Game day! The NBA pre-season has been in swing since Friday, but the Jazz and Blazers will finally get to play in a real basketball game starting tonight. Where previous pre-season games might not have counted for much, these two games at Portland and at home against Portland will be the only games Tyrone Corbin gets to make evaluations on things like starting lineups, rotations, and what players to keep.
In a typical pre-season, veterans would play very little in the first few games with minutes, roles, and rotations finally taking shape before the regular season. With the regular season just eight days away, that all has to be crammed into two games. How does Corbin plan on doing it? Here's what he tells Jody Genessy,
"You have choices. We do have bodies we feel comfortable putting on the floor," Corbin said. "How they compete once the game starts will dictate how we change lineups, how we'll compete against different lineups and how we'll make teams change to us."
I like that last statement. The Jazz will be able to put some lineups out on the floor that will cause some problems for other teams. I don't expect them to go with something like this for prolonged minutes, but a lineup of Devin Harris, Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors, and Al Jefferson would give them a huge lineup. Making the first move though with lineup changes and making the other team change their game plan is something that I was glad to read.
Looks like the rookies will be getting backpacks again this season. With Deron Williams and Ronnie Price gone, I thought that might go away. That doesn't appear to be the case and in fact, Kanter's "performance" at the exhibition game for the dance off might have some unintended consequences. Devin Harris tells Genessy,
Devin Harris joked Kanter's dancing performance might affect what kind of backpack he'll be assigned.
Any ideas as to what Kanter's backpack could/should be?
Chris Paul's locker room chair wasn't even cold yet and the newly acquired Al-Farouq Aminu was already holding up the #3 jersey as shown by moni. Of course Josh Howard now owns #8 for Utah. He'll feel right at home in the ESA then as he looks up into the stands and sees the sea of green and yellow eights.
Ross Siler argued that retiring #8 should at least be debatable, but also doesn't think that AK's #47 will be retired. With the exception of Dantley and Pistol, everyone else that has a retired number with the Jazz finished their career here. I think retiring Deron's number is up for argument. I do think AK's number should be retired though. Although, I don't know anyone else that would ever wear that number. There hasn't been a player since Scott Williams that has worn #47 since 2005 and only three other players in league history have worn it.
Dantley's jersey retirement was long overdue. I wonder if we'll get the same scenario with AK.
Two polls for you this morning. Up first, an open-ended one. Who will be in the starting lineup tonight and who should be in the starting lineup?
Monday's poll comes courtesy of @clintonite33 and relates to this article by Rob Mahoney of the New York Times,
Rather than truly bottom out in their rebuilding efforts - or make a lateral move for a parallel star - the Jazz have nested in the league's uncomfortable middle ground: Utah is bad enough to be an irrelevant element of the Western Conference playoff picture, but too good to expect a top draft pick.
It's a confusing position. The Jazz have some interesting pieces, but what, exactly is the team's direction?
I've brought this up before. The Jazz aren't going to be terrible but there's a good chance they don't make the playoff either. The 2012 draft is going to be deep, so there still may be a good pick available in the mid to lower teens, but you're still going to want to be in the top ten for a more sure thing. With that in mind,