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Do You Know How I Know There Will Be No NBA Pre-season? - The Downbeat - #558

  I wasn't going to buy NBA2K12.  I normally use whatever sports video game that I have for 3-4 years before getting a new one.  I have no problem playing with the 2006 Jazz.  Last year when NBA 2K11 came out, it looked amazing.  It's a fantastic game.

Well, it looks like I'll be plopping down another $60 this year as ESPN announced the 15 legends that will be featured in NBA 2K12.  Both John Stockton and Karl Malone are among the 15 players selected as two of  the "15 greatest and most influential players in NBA history."

You won't be trying to recreate their career highlights though like you did with Jordan in 2K11.  According to 2K Sports, it's just about winning games for those players,

[W]e went through each player's career and picked the time where we thought this player was at his peak or a team we thought was the most entertaining this player was on. We then pitted them against their rival, or in some cases, we put them against a team that we thought would just be fun for the user to play.    

I'm a bit disappointed as I thought we might get the chance to replay game six of the Western Conference finals or other memorable games for the players.  Here are the games feature for both Stockton and Malone

The Legend: John Stockton

The Game: The 1997-98 Jazz vs. The 1997-98 Lakers

Why he's in the game: He is the NBA's all-time leader in both assists and steals, and was a point guard who brought his team to the playoffs every single year he played. I'm loving this matchup as it brings the Jazz up against Kobe Bryant and Shaq. Added Boenisch: "This will be an eye-opener for younger fans who are used to Kobe dominating every video game. This is a different Kobe. He's pretty raw."

The Legend: Karl Malone

The Game: The 1997-98 Jazz vs. The 1997-98 Spurs

Why he's in the game: "Karl Malone is one of the greatest power forwards of all time," Boenisch said. "He was big, he was strong, he was incredibly durable, and he's easily the best pick-and-roll power forward of all time. We couldn't put this list out without including Karl Malone." The matchup pits Malone against Tim Duncan, David Robinson and the Spurs in what's really a changing-of-the-guard game.    

The Jazz owned the Spurs in 1998, taking three of four games in both the regular season and in the second round of the playoffs.  The changing of the guard, if you want to call it that,didn't come until the next season.  The Jazz lost two of three in the regular season to the Spurs and of course didn't see them in the playoffs as San Antonio cruised to the title.

In 1998, the Jazz also owned the Lakers, sweeping them in four games in the Western Conference Finals.  I believe Kobe's airball rating will be about a 96.

So I'll end up buying it for this.  I wish both there were Stockton and Malone covers to purchase like they have for Bird, Magic, and Jordan.  This could finally be the time that I actually get the SLC Dunk online league going.

  I guess since the NBA released its regular season schedule, they had to have the pre-season schedule set as well.  If played (they won't be), the Jazz would have just three home games again featuring the Thunder, Clippers, and Blazers.

The Jazz would also be on the road to face the Clippers and the Lakers (2x).  The most interesting game of note that won't happen is the game against the Warriors in Bismark, North Dakota.  So not only is the league releasing a schedule they know won't happen, but they don't even care enough to schedule games in non-make believe cities?  There's no such state as North Dakota let alone some city named Bismark.  I looked on a map; it's not there.

Kidding Scott!

  The first head coach in the franchise's history, Scotty Robertson passed away yesterday at the age of 81.  Robertson was also the head coach at Louisiana Tech for a number of years.  

As you might expect, the team didn't do well in its inaugural season, losing its first 11 games of the season and 15 of 16 overall.  Robertson stepped down after that 16th game.  The team did fare a bit better after that, going 22-45 the rest of the way.

Robertson would have another Jazz tie as he was an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech when Karl Malone played there.

   TrueHoop breaks down the top finishers at the rim in the league last year.  Who had the top shooting percentage at the rim with a minimum of 20 games and 3 attempts a game?  Kevin Durant (77.2%) leads the way with the players you would expect to find there along with Dwight Howard (75.4%), Kevin Garnett (74.3%), Al Horford (74.3%), etc.

The top Jazz man on the list was Paul Millsap (69%), ahead of Blake Griffin (67%), Carlos Boozer (66.6%), Derrick Favors (66.2%), and Al Jefferson (65.8%).  It's just one aspect of his game, but for being labeled as a small power forward, Millsap knows how to use his body and strength to finish around the rim.

If you don't use the attempts per game qualifier, the top player on the Jazz finishing at the rim for the Jazz would be Jeremy Evans.  He converted on 74.4% of his shots.  That shouldn't be surprising.  That would put him just above Kevin Garnett on the list.

  Some Alec Burks highlights (h/t Diana)

Utah Jazz top pick Alec Burks balls out @ Indy Pro-Am (via BALLERSBLOCK)