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The Downbeat #2042 - The I’m Not Joking Edition

NBA: Utah Jazz at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s get this out of the way:

So, Gordon Hayward, huh? Maybe John Wall knows his name now? Hayward is scoring 26 points a game, shooting 52% from the field, and 40% from three in the month of February. Is he trying to win player of the month award? Because that’s how you win player of the month award. In addition, he’s doing stuff like this:

And this

And this

And this

The Jazz had a double-digit lead against the Wizards for most of the second half. A late rally by Washington though made it a game again and an opportunity to make things very uncomfortable for the Jazz who hadn’t won in the nation’s capitol since 2012. With the Jazz up just six, 95-89, Hayward hit a three and a step-back jumper on back-to-back possessions to ice the game.

Hair Gordon has earned every bit of his max deal that he’ll sign this summer.

Speaking of new deals, tomorrow is the last day for either George Hill or Derrick Favors to get an R&E deal. However, Tony Jones is reporting that it’s not likely to happen for Derrick Favors at least,

Favors has one year left on his very cap-friendly deal and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018. He’s going to get a very large raise that summer. The Jazz are going to have to decide if they want to pay that. Hayward, Hill, and Rudy Gobert will all have large deals starting next season.

This is the problem that the Jazz knew they would have ever since the “Core 4” days. If everyone panned out, they were going to have to pay up including paying the luxury tax.

It’s a good problem to have for the team but it’s time to pay the piper.

Jones’ tweet doesn’t state anything about Hill’s status with an R&E, but in my opinion, regardless of Hayward’s decision, we’re better going forward with Hill in the fold. Should the Jazz lose Hayward, I think it’s a better path going forward building on what we currently have rather than doing a total tear down and starting over.

I’m old enough to remember when this site had a While You Were Sleeping feature which highlighted the previous night’s games and it’s impact on the Jazz. Of course, that was back when the Jazz were in the playoffs or at least in #playoffpush mode.

The race now for the Jazz is for the currently-held fourth seed with the Clippers. The SB Nation mothership has the race as one to watch down the stretch:

The No. 4 seed in the Western Conference is a bitter fruit. Sure, you get home court advantage in the first round ... but then you get the Warriors in Round 2. It’s not like the Spurs or Rocketswould be a cakewalk, but Golden State might legitimately be the most overpowering team in league history. That’s the pill you have to swallow to earn home court in the first round and that extra arena gate.

I don’t like the matchup against the Clippers in the first round regardless. After not winning against the Jazz for what seemed like 100 games, the tables have turned. The Clippers have our number whether they’re fully healthy or running out a skeleton crew.

That seems to be the destined battle though and I’d rather have home-court. The Clippers have Paul back earlier than expected, so now is the time for the Jazz to put some space between themselves and LA before the remaining two head-to-head games.

Monday open poll...

Who are your respective picks for the following awards from the Jazz?

  • Best performance in a lead role?
  • Best dunker?
  • Best passer?
  • Best dressed?