Last night I couldn't watch any of the Utah Jazz win over the Sacramento Kings, but because when you are sick you wake up at 3:40 am for no good reason, I got a chance to finish it. On both Kings and Jazz broadcasts. It really was the night of crazy threes. Way more of them were threes that were at the end of the shot clock, and honestly I don't think this is evocative of a good offense. Last night the Jazz worked hard, and got lucky. The other thing is that they took 31 threes in this game. After a few started falling some guys kinda fell in love with it. It worked last night.
Dante Exum went 4/9, Rodney Hood went 3/7, Trey Burke went 3/5, Joe Ingles went 2/4, Chris Johnson went 1/4 (not including the one he took where he got fouled), and Trevor Booker went 0/2. That group of six players took 50 total FGA in the game, ad 31 were from outside (that's 62%). It's a brave new world, Jazz fans.
That said, everything we know about the psyche of ball players suggests that a night like this (where they do end up shooting 42% from outside) is going to be counted as positive reinforcement for taking threes.
At the end of the day it makes our team more dangerous, after decades of being ineffectual from outside. Last night was filled with a bunch of storylines. I'm happy that Sim Bhullar got a rebound and scored a bucket. Baby steps for him. I couldn't help noticing that Rudy Gobert really wanted to talk some friendly, teammate trash to Jack Cooley because of that, and immediately after the game ended Gobert got up to be the first to greet Jack as he walked off the court. He also added this:
Good D @JackCooligan45 https://t.co/GTchStq6Wx— rudy gobert (@rudygobert27) April 9, 2015
I'm also not alone in identifying that Gordon Hayward just flat out looks gassed out there. He only shot the ball three times last night. Glad Rodney Hood is now finally healthy enough to shoulder a larger offensive load.
Yesterday was a super awesome day because it is the day that our friend, and tireless Utah Jazz beat writer Jody Genessy decided to surprise us all by gussying up a bit. He documents it with the help of his eldest son. It's an awesome video by an awesome guy. Check it all out:
Some of us have been doing the #BeardsForJody thing quietly. I know that I did it as the least I could do was grow a beard in support for our guy. It will be a relief to know that now I can shave this thing . . . but it has *puts on sunglasses* grown on me.
Congrats Jody, we all love you so much!
And if anyone else actually did the #BeardsForJody thing I am certain that he will appreciate your efforts if you tweet him a pic of you to @DJJazzyJody with that #hashtag.
So the Utah Jazz are going to have to rest on the votes of the media again to determine if any of our guys get noticed for end of season awards. Well, Sam Amick of USA Today explains that the NBA Player's Association wants their own awards, the "Players Choice Awards". So these awards are either more legit, according to some; but also falls onto the idea that NBA players actually watch other NBA players objectively and frequently enough to be able to rival the base knowledge of a media guy.
Apparently players wanted this, like Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. And this is a small concession to give them after every single time the NBA owners have locked the players out, the players have taken a beating in the negotiations to be allowed to get back to work. (Fun Fact: The majority of the fans out there think that lock outs happen because the players are greedy, but in each of the three NBA lockouts it's the owners preventing their employees from having access to their jobs in order to bully them into accepting less money each time to return to work! But the media spin owned by the NBA (which represents the owners, not the players) makes you think it is something else entirely!)
NBAPA Executive director Michele Roberts said, in a memo delivered to news outlets, "This program was created at your request to recognize outstanding performance of your peers, on and off the court. No one knows better than you what it takes to shine."
The voting will be anonymous, and the results will be announced in Las Vegas during the annual summer league / NBA meetings that happen there in July.
Speaking of Summer league . . . Tom Moore, a Philadelphia 76ers beat writer for Calkins Media let the cat out of the bag about the Rocky Mountain Review dates!
#Sixers Noel on skipping Summer League: ''ll probably come in & get some practicing w/the guys. How long this season is, I want to take ...'— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) April 8, 2015
More #Sixers Noel: '... this summer to really work on my game. I don't want to continue to put all these miles on my body.'— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) April 8, 2015
#Sixers will participate in Rocky Mountain Revue (Utah) and #NBA Summer League (Vegas) in July. #76ers— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) April 8, 2015
Alternative to Orlando. RT @balltillyhufall @tmoore76ers whats the Utah thing ??— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) April 8, 2015
No. Sixers just opting to go to Utah instead. RT @THEMichaelMatz @tmoore76ers is the Orlando summer league finished?— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) April 8, 2015
Sounds like July 6-9 in Utah. Vegas follows. RT @jyorg @tmoore76ers did they announce the dates yet?— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) April 8, 2015
Woo! But this means that the RMR will now happen at the same time as the Orlando Summer league, but that one has traditionally been before Vegas. This means it's an either/or situation now as the NBA continues to pool resources and attention to Vegas. So these teams will have to be assembled quite quickly after the NBA draft, it seems.
Personally, and this is just me being me here, I think the Jazz should bring the following players to summer league this off-season:
- PG: Dante Exum, Raul Neto (if possible), Bryce Cotton, Tre Bussey, Dee Bost (if he wants in), and Trey Burke (yes, 3rd year player). Maybe Trey doesn't play, but he's there in the practices and to help out / soak things up / gel with his team
- SG: (new guys)
- SF: Rodney Hood, Chris Johnson, Kevin Murphy (if he wants in)
- PF: (new guys)
- C: Jack Cooley, Jerrelle Benimon
I originally had Elijah Millsap on that list too, but I think he's finally earned a summer off. There are spots open for prospective stretch bigs, and obviously, our next draft picks. Five PGs + Trey may seem like too much, but that doesn't mean everyone has to play. After all we've carried guys in summer league more for practice and scouting than for actually player before.
Also I'm loading up on Idaho Stamps players, what's the point of having a team if you don't reward those players with a chance to show what they can do at the next level (summer league)? And, yeah, if some guys show that they really don't need it, then if they do the RMR they don't have to also do Vegas.
I was going to end with this kinda racist comedy piece by Michael Rapaport on the downfall of the American Caucasian point guard in the NBA (where he mentions the hey-day of John Stockton, Mark Price, etc, and how the best kids can now hope for is to be the next Steve Blake), but it seems like the comments section was already all over that! But if you missed the video you can watch it here (there are some no-no words in it, so not entirely safe for work). The whole point is a plan on the "Salvation army" but called the "Stockton Army".
Anyway, we're not doing that. We are looking at the best flops of the 2014-2015 NBA season. Ben Golliver over at Sports Illustrated nee SB Nation, breaks down all the flops, fines, and individual players who did their best to do their worst this season over here. I understand flopping is part of the game and the stars who do it well get away with an unfair advantage. Even Karl Malone used to work his way to the line by being able to use his star power and some acting to make contact seem worse than it is. But most of the time he would just get hammered, but still . . . I just don't like flopping.
The worst offender this season was P.J. Hairston, and the team with the most flops was the Charlotte Hornets. P.J. remarkably flopped once every 312 minutes on the floor, which isn't bad but when you compared it to the All-Star players this year, their rate was once every 61,657 minutes combined. Yikes. (Btw, all original research is by Golliver.)
At the end of the article there is a Top 10 with videos of the worst flops of the year, including commentary. It's hilarious and worth the read. Though, I really believe that nothing well ever top this Manu Ginobili / Raja Bell double flop.
This is like the scene in Heat with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, but of flopping. Pure greatness was observed.