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Unsung Heroes Edition - The Downbeat #1593

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

With the Jazz playing without Trey Burke last night, Bryce Cotton was able to contribute some good minutes at the backup PG position. He contributed 8 pts, 4 trb, and 2 ast in just over 12:00 (though he did have 3 tov). The most important thing is that in those 12:00 he helped the bench hold serve with a net +/- of 0.

Here's a piece from Cotton's hometown of Tucson, on the Arizona Daily Star's The piece has an interview with Bryce's high school head coach, and some great backstory on Bryce's journey to the NBA, including this tidbit on how he ended up at Providence:

After a stellar career at Palo Verde, Cotton had zero college offers. In May of that year, coaches at Chico State invited Cotton to campus for an official visit, flew him out, said they wanted him. Then, Chico State told him they had no offer for him. That’s Chico State — Division II Chico State, the Wildcats. Cotton was set to start at Pima College, but at the last second — as in, two days before school started — Providence swooped in, and offered him a scholarship.

Who doesn't love piling on the Kanter hate? Here's another tidbit for #KanterWatch

The Jazz are officially eliminated from playoff contention. There are only 5 games left. Here is Hardwood Paroxysm's eulogy of the Jazz's season

But next year, the Jazz will be expected to make the playoffs.

Do you agree? Do you hold this expectation? It seems logical that the next step is to fight for one of the lower playoff seeds, but could the Jazz miss next year, then suddenly jump into competing for the 4/5 position like the Warriors of 12-13?

Rodney Hood was pretty great last night. His 3pt shot was struggling (just 1-6), but he was able to get into the lane for some great little 6-8 ft jumpers. 25 pts on 17 shots is not bad at all. He took over the game in the 4th quarter, scoring 9 straight pts to help put it away. With how much he has dealt with nagging injuries, it's good to see things come together for Hood.

Now is the time when we start talking about what players improve upon over the summer. For Rodney, his fitness has seemed to be very good from the open of the season (Looking at you mouth-breather Danté), so his focus will likely be on his shot.

Oh, and... I don't think this means what you think it means:

Hood's nickname should be toolbag.

If you're into that sort of thing, the Basketball Hall of Fame inductees announcement is today. There have been reports of John Calipari and Dick Bavetta making the cut.