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The Utah Jazz are not the team you want to face after Easter -- The Downbeat #1879

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After looking at the data, the Gods favor the Utah Jazz.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Hoppy Easter Everyone! Er, I mean, Happy Easter! #HeIsRisen . Divine celebrations aside, we have some Utah Jazz basketball to talk to in this Weekend Downbeat. We look at how the team does around this time of the year, what's going on in College Basketball, and look at a fundamental problem with this team -- transitional baskets. All this and a great photo to make you wax nostalgic!


Happy Easter everyone! It's a special time of the year for people all over the world. And historically, it's also been a pretty special time of the year for the Utah Jazz. Over the last 15 years the Jazz have played after Easter only 12 times (Easter's date changes every year and the Jazz don't always make the playoffs on the years where it calls late in April) -- and are pretty good.

Easter 1st Gm Game and Result W L %
1 4 15 2001 4 17 2001 vs Clippers Win 1 0 100.0%
2 3 31 2002 4 2 2002 @ Nuggets Loss 1 1 50.0%
3 4 20 2003 --
4 4 11 2004 4 12 2004 @ Timberwolves Loss 1 2 33.3%
5 3 27 2005 3 28 2005 vs Rockets Loss 1 3 25.0%
6 4 16 2006 4 17 2006 @ Spurs Loss 1 4 20.0%
7 4 8 2007 4 9 2007 @ Warriors Loss 1 5 16.7%
8 3 23 2008 3 25 2008 vs Bobcats Win 2 5 28.6%
9 4 12 2009 4 13 2009 vs Clippers Win 3 5 37.5%
10 4 4 2010 4 6 2010 vs Thunder Win 4 5 44.4%
11 4 24 2011 --
12 4 8 2012 4 9 2012 vs Spurs Win 5 5 50.0%
13 3 31 2013 4 1 2013 vs Trail Blazers Win 6 5 54.5%
14 4 20 2014 --
15 4 5 2015 4 8 2015 vs Kings Win 7 5 58.3%
16 3 27 2016 3 28 2016 vs Lakers TBD

That's 7-5 overall since 2001, and the team is on a six game win streak. They play the Lakers at home, their first game after their five game road trip, and it should be a highly contested game. But if streaks mean anything, then at the end of the day it should be another Jazz win after Easter.



As for the Lakers, well, they aren't that hot. They've won 15 games this season and only four since the All-Star Break. (Beating the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic, and Memphis Grizzlies -- all teams that have beaten the Jazz this year.) That's gotta count for something, I guess. Since the All-Star break they are scoring 103.2 ppg, but giving up 109.2 on the other end. And there are four story lines to follow: what's the deal with Bryon Scott; how good can D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle be; will the Buss family make any big changes; and something something Kobe Bryant.

The Jazz play the Lakers twice more this season. Tomorrow (Monday), and on the last day of the regular season -- ostensibly bean's last game ever. Utah can't slip up. The Lakers are playing tonight (Sunday) and will fly out to the #801 tonight and be on the second night of a back to back. For the last game they are rested, but just on the heels of a three game road trip (@ New Orleans Pelicans, @ Houston Rockets, and @ Oklahoma City Thunder -- three games in four nights).

To make sure there is no slip up the Jazz are bringing back Andrei Kirilenko to the Delta Center ESA Aunt Viv for a "2nd quarter recognition".

In case you forgot:

It's a big deal to have a home game against the most popular NBA team on the planet. And it's always fun to see "lifelong fans" show up in the colors. (Over-time we've seen "lifelong" Lakers / Cavaliers / Heat / and Warriors fans.) The bottom line is that they have to win against these easier teams -- that's something Houston and Dallas have failed at of late.



As for Andrei Kirilenko, the recently retired professional player who now has a desk job in Russia, he's a pretty big deal on his side of the pond. North American kids (like Trey Lyles ) grew up watching Kobe play and wanted to be like him. For CIS nations? Many of them wanted to be like Andrei. Case in point: New York Knicks bigman rookie Kristaps Porzingis .

DB 1879 - AK KP

This is more of a throwback Thursday post, but hey, I'll take it.

Predraft I think I went on the record as saying KP would be a little like Andrei and a little like Mehmet Okur . Knicks fans have mixed feelings about the Memo comparison. Some love it. Some want for KP to be the first KP. But let's be real, no matter what we're going to see a lot of Andrei in the Latvian bigman.

Bee tea dubs, the Rockmonster dropped this story on AK that you should read:

But getting back to our 2015-2016 Utah Jazz, I can't mention AK or KP without mentioning our lotto pick player Trey Lyles. It's also hard to figure out which "one" player is like Lyles. I see a lot of Donyell Marshall in him, in addition to a bit of Carlos Boozer (in terms of shot IQ). (For what it is worth, he looks a lot like a teen aged Felton Spencer too.) But ultimately his combination of floor skills and face-up skills may make him unique as well.

For his sake, and ours, I hope he's our 3rd big next season and not Trevor Booker.



Oh, in case you were wondering . . . this is what the Jazz's league low pace looks like per 24 seconds of half-court offense. (Via. Seth Partnow)

The average time it takes the Jazz to put up a shot after any in-bounding situation (after the other team makes a shot, or dead-ball situations) *or* defensive rebound is 14+ seconds. The dead-ball situations? Okay, I can see that. Getting a defensive rebound and  still taking this long? That's a problem.

As someone who watched 80s and 90s basketball I have a different idea of what is and is not acceptable than, perhaps, a fan who primarily watched the 2010 era Jazz. Sure, I'm not a teen anymore or in my twenties, but that's the trade off from actually seeing great Jazz teams though. It's nearly impossible for you to have seen them when they were great. But this gives me a much different frame of reference.

Utah used to run. I remember reading pre-season basketball almanacs that had guest sections written by team reps, and other teams FEARED the Jazz counter attack. Mark Eaton would help get the stop, but if the ball got to John Stockton in transition he would make the most correct play he could and Utah would have two more points on the board before the guy who missed the shot crossed halfcourt.

Maybe this counter-attack will return with the return of Dante Exum. We haven't seen legit fast-breaks since -- I guess -- Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko were on the floor together.

I'm not asking for Quin Snyder to abandon his defense or offense in favor of running up and down the court without purpose. I'm just asking for some more "Flying Death Machine" action after stops. Getting a stop and not making the other team pay for it is the Flintstones Boxing of basketball. It's stone age. And it's pointless. In the case of the Utah Jazz, it's also transition-points-less.



How's your NCAA March Madness bracket going? Not so good, huh? What about the NIT? The Final Four (played in New York) will happen this week  where we'll see George Washington vs. San Diego State . . . and . . . Valparaiso vs. BYU! That should be exciting right? We have distant rooting interesting in this one because of former Utah Jazz player Roger Powell ! (He also scored 43 points in an NBADL game as a pro rookie) He's an assistant coach at Valpo. I also have other rooting interests in him because he was a college teammate of other Utah Jazzmen Deron Williams and Dee Brown. And in addition to that, my wife used to mentor him back when he was in high school. It is a small world.

It should be an interesting game!