guys Simpsons fans? Do you remember the episode where Bart gets the expensive dog (Laddie), and the entire family is enamored with him at the expense of paying attention to the 'ordinary' pets? I feel like Elson and Fesenko are the ordinary pets right now. That's not to say that they aren't good guys, or good players. It's just that they can't compare with what Okur can do on the court. Of course, the "Memo" of our dreams isn't exactly the Memo we have on the floor right now -- but a little part of me is deeply saddened by the numbers crunch that relegates Feselston to mop up duty. I guess that's why they are insurance, and not starters.
  • There's a poll. Help me write more of what you want -- VOTE!