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Downbeat #2014 - George Hill needs a nickname

Or we can just go with George “Mountain” with how big he’s been so far this season.

NBA: Utah Jazz at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz are being led by a point guard, and all is right with the world again. Also, injury updates on Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks? Check. Making fun of the promotions department of the Utah Jazz? Of course. An opportunity to see Marcus Paige in the Aunt Viv? Tonight? Heck yes. Making fun of the New York Knicks? Always.


George Hill.



So far this season he has gone up against Damian Lillard (Shabazz Napier), D’Angelo Russell (Jordan Clarkson), and Chris Paul (Patty Mills). Tonight — if they are healthy — it’s going to be some combination of Deron Williams, Devin Harris, and J.J. Barea. He is taking on the gauntlet of Western Conference point guards. And he is coming out a little bloodied, but some of that is from his enemies.

Hill is averaging 20.5 ppg, 4.8 apg (only 1.0 to), 2.3 rpg, and 1.3 spg. He’s making 2.0 threes a game while shooting .364 from deep. Overall he’s hitting .534 of his shots and a stunning .857 from the line. He’s running the team to a 130 ORTG when he’s out there, and a fine 107 DRTG. He’s got a PER of 25.4, and most of the analytics that matter laud his play this season.

He needs a nickname. ASAP.


The major downer has been the Alec Burks news. I’ve been a little lax in detailing the injuries here because, well, it’s a bring down. But I am positive about what little we know about the procedure that Burks had performed in New York.

It was an adjustment made in order to better direct his healing. It’s not a new injury. It’s like going to the dentist to get your braces realigned. Except more invasive. Like shearing off growing or split bone. Through the use of scope.

Okay, so it’s not as little of an issue as I’m making it sound. But it’s not a new injury. And it’s not a huge surgery. There was nothing repaired or fused or fixed or mended. As I tweeted yesterday when everyone else was going to Google, this is the removal of build up. For example, when you go to the dentist for a teeth cleaning, and you’ve been avoiding going there for a while, you have plaque removed from your teeth through debridement. Alec had that done to parts of his healing bones of his feet.

The major recovery time is for the tissue here, not his joint. (As for Alec’s recovery time? It depends, was this a little thing like shearing off a heel spur or something more significant? I don’t know.) The ankle joint should be fine — after all it was on the mend to the point that they were checking on it and noticed that they could/should debride part of the bone. Structure is on the mend. Function will return.

He’s going to be out for a while, though. So keep enjoying the Shelvin Mack (Ops) in the meantime as your shoot first guard off the bench.

While Burks is out for as long as he needs to, contract year Gordon Hayward is making stellar progress. He’s on the court and shooting. The time frame we were given was 4 to 6 weeks, back in the preseason. He’s right on target here.

So that’s good news. Does that mean Joe Johnson goes back to the bench? Dukie head coach Quin Snyder probably sticks with Dukie wing Rodney Hood as a starter. Just as long as Joe is out there finishing games I don’t think there will be any problems. You know, until the NEXT guy gets injured.


Do you like free things? Do you love corporate sponsorship? Do you go to Utah Jazz home games? Well if you like any of those three things then you should be excited for this piece of information! The NBA (and thus the Jazz) have announced all of their home giveaways this year. The Jazz play 41 home games, and are giving stuff away at 7 of them. So while small market teams like the Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings had T-shirts and glowsticks for all fans at their home opener, and the Jazz asked you to bring a blue shirt from home, remember these sweet giveaways:

2016 2017 Utah Jazz home game giveaways

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen — get your own Coors Light Beef Flask when the Utah Jazz host the New York Knicks on March 22nd. Wait, what? Beef Flask? Oh, they fixed it when you re-load the page, now it just says “Flask”. Was writing “Beer Flask” a no-no? Is alcohol a big deal in Utah?

A flask is a metal container for liquid. Did they mean Beer Cosy?

Beer Cosy

Don’t worry, you can use something like this to help insulate cold canned drinks that are non-alcoholic as well. But honestly, this entire promotion thingy seems pretty poor. A hat? That’s good, that’s solid. A poster of the NuSkin Jazz dancers (or whatever they are called now)? Not that great unless we’re using it as prison currency.

Anyway, I’m filing this under “Utah is a special place filled with friendly people.”


Anyway, tonight the Jazz will force feed you some Salt Lake City Stars tonight. A while back I sleuthed out their roster, and a few hours after I posted it they just e-mailed the roster to the Jazz beat writers. Well, all 17 guys will be participating in events tonight around the #DALatUTA game.

Hayley Byrnes writes:

The team will be featured in a crowd shot during the second quarter.

A Stars ticket drop from the Questar blimp will occur during pregame and halftime.

One lucky section will receive Stars ticket vouchers in the third quarter.

Stars guard Marcus Paige will participate with the Jazz Dunk Team during their third quarter break performance.

Hayley Byrnes, Salt Lake City Stars,, 2016

There’s more to the press release than just that, but that’s really what matters here. You can win tickets. There will be a team photo. And our 6’0 nothing late 2nd round point guard who is a shooting specialist is going to do something with the Jazz Dunk Team. I really hope no one gets injured.


Jeff Hornacek doesn’t deserve this.

The New York Knicks center Joakim Noah, who has had years to learn to play and practice basketball — on the other hand — totally deserves to be made fun of.