When I wrote my first "We are Utah Jazz" post I planned on it being a one time post. As the tides have changed for the Jazz, and with the feeings of Jazz fans turning, I decided it would be great to turn "We Are Utah Jazz" into a serial that displays the "roller coaster" ride (or zebra) that is the Utah Jazz. To explain the title "The Warn Years". My beautiful seven year old daughter wrote a book recently called "Star Wars: The Warn Years" it is an incredible book with great illustrations. I just didn't get the title. I asked my girl what it meant she said "Mom, warn is a strong word I am using it to show that it was a difficult time in the lives of the Jedi and the Republic, they lost Obi-Wan (they can't find him he is not dead yet), the Emperor and Darth Vader are gaining more and more power, the Dark Side is prevailing against the Force. Times are hard mom, so I called it the Warn Years.
I feel the Utah Jazz are going through the "Warn Years" time of their season. Yes it has only been about a month since they've been struggling but it feels like years. It is frustrating as a fan to see your team make the same mistakes game in and game out and lose in the same fashion over and over again.
Today on Twitter I posed the question
I thought asking this question would show how Jazz fans feel about the team right now and maybe give us some answers to the Jazz's woes.
I received many tweets and captured every single one of them. I received over thirty, they all fell into basic categories though about player rotations and coaching decisions and lack of leadership.
Ben points out that we seem to not do the little things, we do about 8/10ths of what should get done on the court but we're not finishing the job. We can see that, the Jazz play great defense for 20 seconds of the shot clock and then allows an easy layup or an open three in the last few seconds. We see it on the offensive end where they are passing the ball well, setting screens yet the next time down the court some player will inevitably take a bad jumper with 20 seconds left on the clock. Too much cutting corners by the players on the court.
Perhaps there is also too much cutting corners by the coaching staff and taking the "easy" way out by playing the vets no matter what, Chad, Joey and SurlyMae seem to think thats the case:
Eric with his humorous approach (like always) makes a good point. Lately it seems like the Jazz are in ball game throughout 3 quarters and sometimes most of the 4th and yet somehow we always seem to fall apart in the 4th quarter.
David Locke tweeted out today that the Jazz were nearly flawless in their offensive execution in the last five minutes against the Spurs, but Hayward didn't touch the ball at all on offense the last five minutes. How can our best offensive facilitator not touch the ball in the last five minutes of a game, especially a close game?!
That leads to more questions besides why can't we finish games, it raises the question are we playing the right guys together and is Coach Corbin using them correctly? Our long time slcdunker @bjcseven thinks there could be changes down the stretch to help improve the team.
David my Jazzbot blogger friend has the same feelings as bjcseven
So maybe Ty and crew should think about changing when they substitute our bigs in the 4th quarter to help us win now and in the future. I agree with this, what could it hurt its not like riding Al and Paul are getting us wins (15-16)
I find that we tend to fall apart in the 4th quarter, we play hard in the first three quarters, we play as a team (for the most part) and then in the 4th quarter we tend to become discombobulated.
Alex and David questioning leadership on the court. We know Raja and Earl are very vocal and great leaders for this team but without having a closer being vocal, does that hurt us and contribute to our losing in the 4th quarters of games?
We do not have that now, is our closer on the team already or so we get him via trade or draft?
What have players tweeted throughout the losses? The players haven't been too vocal about their struggles on Twitter (which is fine). Earl called out fans for picking on his teammates about a week ago. Today he tweeted this
I love to see players taking responsibility for losses, Earl is great at doing that, taking one for his team publicly with the fans.
CJ had this to say about recent struggles
Of course its not all of CJ's fault I imagine he received some rude tweets after the Houston game that sparked that response. He followed it up with this tweet
As I have been very vocal about my worries about the Jazz I have been reminded that Ty is essentially a rookie coach.
Ty needs time to grow as a coach as our player needs time to grow as a team. We knew that February would be a brutal month, we were warned by Amar in his schedule review post. I think our issues are more than a brutal schedule though, as does many other Jazz fans. It is the Jazz's "Warn Years" part of the season, maybe a New Hope will arise in the coming weeks.
PS I like this advise the best