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The Downbeat #1320 - The Last 5 Edition

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

We're down to the final five games of the 2013-2014 season. The remaining 5 games are mostly against teams that outmatch the Jazz.

  • 4/8- Dallas: The Mavs are currently in the 7th seed, but just 1.5 games ahead of the Grizzlies (9th), .5 games ahead of the Suns (8th), and just 1.5 games back of the Warriors (6th). This one could be ugly for Jazz fans.
  • 4/11- Portland: The Blazers have been struggling, but have clinched a playoff spot. Currently they're the 5th seed, with 2 games separation between Houston (4th) and Golden State (6th).
  • After that you have 3 teams that are eliminated from the playoffs. One team is definitely better than the Jazz (Minnesota), one team would be better if they weren't decimated by injuries (Nuggets), and one team absolutely does not give a s**t (Lakers).

Couple this with the fact that, there are 5 games left, and you have a pretty good recipe for more games like last night. Overall, the Jazz probably get one of those games- the Lakers, at home.

Over at SI's Hangtime Blog, Rob Mahoney (@RobMahoney) and Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) did a post on changes they'd like to see Adam Silver make. Naturally the playoff seeding problem was brought up, but Rob Mahoney went a different route, and it's amazing:

I’m not even sure if this is in Silver’s jurisdiction, but I have a presentation-related proposal for an alternate broadcast experience....

This is a product the league already produces, in a sense. All I’m asking is for its distribution.

He continues:

The natural soundtrack of the game would make for an awesome product, if only as a programming alternative.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. This is something that I have seen Jazz fans opining for, and would be a great offer for the hardcore fans out there. Can you imagine? Nothing but the chatter of the fans, the squeaking of shoes, and a chance to hear what players are saying during the game? Yes, completely UNFILTERED. Mahoney goes on to mention that it might need to be replayed the next day to avoid the big bad FCC. We'll have to check with our legal counsel on this one (paging Mr. Novak), but I believe if you pay for a subscription, it doesn't have to be censored (think HBO).

This isn't directly Jazz related, but it does apply. Currently the Jazz are in a situation where they have a coach that is not known as being an X's and O's guy. He has however, been good at keeping the peace in the locker room. Yes, we have all heard the grumblings of the players on their way out, but he deserves a lot of respect for managing the temperament of his players. Corbin has shown aptitude in managing players personalities, and that counts for something in the NBA.

An example of the opposite? Frank Vogel of the Pacers. The Pacers have been a very good team most of the season, but recently they are falling apart. Actually, that's not a strong enough term. They are in complete disarray. So, a question for you, Dunkers: How much of this is on Frank Vogel and his staff? Having a good people manager on a coaching staff is a must, and the best coaches in the game have been able to do both. This is why the league needs guys like Ty Corbin. He may not be a X's and O's innovator, but he is a good man, and his ability to identify with players and address their needs is valuable on a NBA bench. He will find himself on another team's bench as the top assistant next year, and they will be a stronger staff for it.

Speaking of needed changes to the playoffs, am I the only one that LOVES Bill Simmons' Entertaining as Hell Tournament idea? He talks more about it in last week's NBA Mailbag. If you don't know what it is, check out the link, and discuss.

The idea of a mini one-and-done tournament in the NBA is tantalizing. Steal a little bit of the exciting recipe of the NCAA tournament and the NFL playoffs and inject it into the NBA postseason. It would be fantastic.

It would also be maddening because RJ and Marv would both play 40 minutes in a blowout loss to the Knicks.

There are twenty days left for college players to declare for the draft. So far, it's pretty quiet on that front, with Andrew Wiggins the sole player in the projected top 5 to declare. Expect that to change after the conclusion of the NCAA Tournament tonight.

Who will be the next to declare?