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Happy Birthday John Stockton - The Downbeat 1584

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Happy birthday John Stockton, Rudy Gobert doesn't want a fine, the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, injuries, and Matt Harpring is on double secret probation.

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, first of all, it's John Stockton 's birthday. Happy birthday John, you were such a huge part of the Utah Jazz for decades that we've never really gotten over you -- and you're the guy we compare all other point guards against. (It's very Freudian.)

The Carlos Arroyo / Raul Lopez era wasn't so hot. Deron Wililams ' time with the team was really just fire, but wasn't a solid foundation. Devin Harris, old flame Mo Williams, and "he's such a nice guy" John Lucas III weren't worth the trouble. Right now the Jazz have two young guys in Trey Burke and Dante Exum. Both are wildly inconsistent and do not play the game to their talents. Dante has the speed and quickness, but rarely attacks and instead focuses on outside shooting. In the long run this should pay off. In the now it makes as much sense as a Wizard fighting hand to hand (right Gandalf?); as for Trey he comes with the resume but hasn't lived up to the lofty expectations that he himself created.

Decades after Stockton retired the team is still trying to find that guy. Oh, good morning bae.

DB 1584 - Raul Neto

Even after a crappy loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, and the elimination of Team India in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 (thanks Australia!) it's nice to know some things can still bring a smile to my face!

Es hora de disfrazarse!! #friends #happy @zaira.molina

A video posted by Raul Neto (@raulneto08) on

Even if this could just be an animated cartoon TV ad for soap or whatever. At least Raul wouldn't be the first guy to lip-synch in front of a camera.

Happy birthday John, you were the Right one, baby. Uh. Er. Sir. Mr. Sir Stockton, sir. Sorry.

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As for last night's game . . . welll . . there was this:

And then the refs decided to call the game fairly. (That, Marge, was sarcasm!)

And then this:

That's not the entire game, but it's a nice side-note that shows that even our players do not feel as though they get the respect they deserve on their own home court.

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Today is the next stage in the NCAA Tournament. I'm pretty excited because we have a few teams left that mean something to us Jazz fans, who in an unrelated note are ever increasingly looking at the NBA Draft. Tonight we get to watch:

  • Wichita State (Ron Baker, Fred VanVleet) vs. Notre Dame (Jerian Grant, Demetrius Jackson, Pat Connaughton, Zach Auguste)
  • North Carolina (Kennedy Meeks, Justin Jackson, Brice Johnson, J.P. Tokoto, Marcus Paige, Theo Pinson, Isaiah Hicks) vs. Wisconsin (Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker, Nigel Hayes)
  • West Virginia (Juwan State, Devin Williams) vs. Kentucky (Karl Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Dakari Johnson, Andrew Harrison, Tyler Ulis, Alex Poythress, Marcus Less, Aaron Harrison)
  • Xavier (Jalen Reynolds, Trevon Bluiett) vs. Arizona (Stanley Johnson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Kaleb Tarczewski, T.J. McConnell, Brandon Ashley, Dusan Ristic)

The Jazz look to be picking late in the lotto, but I suspect the Jazz front office will scout the entire draft because they have the assets to move in a trade. And I wouldn't be surprised to see the Jazz make at least one. But for now, I am excited to see what Wisconsin can do. I'm not rooting for them, but they have a bunch of players that could be in Jazz range.

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Before we get to the draft we do have to look at this team. And it's going to be hard to find an accurate idea of who the Utah Jazz of 2014-15 are. Gordon Hayward is an All-Star snub who can take over games. Derrick Favors is still, at 23, scratching the surface of his abilities -- and is a 20/10 guy when he gets the ball. Rudy Gobert could simply be the best center in franchise history when all is said and done. Beyond that, yeah, it's hard to tell.

And there's one really big reason why:

Injuries help you get ping pong balls, and/or prevent your team from being as good as they can be. We don't know how good this team could be because we've missed Alec Burks. He's very good at a few things, and as we've seen over the last 10 games -- we need those things. He can create his own shot, get to the line, and has been very good at spot up jumpers. He's athletic enough to play some defense as well. He also means there's more overall wing depth if he starts or comes off the bench. He also shifts the defensive focus to him when he has the ball in his hands -- meaning more open shots for others. As we saw early on this season (and last) he was a willing pick and roll passer to Enes Kanter. He brings a lot of something to the team -- something this team went without. And as a result, the Jazz we see on the court is not reflective of the Jazz that exists in the mind of Dennis Lindsey.

He knows who the Jazz are better than anyone else right now. At least the absence of Alec has made him tinker with the roster even more, and given Quin Snyder and staff more work to do. The team will be better for it next season. And before the draft comes I think we all need to see more of Trey and Dante on the floor at the same time.

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We didn't have Matt Harpring as the color commentator last night. I, and others, suspect he got a low key suspension from either the Jazz, or the group that owns the Jazz and the TV station ROOT Sports because of the whole Flip Saunders thing that blew up in the 24 hour news cycle.

It's not as bad as say, the official Jazz account RTing kids in black face (no, not Julianne Hough), but still something that made the rounds on the web.

Did Harp get suspended on the down low?