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The Downbeat - 9 February 2011 - #422 - The Vicious Edition

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   I fear the worst tonight.  Whether deserved or not, the ESA has a reputation as being overly harsh on opponents, especially former players.  I'm not talking about just booing either.  We've all seen the picture of the Jazz fan covering his eye when Derek Fisher is at the free-throw line.  That one fool helped stereotype Jazz fans. 

We've had allegations of racial slurs.  Things have been thrown at players.  I'm sure the as vicious Mormon fans, there may have been a few swears that have slipped out.

The passion in undeniable.  Sometimes though that causes us do to irrational things.  What fans can do though tonight it to make a concerted effort beforehand not to do anything that would feed into the stereotype.  Boo or hiss or whatever you would like to do.  

What I fear the most though?  It's that Carlos Boozer goes down hard and that fans start cheering.  There were some fans that stood up and cheered when Wesley Matthews went down hard on the sideline earlier in the year.  Really?  You're cheering that?  First, everyone loves Matthews.  He left by no fault of his own.

So if Matthews can receive that kind of treatment, I can only imagine what will happen if something similar were to happen to Boozer.  The national media will be looking for anything in this game to perpetuate the unclassy stereotype.  I fear that we'll give it to them.

  The only way that Andrei isn't back next year is if there's a season-long lockout or if the Jazz don't want him.  He'll be back if the Jazz will have him,

Or at least Kirilenko was as clear as possible. There can be no February definitive, after all, for a free-agent process set to begin in July, or some later month or year when the labor issues are settled.

"All my friends are saying to me they can't imagine me playing somewhere else," he said. "They are used to me being in a Jazz uniform."

OK. But can you imagine playing somewhere else?

"No, not right now," Kirilenko said. "I can't even think about it. But we'll see. We'll see. In Russia we say, 'It's gonna be a day, it's gonna be bread.' The next day, you're going to think about it. Not right now."

It's gonna be bread.

  I think this is important to remember, from FanHouse,

But in case anyone needed proof that the notion was absurd, there was the 120-91 drubbing courtesy of the two-time defending champions to reference. Yet while the talent is there for a turnaround, veteran guard Raja Bell said the Jazz will need to decide sooner rather than later what they intend to do with it.

"I think we're still trying to find ourselves right now, man," he told FanHouse. "I think we jumped out, had a nice start to the season, maybe lulled us into a false sense of who we were. Then we hit some rough times, and right now we're just kind of up and down.

The talent is indeed there.  Do the Jazz have the most talent in the conference?  No.  But the talent doesn't match up to their recent play.  It will get better.  Al is feeling more comfortable.  I think everyone is finally settling into their respective roles.

What's important is not what's happened as much as what happens going forward.

  It's a bit of a concern now that Memo is not listed day to day.  There hasn't been an official release but it appears that his lower back strain could be more serious than expected.  Here's to hoping he gets back soon.

  Wednesday open poll just to balance things out a little...  What did you like best about Boozer?