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The Downbeat #1814 - With a hint of Gobert . . .

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Good news comes at just the right time

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

[Ed. The fickle and capricious Gods that rule the internet swallowed up this post as a data sacrifice. Sorry this is late.This is not Prodigal's fault, and this DB is not reflective of the quality and consistency of the content you all love reading that he creates. Anyway...] The Utah Jazz are hanging tough (click here to get angry at yourself for clicking here). The Jazz may have Rudy Gobert back, what does this mean for the emerging Jeff Withey, and the "hey, he's not so bad" Tibor Pleiss? How do these guys compared to Jazz bigs of old: Mark Eaton, Mehmet Okur, and Kyrylo Fesenko? Well, we know that at least two of those Jazz bigs were All-Stars. Maybe Rudy has a chance to make it this year? What do you think? ALSO -- a Karl Malone photo gallery of him doing crazy stuff!


The big news today, obviously, is that we're hearing rumors that center Rudy Gobert may return to action tonight. He has been upgraded from "OUT" to "Questionable", and is a game time decision for tonight -- as first reported by the SL Trib's Aaron Falk:

Implicitly, this is excellent news. For tonight it's also really good because it's a re-match against the Houston Rockets. Ty Lawson has been suspended for two games, one of which will be tonight. But Marcus Thornton could be back, so, meh. Sam Dekker and Donatas Motiejunas are both still out. HOWEVER, Dwight Howard is a game-time decision with lower back tightness. Knowing what we all know about Dwight, this Gobert news may have made his back tighten up a little bit more.



With Rudy Gobert back this means the team isn't as horrible anymore. I still think we need to see more of Trey Lyles and Jeff Withey than Trevor Booker, but that's just me. The big rotation will be less than ideal still because our best big in recent games was Gobert's back-up Withey. They both can't play on the floor at the same time -- and there's only 48 minutes to go at center. And they both can only play center.

What's your breakdown? 30 / 18? 35 / 13? Something else? Rudy is coming back from injury (in theory), should his minutes be fewer than normal? What do you think? And what does this mean for Tibor Pleiss?



Because, you know, why not right?, let's look at the updated NBA All-Star 2016 voting results . . . you can find them here. The big story is that Kobe Bryant is leading everyone for most fan votes. He has 1,262,118 total. Stephen Curry has 925,789, LeBron James has 636,388, and Kevin Durant has 616,096 votes. Those are the next three guys -- all players having a better season than Kobe -- and they aren't even close. Because we are Utah Jazz fans it's a bitter feeling to see that Enes Kanter (183k votes) is 10th out of all front court (SF, PF, C) players in the West. There are no Jazz players in the Top 15 for the bigs, and Top 10 for the guards. In fact, the Jazz family as a whole is very under-represented overall. Kanter is the only former player to be in the voting race in the West. And DeMarre Carroll (#14, 22k), and Paul Millsap (#15, 21k) are the only former Jazz players in the voting in the East. (N.B. Carroll plays for the Toronto Raptors, who are hosting the All-Star game this year.)

I guess it's pretty clear that our guys just aren't popular with the common fan. And it's the common fan who brings in the most money to the league, so obviously, the league has been given no indication that they need to support / promote / provide a boost for our guys. And we see that reflected with on-court indifference when a benefit of the doubt call has to be made.

That sucks, because these supposedly meaningless tokens do have actual on-court effects.

If the All-Star starters were decided by these votes this is what the line-ups would look like (If the coaches do not change it):

These look more like NBA 2K lineups than actual lineups. And because it's clear that I am living in the past, here are all of the Jazz All-Star, by year, but also separated by primary position.

Player POS # All-Star Selections
1 John Stockton PG 10 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 2000
2 Deron Williams PG 2 2010 2011
3 Rickey Green PG 1 1984
4 -- PG
5 -- PG
Player POS # All-Star Selections
1 Pete Maravich SG 3 1977 1978 1979
2 -- SG
3 -- SG
4 -- SG
5 -- SG
Player POS # All-Star Selections
1 Adrian Dantley SF 6 1980 1981 1982 1984 1985 1986
2 Andrei Kirilenko SF 1 2004
3 -- SF
4 -- SF
5 -- SF
Player POS # All-Star Selections
1 Karl Malone PF 14 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 2000 2001 2002
2 Carlos Boozer PF 2 2007 2008
3 Truck Robinson PF 1 1978
4 -- PF
5 -- PF
Player POS # All-Star Selections
1 Mark Eaton C 1 1989
2 Mehmet Okur C 1 2007
3 -- C
4 -- C
5 -- C

As you can see, this team hasn't had a lot of good shooting guards.



Also because I really am living in the past, Sports Illustrated put out this gallery of rare Karl Malone photos. (Thanks to Basketball John for this find.)

Which one was your favorite? I had a hard time picking, but I think it's the one of him and Eaton. I don't know why. Maybe because that's the Karl I really enjoyed, as a sports fan? I don't really know.



Seeing how this DB is somewhat center related, let's check in with Mehmet Okur and Kyrylo Fesenko . . .

Fes has to fly commercial air to get to his games in Eastern Europe.

До свидания, Краснодар. Это было весело! Еще увидимся!

A photo posted by Kyrylo (@armarius44) on

And Memo is complaining about the weather in his beautiful backyard.

Its been nasty here last couple of days ☔ ⚡ #jumpman looks like no golf for a while

A video posted by mehmetokur13 (@mehmetokur13) on

I'd love to have either of them on the roster right now -- but with Rudy Gobert back we probably don't need them. Thankfully.