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"The It's About 11:45 PM" Edition- The Downbeat - #679

As if beating us wasn't enough:

The Knicks had to go and poke fun at Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson's intimate moment from earlier in the year. Thanks, Jerks.

We are two days away from the league naming the reserves for the two All-Star teams and Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated, Marc Stein of ESPN, and Sekou Smith of all believe that Paul Millsap is deserving of a wild card spot among the reserves from the West. It is important to note that since all of these guys picked Millsap as a wild card, he isn't beating out Lamarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love, two guys I think are more deserving than Millsap, but he's beating out guys like Kyle Lowry, Pau Gasol, or Tony Parker. I think that Millsap is deserving of being in the All-Star game, even in light of last night's poor performance. He's clearly the best player on a decent team and I think he has been better than Pau, Lowry, Parker, et al. He is still a top 10 player in the league in terms of Hollinger's PER. I also think that the second half of last year should be taken into account as a tiebreaker of sorts. But I would be very surprised if he was named a wild card. I just don't see it happening. And if I had to choose, I would choose for none of the Jazz players to have to go to Orlando. I would rather have them get 5 days off and a chance to heal. And as we know from Jazz commercials, they would just use those days to get better, not to rest.

It has been a fun season and there have been some great games, but the clock is close to striking midnight on this team. I'm afraid that once the Jazz fall out of the playoff standings, they may never see them again. But one reason I have a hard time believing in this team is because the Jazz are not a good road team, as evidenced last night when they failed against New York's Junior Varsity squad. Over the last 5 years, including 3 years where the Jazz were a playoff team, they only won 40% of their road games. If you combine that with the Jazz's current 2-6 road record this season, you are looking at something between an 11-22 and 14-19 record on the road this season. That will be hard to overcome, especially when you look at the many great teams that have yet to visit us at home (OKC, MIA, SA, DAL). I think it's great to believe in this Jazz team. I know many of you consider them a playoff team. But my self-proclaimed job is to provide evidence and a lot of it is weighing this team down.

Congratulations to TazzJazzFan and all you others who smarmily guessed my really easy trivia question from yesterday. The answer was Karl Malone, because the jersey numbers were doubling. 2-Stevenson, 4-Dantley, 8-Deron, 16-Elson, 32-Mailman.

For today, what do these players have uniquely in common?

Karl Malone, John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Moses Malone, Isiah Thomas

Open poll: How many Jazz players represent the team during the All-Star festivities and who are they?