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Jazz Jam Session: Yucca and Amar go bird hunting

Game #76: New Orleans Pelicans (32-42) @ Utah Jazz (23-52)
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
March 31, 2014 -- 7:00 pm MT
TV: ROOT Sports -- RADIO: 1280 am / 97.5 fm

April Game Streams -- The Bird Writes -- Pelicans vs Jazz coverage


Let's start Jamming with our own bandmates, huh? Bebop fan Yuccaman is here to do his thing, while I play accompanying bass.


1. What do you think about the New Orleans Pelicans as a franchise? How do they relate with the Utah Jazz? (E.g. Higher prestige? Lower national attention? Better players?)

YuccaMan: The Pelicans feel like a brand new franchise. I suppose that’s what comes with the renaming and all. In general, I think they get about the same amount of national attention as the Jazz—not that much. Which makes sense since they really haven’t won a whole lot in the past few years.

You can't argue with that, they've made a number of face lifts, from the name, to the colors, to the mascot even! (During the season!) I do think that basketball still isn't a huge thing down there, they have the Saints in the NFL, and LSU, and all that Jazz. Maybe if they were healthier they'd get more people excited. They do have a few smart die hards though. I guess that's where it starts.

I do think they have higher regarded players though.


2. In this game where do we have the advantage? Where do they? (E.g. Location, Xs and Os, specific players, style of play, health, specific positions on the court.)

YuccaMan: The game’s in Utah, and many Pellies are injured … so that should favor the Jazz. The Pellies have Tyreke, who gives the Jazz fits. If Davis doesn’t play, the Jazz should be able to get inside and do their thing … Alec, Derrick, and Enes should have fun. That’s in theory, of course. Didn’t happen last time.

Sometimes we get all the breaks, some times we don't get any. I think tonight things should go the way of the Jazz. Healthier, at home, and hungry to stop this losing streak. Still gotta play the game. So we'll see what happens.


3. Derrick Favors is finishing up his 4th season in the NBA, and has played 6,684 minutes in 286 total games. That's an average of 23.4 mpg, and 1,671 minutes per season. Enes Kanter is finishing up his 3rd season in the NBA, and has played 3,907 minutes in 210 total games. That's an average of 18.6 mpg, and 1,302 minutes per season. On the other team there is Anthony Davis, finishing up his 2nd season in the NBA. Davis has so far played in 4,146 minutes in 129 total games. Those are averages of 32.1 mpg and 2,073 minutes per season. Davis is the best player in this group, while being the youngest, and least experienced (by number of years in the NBA). He has also played the most minutes per season, despite having countless injuries. All three were Top 3 lotto picks. Is Davis really better than these guys? Did he 'earn' his minutes? And does forcing a player to 'earn minutes' matter anymore in an increasingly younger and younger NBA where players who are drafted are not finished products, but still in their learning/developmental stages of their careers?
YuccaMan: Davis is really better than the Jazz bigs. That’s not a huge insult. If you redrafted the entire NBA, Davis would probably go third … after LeBron and Durant. And yes, Anthony Davis earned his minutes. He did so the old-fashioned way: by being a far better player than the team’s other PF/C’s. I don’t mind Jerry Sloan’s version of "earning playing time". It led to big minutes for 2nd year Deron. It led to a huge increase in minutes for 2nd year Ronnie Brewer. It led to turning the starting SG spot to rookie Wesley Matthews. It led to Andrei’s early career playing time. It’s Ty Corbin’s version that has never made a lick of sense. I don’t even know what he’s talking about when "earning playing time" is brought up.

Do I think Enes or Favors are and will be better than Anthony Davis? No. Do I think they will be high quality players? Yes. Do I think their progress has been slowed due to lack of playing time? Yes. They made strides this year that they should have made in year 2 of their careers. I generally think of years 3-4 as being when a player generally settles into who he will be for his career. I honestly think with Favors this will be year 5-6 it happens. And Kanter around year 4-5. Alec also year 4-5. Hayward is the only guy who seems on schedule to me.
I'm going to side with the guy who gets nominated for teaching awards when it comes to development here. Also, this was a very leading question.


4. Who is going to win tonight? The rested Utah Jazz, or the injured and tired New Orleans Pelicans?
YuccaMan: I predict the Jazz will win.
It's almost money in the bank, Vegas is rarely wrong.


Thanks a lot Yucca, this was a lot of fun. And we should jam in real life too -- I'll bring my bass to Utah when I visit.