Sunday, December 28, 2008


With the Jazz struggling through the 1st two months of the season, it’s amazing that our record resembles what it does… 18-14. It could definitely be worse, especially with the crazy things we’ve had to face this year. I want to share some of those things that amaze me about the Jazz, up until this point. I’m amazed that…

The Jazz have suffered so many injuries.

We’ve been ravaged by injury. Carlos Boozer has missed 20 games and counting. Deron Williams missed 13 games with an ankle sprain. Paul Millsap is out with a knee injury. Kirilenko has missed a few games here and there. Memo has missed 8 games, 3 recently with back spasms. Matt Harpring has missed 12 games with his ankle issues. And the unforgettable Jarron Collins has NOT even played a game yet this season (perhaps that’s a blessing).

We’re still in the playoff hunt.

Yes, I know… we’re currently resting outside of the playoff eight (sitting at #9). But, considering the players who’ve been out for us, it’s fantastic to see that we’re still playing above-.500-ball. Hopefully, time will heal our injuries and we’ll get back on the floor healthy soon.

Paul Millsap has nearly matched Boozer’s production as a starter.

It’s awful that big Paul had to suffer from the Jazz injury bug. He was on such a roll! Millsap racked up 15 double-doubles in a row until the Milwaukee game where he had 11 and 9, and suffered a hyper-extended knee. His averages were suberb!… 15 and 9.

Our wings are stepping up when we need them.

Perhaps this might be a good stretch to have our stars injured on the bench… it just may force some of our younger players to grow up and develop. In particular, Ronnie Brewer and CJ Miles have been forced to play more minutes and increase their production. The other night, while not having the option of going to Boozer, Okur or Millsap, Ronnie Brewer produced for a 23 point, 7 rebound night against Dallas and then backed that up with a 21 point, 7 rebound outing versus Houston. In similar fashion, CJ Miles scored 14 and 15 points respectively over those two nights.

Koufos enjoyed a break-out game & Fes has a pulse.

We’ve heard a lot of praise regarding Koufos and his work-ethic. It’s great to see that it’s paid off on the court. Koufos exploded the other night against Dallas, scoring 18 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. He’s proving that he could be the steal of the 2008 draft (when getting picked so late in the 1st Round), while providing some much needed quality minutes on the floor. His counterpart, Fes the giant, awoke this weekend. He shocked the very core of Jazz fans by playing extremely well (8 points, 4 rebounds & 3 blocks vs. Dallas; 12 points, 11 rebounds, & 3 blocks vs. Yao). One thing is for certain… he doesn’t lack for talent or size. It’s just a motivation & “mental makeup” question (if we could just work on this aspect…).

The Jazz remain competitive against the elite teams despite being short-handed.

We very easily could have won that game against Houston. Infact, we should have. If only Ronnie would have hit those foul shots… Regardless, we’re playing tough against the elite teams like Dallas and Houston without Boozer, Memo or Millsap in the line-up.

It’s amazing
And I’m sayin’ a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight.

Monday, December 22, 2008

More of the Booze

Remember this guy?  He's weighed in on the Boozer opt-out talk by revealing that last year Carlos requested he be dealt somewhere with a better climate for his young son, who is suffering from sickle cell anemia.  Maybe I'm cynical, but I buy this kind of talk a lot more when it comes from Derek Fisher than Carlos Boozer.  And I get the feeling Larry does too.  

Like Boozer's original comment last week, the timing of LHM's words are interesting.  Bit of a reminder to Utah's oft-injured power forward that the Jazz brass can communicate/negotiate through the press just as well as he can, perhaps? 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Boozer to Opt Out: Part Two

The D News has Kevin O'Connor's response to Boozer's opt-out talk yesterday: "It's a little peculiar."  

Translation: "I get a little tired of Carlos doing this through the media.  Why doesn't he just come talk to me?  I don't really want him on the team next year."

Boozer also announced his left quad is still a little sore and he wants to get a second MRI done on it.  

Translation: "I don't really want to play right now and am going to be out a bit longer."

I'll admit I'm no doctor, but this seems like exactly the type of thing Karl Malone or Paul Millsap would play through.  I'm sure his leg hurts, but that's what happens when you play in the NBA.  Enough!  Get back on the court.  

