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The Downbeat #1254 - MLK Day Edition

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Martin Luther King Day is great for basketball. If you're lucky enough to be in a job that gets the day off, hoops start up at 11:00am on League Pass, and at 12:30 on ESPN. In all, there are 20 teams playing, with 4 games on national television.

The Jazz don't play today, but I have some great memories of Jazz games on MLK Day... and some not so great ones.

Anyone remember this?

MLK Day in 2011 has significance too. On Monday, January 17th, 2011, the Jazz played the Wizards again. The gamed kicked off a 5 game road trip (4 on the east coast, the last in L.A.). The Jazz went on to lose the game 108-101.

The reason this is important? It was the first of a 6 game losing streak (including a 24 point drubbing by the Celtics in which most people saw Deron Williams give up), followed by alternating wins and losses over the next 8 games; culminating in a loss to the Chicago Bulls. The next morning Jerry Sloan would be retired. Two weeks after that, Deron Williams would be a Net.

Brandon Rush has been getting decent minutes with Hayward sitting out the last 5 games. During that period he is averaging 20 minutes a game, with his stats looking like this:


The averages don't blow you away, but his shooting looks great. He's shooting 53% (TS% of 65%!) from the floor, including 44% 3FG. Its good to see B.Rush come back to life. I hope the upward trajectory continues.

Which games (if any) are you going to watch today?