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The Downbeat - 18 March 2011 - #449 - The Doe Is 24 Edition

The Jazz drop in Chad Ford and John Hollinger's Future Power Rankings (as you may have expected) from 5th to 14th. While it was the biggest drop for any team, I expected that they would have dropped into the upper 20's. Then I looked at the teams below the Jazz and realized they're in about the right spot. They're just ahead of the Nuggets and Rockets and just behind the Mavericks, Nets, and Magic. Their strengths according to Ford and Hollinger are management and draft picks,

163 (20th) 145 (7th) 95 (16th) 32 (23rd) 91 (2nd)

The [Deron Williams trade] killed any thoughts the Jazz had about being playoff contenders this year but set the team up for the future. Favors, a big, athletic power forward, was the No. 3 pick in the 2010 draft. Harris, while no D-Will, was an All-Star two years ago and still has a lot to offer.

They join Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson as the core of a team, which hopes rookies Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Evans are keepers, too. Add a pair of 2011 lottery picks, including the Nets' pick, and the Jazz should be able to rebuild while remaining reasonably competitive.

Coincidentally, the Jazz fell behind the Nets who remained the 12 spot. If they move up, those draft picks are going to have to turn into strong players.

Thanks to everyone for signing up for the SLC Dunk NCAA Tournament Challenge. We got 87 and have four at the top right now. Louisville burned a couple of people far worse than it did most. Some had Utah State going all the way. Some have BYU. I'm lucky to be on the first page of the leader board.

Who do you all have in the biggest upset today?

Great night in the association as a Jazz fan. Never mind that the Blazers went up 21-2 on the Cavaliers and blew them out by 41. Cleveland wasn't going to win that game.

The Grizzlies took a beating at the hands of the Knicks, 120-99 as New York rained down 20 threes on them. That puts the Jazz just a game back of Memphis for the 8 spot. They'll be at home against the Pacers tomorrow before facing the Jazz on Monday. The Jazz still need a lot of help I believe coming down the stretch. They're going to have to win games they shouldn't and Memphis needs to lose games they shouldn't. There are still chances to catch New Orleans and Portland given that the Jazz face NOLA twice and Portland one more time.

The Nets also finally lost. By all accounts, this game would burn your retinas out if you watched it for more than 5 seconds. Both sides were equally horrible, Chicago was just a little less so. Deron continues to struggle shooting the ball which no doubt is in large part to his wrist. Of course I would love to see him sit so as to improve the Nets pick. He's not going to take himself out of games, but at this point, you would think that the Nets have to shut him down for the rest of the season. They haven't officially been eliminated yet, but for the future of the team I would think you have to do what's best for for Deron.

I know many of you eschew twitter, but make a temp account if you don't have one already and wish CJ a happy birthday from SLC Dunk.

Friday poll...