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San Antonio Spurs are the Utah Jazz the Utah Jazz want to be -- The Downbeat #1556

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Another Stockton in the NBA; The Jazz/Spurs rivalry turned family; missing Alec Burks; Looking at the NBA Draft; and grading the Kanter trade

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

This doesn't really have much to do with the Utah Jazz, unless you are interested in John Stockton and his family . . . but a fun story none-the-less for former Stockton obstacle George Karl and former Stockton hindrance the Sacramento Kings:

Keep it up David Stockton, now only 15,805 more to go!

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Tomorrow the Utah Jazz host the San Antonio Spurs. This is the ultimate big brother / little brother family reunion. The Jazz want to be the Spurs, and the connections between the two are apparent. Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey and Jazz head coach Quin Snyder were both part of the Spurs organization. Two of the Spurs best players, Tony Parker and Boris Diaw, are French basketball legends and no doubt feel affinity and pride for the strides Rudy Gobert has made over this season. Gobert is always quick to support his guys too.

Longtime Spurs backup, Patrick Mills, or Patty, is Australia and his injury was a main reason why Dante Exum was even on the Australian national team this off-season in the World Cup. Fellow Aussie, and rookie, Joe Ingles has known Patty for years.

Winning the game would be great; but I can't wait for Moni's recap of these two fraternal teams meeting.

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Remember when everyone was complaining about how "poorly" Alec Burks was playing? Well, outside of Gordon Hayward the wing rotation this season has been absolutely atrocious. Here are the season stats for Burks, the 'top' guys we thought would fill in for him (Joe Ingles, Rodney Hood, Elijah Millsap, and Ian Clark), and the four guys in the revolving door list (Elliot Williams, Patrick Christopher, Chris Johnson, and Toure' Murry).

DB 1556 - Alec Burks

Yeah, Alec doesn't looks so bad anymore . . . yeesh. Worst of all, we've had to rely on an athletic version of Craig Robinson and an angry Frenchman for Swagg this season. But more on Burks this week when my long-read on him drops.

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So . . . . I've been holding off on this for a while . . . . but All-Star break is over. Trade deadline has passed. It's going to be march in a few days . . . are the Utah Jazz contending for the playoffs? Nope. So I guess this means it's time to start heavily scouting the draft again. Right now the Jazz are in the thick of things:

Team W L % GB
1 Golden State Warriors 43 9 82.69% --
21 Indiana Pacers 22 33 40.00% 22.5
22 Boston Celtics 20 32 38.46% 23.0
23 Denver Nuggets 20 34 37.04% 24.0
24 Utah Jazz 20 34 37.04% 24.0
25 Sacramento Kings 19 35 35.19% 25.0
26 Orlando Magic 18 39 31.58% 27.5
27 Los Angeles Lakers 13 41 24.07% 31.0
28 Philadelphia 76ers 12 42 22.22% 32.0
29 Minnesota Timberwolves 12 42 22.22% 32.0
30 New York Knicks 10 45 18.18% 34.5

Such that right now the Jazz would be in a tie-break with the Nuggets for 7th most lottery balls. I suspect that the Jazz are not going to tank, and even though their wing rotation and bigman rotations are huge question marks right now, I feel like the Magic, Lakers, Sixers, Wolves, and Knicks are still going to lose more than they'll win. The Jazz appear in that secondary group with the Pacers, Celtics, Nuggets, and Kings.

Basically, unless something crazy happens the Jazz will be drafting in the 6-10 range. According to DraftExpress, the players who are ranked #6 to #10 are Mario Hezonja (SG/SF Euro), Willie Cauley-Stein (C from Kentucky), Kristaps Porzingis (PF EURO), Justise Winslow (SF from Duke), and Myles Turner (C from Texas). Most of those guys are bigmen . . . it's almost as if Dennis Lindsey knows what he's doing . . . and Enes Kanter's agent does not. Speaking of which . . .

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I am surprised we didn't do this earlier . . . but after a few days of thinking about it, what's your Utah Jazz grade for their work at the trade deadline. If you forgot they traded Enes Kanter and Steve Novak in a three team deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Detroit Pistons. In return the Jazz got Kendrick Perkins, whom they bought out; Grant Jerrett; and a future 1st rounder from OKC; and a future 2nd rounder from DET. To also refresh your memory,

But what is your grade?