Finally, let's not forget that Boozer talked to about this instead of one of the local papers.

Translation: "I'm taking my case to the country at large and want to make sure that every team in the NBA knows I'm available."  

Boozer To Opt Out

While this news isn't very surprising, I think the timing of his declaration to "opt out" is extremely strange. Perhaps it's just a no-brainer!

I find it strange though, for a few of reasons:

1. He's injured. Does he expect a raise when he hasn't played for 14 straight games?

2. Millsap is playing well. Could this be his way of saying, "Well, I'm just as important as Paul"?

3. It's December. These decisions usually don't happen until the end of the season. Like I said... perhaps it's just a no-brainer.

The good news is that we now know Boozer will be on the market during the summer of '09. The Jazz can now prepare for that absolute inevitability. The article gives a good explanation to the logjam of contracts and situations the Jazz will have to face in the offseason. Hopefully, this doesn't play out to be a distraction for the Jazz during this season. Because... we need to get back to our winning ways.

A Line Up Shuffle?

Despite Pasty Gangsta's lack of confidence, the Jazz stormed back last night to overcome a horrific start, and come out victorious against the Nets.

It appeared that Jerry was fed up with starters Ronnie Brewer and CJ Miles. Miles only logged six and a half minutes while Ronnie was in for a little less than 10. Both were on the bench the entire 2nd Half, when the Jazz made their furious comback.

Was this an isolated lesson for these two young Jazzmen? Or will we see AK and Korver in Friday's starting line-up in Motown?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jersey Boys

Our Jazzmen just scored 7 points to open the 1st quarter and are down 20 to the Nets.  We are awesome on the road.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


AOL Sports, the "Fanhouse" website has provided us some insight to what we're all probably thinking. If Carlos Boozer decides to opt out of his contract, the Jazz may just let him go and re-sign Millsap in his place.

Of course, this decision is a long way off into the future. But, it's great to see Millsap playing so well in light of Boozer's absence. His 32 points and 10 rebounds against KG and the Celtics shows us that Millsap may be ready for a permanent resting place in the starting lineup.

Clearly, I think it's best to have both Boozer and Millsap healthy and contributing to the team. We'll have to hope that Boozer returns to the lineup soon. Because without him, the Jazz have been playing .500 ball (in 14 games, the Jazz are 7-7 without Boozer in the lineup). Get well soon, Carlos... And let's continue the great effort, Big Paul Millsap!

Here are some additional articles to think about... SLTrib by Gordon Monson and John Hollinger comments at

We Were Afraid

Coach Sloan's remarks in the Deseret News after the loss to the Boston Celtics, 100-91:

"Well... the Jazz coach said, it looked like we were scared to play against them to start the ballgame. It looked like we were afraid," Sloan added. "We wanted to play out on the perimeter and take jump shots."

"Finally we got the ball inside a couple times, and started playing around the basket a little bit more, and had a little bit more success," said Sloan, "But, you know, they're awful hard to get the ball inside on, because they're a very good defensive team, and they knock you around a little bit. And our guys wanted to stay outside, because I think they were afraid to get hurt. They had us intimidated a great deal."

Wow. There's nothing like the "hard-core truth" coming from Coach Sloan. Jerry is the master at motivating his team and instilling toughness. Let's see how the team responds on Wednesday versus New Jersey.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Head Coach" Kenny Natt

ESPN is reporting that, for the time being, Kenny Natt will serve as the Kings' head coach after the firing this morning of Reggie Theus.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Tox Box Experience

Welcome to Energy Solutions Arena, where the age of hip and cool has officially come into effect. Once the Delta Center changed its name to Energy Solutions Arena (aka the "Tox Box"), with it came a fresh attitude and vibrant new atmosphere. Goodbye Jazzy note, Hello hip-shades of blue.

The other night, Rising Stock invited me to the Portland TrailBlazers game last Thursday. I warned him (being that this was my 2nd attended game this season) that he'd have to prepare himself for a major change in Jazzgame entertainment and experience. Since I hadn't been to a Jazz game in a long time either (living out-of-town), it was wild to experience a Jazz game with its new entertainment "flavor-makeover". How else can you explain the new Jazz experience phenomena?

Let's just count the ways...

