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The Downbeat - 14 March 2011 - #445 - The OG-Time Edition

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  It's no secret that the Jazz have struggled, to put it lightly, on defense.  Andrei Kirilenko says that the effort is there, they're just not organized.   Tyrone Corbin said the team lacks chemistry.  This isn't a recent thing though.  The Jazz have been trending poorly on defense even before the retirement of Sloan and the Williams trade.  Here are the simple FG% and 3P% by opponents since the start of the season:

Shooting___medium

That's over 50% on threes in the month of March that the Jazz have given up.  Toronto ranks dead last in the league in three point percentage.  The other teams the Jazz have faced this month are decent three-pointer shooters but only Denver and Minnesota are in the top ten.

While the roster shakeup and injuries haven't helped, this was an issue before all of that happened.

  I find it odd that Raja Bell didn't know that the Jazz were just two games out of the playoffs.  That's according to @tribjazz.  When asked about it, Bell replied, "Really?"  It's been reported that the Jazz are using a dry-erase board in the locker room with the current Western Conference standings on it.  Perhaps they're not doing it on road trips?

It's a bit disconcerting because it seems as if Raja considers the team to be so far out of it with their recent poor play that he didn't even think that they had a chance at the playoffs.  I realize their remaining schedule isn't conducive to overcoming Phoenix and Memphis, but it appears that some have lost sight of the goal.

  Unlimited salad and bread sticks are now mandatory pre-game meals for everyone!  Since February, OG-Time is shooting 50% from the field and 56% from three-point range.  I smell an endorsement deal soon.

  The only reason that I can think of that a 30-win Utah State team got smacked down with a 12 seed in the tourney is that Utah has a bad connotation to it with the Utes and Jazz.  BYU would have received a 7 seed had Utah been part of their name.  So Utah State should change their name to Logan State University or Logan University to avoid this problem in the future.

Since someone from the tourney is likely to be picked by the Jazz this season, now's the time to get familiar with the names.  A good way to do that is to follow the tourney and make your picks.  So here's the link for the SLC Dunk group on ESPN's Tournament Challenge.  So sign up and achieve glory by having your name displayed proudly on the front page of SLC Dunk when you win.

  Monday open poll...  The lineup that gives us the best chance to win is (assuming health)...