Today we have to admit something to ourselves. There is a lot of good and still a lot of potential in the Utah Jazz offense that Quin Snyder is teaching our young guys. But there's still a lot of work to be done before even the simplest of things become automatic. (*cough cough* Operant Conditioning *cough cough*) The Jazz will get a chance to see how their offense works against the best team in the NBA tonight. Also a quick look at Jazz players and families in their off-time, and musing about the Hall of Fame. Also crazy dance movies. This is why you load this page up, after all.
Today the Utah Jazz get their second crack at the Golden State Warriors. Since last the two teams met the Jazz went 4-5, and did so without overt defensive force Rudy Gobert. Gobert continues to be injured and out of the line-up. On the other hand, the Dubs went 7-1. The good news is that they actually lost a game, which was not the case back when the two teams played in November. It should be pointed out that the Warriors lost in what amounts to their last game of a seven game road trip. So maybe they really a good. Tonight's game will be their third game in a five game home stand -- one which had them idle since the 18th. So, if anything else, we hope for rust.
I'm still in denial and can't believe that the Warriors won a title in the modern era, and are 26-1 right now. The Jazz have a commanding regular season lead in the head-to-head match-up at 103 wins for the good guys, and 68 losses. It should be noted that the Jazz did win a game against the invincible Warriors last season -- however, Utah wasn't in the fight at all in the Oracle. Tonight's game, a road game (so make sure to take your disco naps, Eastern Jazz fans) may have competitive moments. But I don't think our guys -- down two starters -- can fight against a team that never seems to have any serious injuries. Andrew Bogut is going to be back. Harrison Barnes may be out. And, well, Kevon Looney is still out.
RealGM continues to throw graphics at us . . . some of them are helpful.
According to this, the Jazz remain young (hooray!), but are now an offensive team, and not a defensive one. The data at Basketball-Reference seems to agree, the Jazz are now 8th best in Offensive Rating, but have fallen to 17th best in Defensive Rating. Of course, the idealized version of the Jazz that exists in my head is a team that's good at both things -- at the same time.
Who plays is a huge factor. When the Jazz are healthy you have Dante Exum and Rudy Gobert starting. Their offensive games are evolving, but they aren't really feared right now. Bereft of them, you are forced to give more time to Trey Burke and Trevor Booker (shifting Derrick Favors to the center spot). Those two are better offensive players than defensive ones.
But are theses issues of offense vs. defense more than just the players? Or, more hopefully, can the team play better and rise above the five men on the floor? I think so. Or honestly, I hope so.
What do you think?
Speaking of offense, Trey Burke 's sister broke the 1,000 point barrier for her high school team. (She's the one who looks like Trey Burke)
This makes me remember my high school days where I think I finished my career scoring like 31 points or something. My coach used to joke in practice about my lack of scoring ability. I don't know if that was supposed to motivate me to shoot the ball more, but it completely backfired. The assistant coach would say "Amar scores more off the court than on it." I don't know if that was a compliment or another joke, but I didn't want to dissuade the notion that High School Amar used to get phone numbers. In reality I scored more on the court than off of it back when I was on the basketball team.
I completely understand that this may not "count" as Jazz news enough for some of you readers. So here's more pics of the Utah Jazz players and coaches visiting the kids at Primary Children's Hospital:
Man, some of you are ravenous. Even THIS doesn't count. Fine. Here's Trey Lyles doing a big puzzle!
See, this is what happens when I am forced to find info on these rookies.
Sometimes our offense looks good.
But I don't think it looks this good yet.
So the next Basketball Hall of Fame class hopefuls have been announced:
This year we're going to see Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson, and Yao Ming (not for his NBA resume) all pretty much move from nominee to to inductee. There are a bunch of eligible players who probably will not make it, Chris Webber, Tim Hardaway, Eddie Jones, and basically almost everyone on this Basketball-Reference.com link. You may remember some of these faces!
It saddens me to think that there appears to be no immediate threat for another Utah Jazz player to even make the Hall of Fame. The closest I can think of would be Larry H. Miller (pbuh) as a contributor for his efforts to help stabilize the NBA and help resolve two modern era labor disputes / lock-outs. Even with the lax rules for international players both Andrei Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur are no where close to being nominated in the future. The last two Jazzmen to even make All-NBA team status, Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer, have flamed out so spectacularly that they will be thought off in the same light as we remember Mookie Blaylock and Glen Rice.
Will there be another Jazzman in the Hall of Fame? I mean, besides Trevor Booker for his dance moves?
Thanks to SLC Dunk reader Scott for making this. This is amazing!