What's hip?
Here's a little "ham and eggs coming at you"... Warm-ups, timeout, stop in the action, and we're listening to a little Rihanna, Pink or Flo Rida. "Live Your Life" by T.I. and "The Sweet Escape" by Gwen Stefani are commonplace.

What's not?
Where's my Oingo Boingo, "Dead Man's Party"? Burning Down the House? KC & the Sunshine Band? What's a Jazz game without the classics? It's like the game operations people fired the old '70's vet and hired a young "teener" to run the show. In all honesty, I kinda like the change...

What's changed?
The starting line-ups. DWill got his wish. The line-ups are done with lights-off, strobes blaring, video highlights, raging music and the Bear at center court waving the Jazz banner. It's actually a nice wrinkle to the game atmosphere.

What hasn't?
The Bear. He's up to his old antics. That wily Bear!... always playing pranks on the refs. However, how come he doesn't sled down the arena stairs anymore? What ever happened to the Bear 'revving-up' the motorcycle engine? Times... they must be a changing.

What's hoppin'?
The Jazz Dancers. Keep doing what your doing, ladies. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite see you very well from the 21st row, corner-aisle. Bad view... But,"Nice moves anyway..."

What's not?
The In-house Jazz Dunk Team. Do these guys actually get paid to dunk? I believe that I could probably jump on a trampoline and fly around, doing acrobatic dunks too. No... actually not. But, I do remember playing dunk ball off a tramp in 6th grade. It was pretty fun. Please don't wave your arms in self-grandeur after performing an acrobatic flush. You're really not THAT good!

What's pure entertainment?
The KissCam, the FlexCam, & the DrummerCam. You take your pick. It's pure and utter joy. From the unassuming to the unexpectant or outrageous, the JumboTron Cam keeps the laughs a-coming. Just beware! The Cam will getcha, oh it'll getcha, if your not careful.

What's not too entertaining?
The halftime shows. They could use some upgrading on their productions. The human slinky was interesting, and the juggler was semi-impressive, but I think I'd rather take "a round" through the concourse and do some people watching. Now, that is entertaining! What kind of crazy folks will I run into this time?

What's the fad?

The Pink Jazz Jerseys. I saw a lot of Kyle Korver "pink" jerseys being worn by the lovely ladies. What's not to like? He's got tremendous form on his 3-point jumper.

What's out?

The retro Jazz logo, tight Stockton shorts, and shades of green and gold.

What rocks? A Jazz blowout over the Raptors last week and a Jazz victory over the Blazers. I'm currently 2-0 when attending Jazz basketball games.

What sucks? An Orlando Magic 28-7, 3rd quarter run resulting in a Jazz loss. Yuck! That sucks.

Brewer Out

Ronnie Brewer will be out of action tonight versus the Orlando Magic. The passing of his aunt has sent him back home to attend her funeral services.

Brewer was noticably ailing during the Portland game on Thursday night. One could visibly tell that he was affected by the family news regarding his aunt. He didn't seem to be playing with his usual energy and enthusiasm.

We hope that Ronnie returns soon and might be able to overcome this sad and tragic time for his family.

The questions remains... who replaces Brewer in the starting line-up? Kirilenko? Korver? Almond? If I were making the decision, I'd play Morris Almond at the 2-guard, so as to keep the rotations the same. AK47 and KK26 seem to relish coming off the bench and bringing the instant offense and defensive spark. Let's keep it the same.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lebron Pays Homage

Nice to see the youngster give some respect to those who dunked before him.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jazz Musings

Back-to-Back Trouble
You can expect the Jazz to lose at least one game of a back-to-back when they play two days in a row. They’ve been consistent in losing the 2nd game of the back-to-back this season. So far, the Jazz have played in 8 back-to-back games. On the first back-to-back set, the Jazz beat Sacramento, only to lose to Minnesota the next day. It has been consistently that way since… winning the first game and then losing the next day. Last weekend was no different. The Jazz walloped Toronto on Friday and then lost to Phoenix on Saturday. Hopefully, this won’t become a common trend for the Jazz as it has shown to be.

Tight Game
The Phoenix-Utah game was so close that both teams were tied after each period of the game. After the 1st quarter, the score was tied at 26. The halftime score was knotted up at 50. And finally, the 3rd quarter tally was tied at 78. The Suns were able to score 2 points more in the 4th to win the ballgame, 106-104. These teams are clearly evenly matched when they play each other. The Jazz won the first encounter against Phoenix 109-97.

