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The Downbeat #1497: Rudy Can't Fail

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

How are you guys feeling about the name "The Downbeat?" Because "The Dustinbeat" also really rolls off the tongue. Just a thought.

The Jazz lost again last night. You know what, though? The Wizards didn't look that tough. The Jazz, despite missing a huge part of their lineup, hung in there for 95% of the game. That's something.

Part of that something is that every Eastern team, minus Toronto, must be looked at with the proper perspective. East/West balance has been a hot topic this season, and for good reason. The Bucks are 12-12. They have won 4 games against the Western Conference. Three were at home. Of those, one was against the KD/RW-less Thunder. They have beat one WC team away: the Timberwolves.

I have no doubt that if the Jazz were in the EC, they would be at least +5 in the win column.

In the game last night, Rudy shined in his first start. He did have an overall -13 on the box score (attribute that to the late 4th quarter run by the Wizards), but digging deeper, he was great. He ended with an overall defensive rating of 92, had 3 blocks, 9 rebounds, and shot 60%. One of the problems on the offensive side is that he is being ignored by his teammates. Even Matt Harpring noticed several times that Rudy was open for a lob, but was ignored. You can't ignore a guy that has an eFG% of almost 70% in the restricted area.

Rudy also has second highest net production, according to 82games.com. He sits at a +7, behind Hayward's +9. It's not even close either. The next player in that ranking is Favors at -0.5. Rudy needs to play more.

A few days ago, Miller Sports Properties (parent company of the Jazz) signed an exclusive partnership with U of U health care. I haven't seen this mentioned on SLC Dunk, but this could potentially be a big boost for the Jazz. From the press release:

Miller Sports Properties and the Utah Jazz announced today a five-year partnership agreement with University of Utah Health Care that will result in access to world-class sports medicine and clinical care expertise and the development of collaborative community relations outreach programs.

Of course the program is only as good as the use they get out of it, but it could potentially help the Jazz to really innovate in the area of sports health. They have already been on the forefront by sending their players to P3 to develop athletically, so let's hope this is along those lines.

Last year, Ben Golliver of SI.com posted a list of the NBA's Worst Starters. Remember that? It included fan favorite Richard Jefferson, who started for the Jazz. Well, this year the Jazz proudly have no players on the list.

Second annual All-Atrocious Team: The worst starters in the NBA

Carlos Boozer made this list.

Oh, and Richard Jefferson:

After inexplicably starting in favor of Alec Burks for former coach Tyrone Corbin on a rebuilding Jazz team, Jefferson has found a more appropriate role (12.2 minutes per game off the bench) in Dallas after signing for the veteran’s minimum over the summer.

Richard Jefferson was a pet of Ty Corbin's. Segue!

Something crazy happened in Sacramento last night. I'll let SB Nation big shot (and one of my favorites) Tom Ziller take it from here:

Reports from Sam Amick and Adrian Wojnarowski are citing philosophical differences between Malone (who was franchisee Vivek Ranadive's first hire) and GM Pete D'Alessandro, who arrived a couple weeks later. D'Alessandro wants to play up-tempo. Malone is a grinder. Alas. George Karl is the big rumored name. Ty Corbin is the interim.

Bizarre. The first thing I thought, after hearing the news from my wife and mention of the style of play, was, "They better be on the phone with George Karl."

I would have thought winning was the important thing, but when you have the chance to eff with a team's chemistry after it's best start since Friends was cancelled, you gotta do that.

Check out Ziller's full article here: Good Morning. The Kings just fired their coach.