The most important news in Utah Jazz land, as always, comes from Moni's excellent site https://jazzfanatical.wordpress.com/. Where else do you get up to the moment documentation on the grooming habits of Enes Kanter, Matt Harpring, and human disaster Steve Brown.
Personally, I enjoyed the "mid-life crisis" / "rebel" / "Br-eaking Br-own" look. Don't you ever google search for pictures of him because you will fall down a rabbit hole of websites that post pictures and grade sideline reporters for NBA broadcasts. And well, as much as Steve Brown is a nice guy, even the goatee didn't raise his stock much with the superficial internet.
Enes, on the other hand, pretty much just showed the barber some GTA IV concept artwork and said "Make it like Niko."
In the revolving door that is our bench wing rotation, Chris Johnson played in his first game of his (hopefully lengthy) Utah Jazz career last night. Due to the injuries to Alec Burks and Rodney Hood the Jazz front office has had to scramble to find capable wing players on the cheap. They have a steal with Elijah Millsap, who is averaging 19.7 mpg for the squad -- and signed him to a multi-year deal. Toure' Murry had a similar deal, but they cut him in the middle of the injury hysteria. They signed Patrick Christopher, but he got injured too -- and was cut even though he was signed to a multi-year deal. Elliot Williams made it through two 10-Day contracts, but was left to return to his life of Old Spice ads.
In his Jazz debut, the former 76ers player scored 5 points, went 2/3 from the field, and made a three, got a rebound, and stole the ball once. Is he the prince that was promised? Probably not. It was his 58th NBA game though, so there's that.
Apparently the Ohio native was awarded the Sub of the game by the Jazz broadcast crew, which on a night where Trey Burke came off the bench and scored 21 points (shot 53.8 fg%, hit 3 threes, and went 4/4 from the FT line), dished out 4 assists, pulled down 3 rebounds, and added a steal. So, well, I'll let Momma Burke tell it like it is.
I love Chris Johnson (hometown guy) but really????? The sub of the game? What game have you been watching? Ya'll gonna make me act up.— Ronda Burke (@Rondaburke2) February 5, 2015
I, for one, support Trey. I will openly admit that I support him. And will point out that this is ridiculous. I do not believe that the point guard spot is a zero-sum game for the Utah Jazz right now. Not with the changing way the NBA game is played, not with the playbook Coach Quin Snyder has brought to Utah, and not with the personnel that's on the team right now. But this is just silly. How is Trey Burke, who has not made a stink at all about coming off the bench, not even the best guy off the bench last night? Check out the box score for yourselves.
Really, guys. Step it up First Name Last Name people in the booth.
There are now four games before the All-Star Break. A double header, a three games in four nights, and then one against an actual contender. The Phoenix Suns should be tough, but we've handled them before. And they are in the Mountain time zone, so big deal. The Sacramento Kings game, man, we GOTTA win that one. If the Jazz continue to play close games on the road it's not impossible to see the team steal one of the games against the New Orleans Pelicans or Dallas Mavericks -- though it's highly unlikely that it's the Mavs dropping a game so close to the All-Star break.
|3||Tue||@ Trail Blazers||Loss|
|13||Fri||Rookie / Soph Game||Trey Burke, Rudy Gobert, Dante Exum|
|14||Sat||All-Star Saturday Night||Trey Burke (?), Dante Exum (?)|
It would be nice to see the Jazz pick up at least 2 wins and go into the break with 19 on the season, even better if they get their 20th win before the break. I don't see it happening though. I do suspect that with Lillard pouting, one of our guards (or both) will be involved in the Skills challenge on Saturday night. So we have that to look forward to.
UPDATE: Shams reports that Trey has committed to his Skills contest invite. I don't know how I missed this piece of news, oh wait, yes I do. Oh well. Can't wait to see him shine!
Utah's Trey Burke has committed to his invite for NBA Skills Challenge at All-Star weekend, league sources tell RealGM. He's reigning champ.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 31, 2015
... in other news Kyrylo Fesenko asked for help, and he GOT IT! Big Fes was awarded the January MVP (aka. Player of the Month) for his league for his dominant performances!
MVP January-Kyrylo Fesenko:19.5pts,11.0reb,1.0ass,eff 25,0! @KyryloFesenko @AvtodorSaratov http://t.co/uYq3B9E79Q pic.twitter.com/k89YUl0ttv— VTB United League (@VTBUnitedLeague) February 5, 2015
I will say that Fesenko did all the real work. The award is given to a player based upon a composite score that comes from summing the Efficiency Rating, League Expert opinions, Media opinions, and then fan vote. Fesenko was #1 in both the League expert opinion and Media opinion, and #2 in Efficiency rating and the fan vote. I really don't know how much *we* helped. He ended up with more points than the #2 (Trey Thompkins - 6 points) and #3 (Kyle Landry - 5 points) cumulative scores combined.
Thank you to each SLC Dunker who voted, and congrats again to Kyrylo Fesenko! You did it! Keep kicking butt!
So Kobe Bryant is an All-Star this year, despite, you know. In his place the league gave the replacement spot to DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings, instead of, well, more deserving guard / wing players. Damian Lillard, the starting point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers, appears to be a huge snub. And he has sulked about this. Personally, if you are awarding good players with great stats on bad teams -- why does Sac get a look, but not Utah? Gordon Hayward is having a great season too, and the Jazz are only 1.0 games behind the Kings.
And really, this? This is an All-star?
Who should have made it as Kobe's replacement?