Memo For 3!
Memo had an awesome game against the Raptors on Friday night. His offensive game showed up a-plenty for the Jazz. He was awesome, making circus shots, fade-aways and 3-pointers throughout. I believed that he needed to be singled out for his spectacular play on Friday. He put up a stat-line of 21 points and 5 rebounds. The next night against Shaq, Memo posted a solid 12 and 13. Hopefully, he can keep up his production as the season progresses.

14 In 12
Harpring surprisingly played against the Raptors and blew-up off the bench, scoring 14 points in 12 minutes. He was unbelievably productive. His staple, foul-line extended jumper, coming off the down-screen was automatic. For someone who has “harped” on Harpring in the past (like myself), I have to admit that on Friday, he was awesome!

10 In 6
Koufos scored 10 points in 6 minutes of garbage time. As mentioned by Pasty Gangster, Kosta was impressive. We might just have a terrific player on our hands.
1 Week
Knowing Boozer’s history with injuries, his quad may take longer to heal than first expected. I’m not sure I really believe this report about Boozer's return. Let's hope it's true.

20 Days
That’s how long Coach Sloan thought he’d be around the NBA as a coach. Instead, he’s the longest tenured head coach for one single organization (@ 20 years). reports

My 1st
Being the only TCG contributor living in the greater SLC valley, I feel like I have the responsibility to see more Jazz games (I watch a lot of games on KJZZ and Fox Utah). But on Friday night, I finally got my first chance to see the Jazz “live” this season against the Raptors. It took a friend (being rejected by 3 girls) to finally step up and ask me to go to the game. There’s nothing like a dude striking out 3-times in order to get the nod. Twas’ my good fortune. Go Jazz!

Next Up: @ Minnesota

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Few Thoughts

A few thoughts after this weekend's games:
  • Kosta is for real.  Did anyone catch the end of the Toronto game?  Granted it was garbage time, but in six minutes of action he put in a few nice turnaround jumpers, grabbed some boards and threw one down.  He finished with 10 points on 5-5 shooting and also hustled, which you know Jerry loves.   He's still a rookie so he's going to have rough patches here and there, but watch out for him!
  • I for one am going to be sad to see Millsap go back to the bench upon Boozer's return.  17 and 11 over the last few weeks. . .those are great numbers.  I think we now officially have a logjam at power forward and that ain't a bad thing considering one of the guys has a foot out the door already.
  • I don't think Korver or Almond are ever going to be great fits on the Jazz as the team is currently constituted.  Even with all of the injuries, neither has really stepped up to the plate and there's a lot of competition already at those spots.  Korver knocks down a few threes here and there and is nice to have around to finish off close games at the line, but he makes as much as Brewer and Miles combined and is half as valuable as either.  
Note: The picture above doesn't really have anything to do with the post, I just found it as I was writing it and was amazed at the "surprised-in-a-happy-way" look on Jerry's face.  I think Memo is rubbing his back with his right hand. . . 

Friday, December 5, 2008


That's right, Forbes is valuing the 2008 Utah Jazz at $358 Million. For some perspective, that makes the Jazz the 14th most valuable franchise in the NBA (nearly smack dab in the middle of NBA valuations).
Some additional perspective: The NY Knicks are the MOST valuable team in the NBA (worth $613 Million) and the Milwaukee Bucks are the LEAST valuable team in the NBA (worth $278 Million). In spite of these valuations, I am not sure which team is worse.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Ice Pick Wars

In reference to the Jazz and its recent defeat to the Miami Heat, Coach Jerry Sloan spoke to reporters regarding the team's effort, battling through adversity and playing shorthanded. This is what he had to say to the Deseret News...

"You know, when we're shorthanded, we need that (Millsap's effort). We can't just say, 'Well, we'll get 'em next game,'" he added. "This stuff rolls by you really fast, and pretty soon you wake up and say, 'Wow, we've dug a hole for ourselves and now's the time to come out of it.' Well, it usually doesn't work that way."

"I just think," he said, "we have to continue to work at it, see how we come back, not have too many ice-pick wars in the locker room and out in the street, and we'll be fine."
Ice-pick wars?
Did he just say... ice-pick wars?
Is this what he meant by Ice-Pick Wars?...
Ice-Pick, the Warrior...

Ice-Pick, the Villian...

Go Jazz! Win those Ice-Pick Wars!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Kaman for Boozer?

The Clippers are trying to move Chris Kaman.  The Jazz are going to have to dump either Kirilenko or Boozer this year (or see Boozer walk), and the way Millsap is playing, I'd rather it be the latter.  And yes, Boozer for Kaman straight up works from a salary cap perspective.  Oh, and did I mention that Kaman has ADHD? I think that will go over quite well with Jerry at practice.  

Upside: The Jazz get a young, high-quality big man who blocks shots and boards like a maniac.  They also get something in return for Carlos.  

Downside: The aformentioned ADHD, Kaman gets hurt a lot (but then again, so does the Booze), and the unfortunate possibility that the Clippers might not be interested in the trade because it doesn't really solve their Randolph/Camby/Kaman logjam that's making them want to move Kaman in the first place.  

All in all though, I wouldn't mind seeing this beautiful man play for the Jazz in the future:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

Boozer being hurt. A strained quad is holding Boozer out for extended games with injury. Doesn’t this sound familiar? Boozer has missed 5 games now and still doesn’t know if he’ll be able to return any time soon. The thinking goes that he might be available to play within the next week. Does anyone believe that? For the sake of the Jazz season & its prospects, I hope he returns ‘healthy’ soon. In the words of the C + C Music Factory... "chill baby baby chill baby baby wait."

Millsap in the starting lineup. Is this something we should get used to? We all know about the impending franchise decisions that need to be made at the end of the season…all regarding who we’d like to pay… Boozer or Millsap? Millsap hasn’t missed many games during his short career with the Jazz. He’s certainly a fan favorite and a Jazz work-ethic-aholic (similar to the Mailman). When he’s played in the starting lineup, Millsap has performed admirably. It is true however, that Boozer is plain and simply better, and will always be. Yet, it may not change the fact that the franchise might want to keep Millsap and pay him less (as comparative to Boozer). I guess we’ll have to worry about that decision when the season concludes. Things that make you go hmmm...

Kirilenko coming off the bench. AK provides a lot of energy and production while coming off the bench. This has turned out to be a brilliant decision. Kirilenko seems to be a totally different player this season compared to the last season. I really believe that it’s because he has a defined role and purpose coming off the bench. The M-Factory would agree with me... "Inner sense and a whole lotta class."

Jazz Inconsistency. How do we go from destroying the Sacramento Kings one night to being blasted by the New Jersey Nets the next? That just doesn’t seem to make sense. Aren’t both of these teams considered lower-level, bottom-of-the-basement performers? Neither team will sniff the playoffs. I have to attribute the Jazz inconsistency to injuries. We’ve had to utilize a vast array of players that probably wouldn’t normally see action (ie. Almond & Koufos).
It's those things that make you go hmmm, yeah!

Harpring Maligned. I think it’s probably best that the Jazz cut the cord with Matt Harpring. While I love his hustle, physical play and toughness (he defines what Jerry Sloan thinks is Jazz ball), he’s always injured. First, it was his knees, then ankle. Now it’s his back. Harpring just can’t get healthy (poor guy!)… He’d probably look better on the bench next to Phil Johnson and the Milkman, as a player/assistant coach. As the C+C said it... "You say to yourself: I'm gonna hit him with a brick"

Almond in a Jazz uniform. Why is he still with us? I recognize that our team is suffering through injuries and his contributions to the team have been helpful during this time… but… his contributions have been very minimal, and we’ve already decided NOT to extend his contract (via team option). Let’s trade him! We’re log-jammed at the wing positions. And with CJ Miles playing his best ball of his career, we already know who the future of our franchise is… Brewer and Miles. Case settled. Let’s trade him. I’d even take a future draft pick. Those things that make you go...

Fes. What else needs to be said? He should find a permanent apartment and resting place in Orem… make a few Boise All-Star Games for the Flash. I don’t believe that he’ll be successful in the NBA. "Just an example of how another brother can trample, Ruin your life..." It's those things that make you go hmm.