Thursday, January 29, 2009

Surgery Necessary

Indeed, we discover that AK47 (the human fly-swatter) needs to have surgery on his ankle. His absence from the team is still left to be determined. It's been estimated that he'll be out for 3 to 4 weeks.

My thoughts regarding the team have been mixed. There's no doubting that we're suffering through a terrible losing streak. But to me, my thoughts go beyond that.

I have to admit that I was celebrating (internally) Paul Millsap's success as an impact player. He's been phenomenal for this team. He has softened the blow of having Boozer injured and out of the line-up. On top of it, I think that all of us Jazz fans can see the inevitable departure of Carlos Boozer. He's been such an enigma! Who knows when he'll be back to play for us this season?

After stating all of this, I still believe that we miss the Booz. Enormously! His inside presence on the offensive post is sorely missed. He commands a double-team. We really don't have an "offensive-post-player" as good as him. To make matters worse, not having Andrei Kirilenko AND Carlos Boozer is downright detrimental. This team can't win without the both of them. We won't make the playoffs without AK & the Booz!

To tie it all together... I can't help but think of how our team's injury woes have mirrored the health concerns and tragedies of our owner (and people... please don't take my comments out of context... Mr. Miller's health issues have been so much more dire, severe & downright depressing than anything we've seen). I feel terrible for our owner & his family. I hope that somehow he'll be able to reach well-ness and regain a sense of functionality again... and in like manner, see our team rise from the ashes of internal struggle and find itself healthy again. We can only hope...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oh Jarron . . .

Young Jarron Collins is about to retire (come May '09) (unless of course some other franchise signs him, which I don't see happening). So, as I watched Jarron sit on the bench last night like the diplomatic statesman that he is, I wondered to myself, "who else could we get for Jarron's salary?" Below is a list of players that currently make a touch more or a touch less than Jarron:

-Michael Finley
-Eddie House
-Rajon Rondo
-Joakim Noah
-Jason Maxiell
-Rodney Stuckey
-Antonio McDyess
-Danny Granger (about to make a butt-load more though)
-Smush Parker
-JJ Redick
-Devean George
-Luther Head
-Chuck Hayes
-Brent Barry
-Hakim Warrick
-Linas Kleiza
-Anthony Carter
-Ronnie Brewer
-Paul Millsap (about to make a butt-load more though)
-Chris Mihm
-Jordan Farmar
-Grant Hill
-Matt Barnes

Now, let the debate begin . . . can anyone make the argument that Jarron is better than any of these players? I cannot.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Injury Woes

The Jazz woes continue with Andrei Kirilenko. After missing a third straight game, AK47 believes that he may need surgery on his sore ankle. Attempting to play recently, AK was taking cortizone shots to numb the pain of the injury. And now, it's just too painful to go. With the Jazz skidding to two losses over the weekend, additional news of Andrei needing surgery continues to dampen the spirits of Jazz nation.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jazz Go Hip-Hop

Well known hip-hop artist D Bizz Ohno (no relation to short track skater Apolo Anton Ohno) has been declared the winner of a recent contest to produce and record a new theme song for the Utah Jazz.  The song is creatively (especially once you hear it) entitled Scream Utah. Click here to give it a listen. If you love this, here is more of D Bizz Ohno's great work.

Salt Lake City is a lot of great things. Hip is not one of them. The Jazz having a hip-hop theme song seems to fit as well as Shawn Bradley playing pick-up at Rucker Park. What was wrong with AC/DC's Thunderstruck or the Village People's Y.M.C.A? Sure, these tunes are dated stadium anthems, but they fit with some of what makes being a Jazz fan cool - the unabashed uncoolness of the franchise.

So, with all respect to D Bizz Ohno, please get rid of Scream Utah and bring back Burning Down the House.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

According to Stein...

According to Marc Stein of, he offers this report from a West scout answering a question about "who will miss out on the postseason in the West?":

"I'm thinking Utah, because I think injuries are what's going to decide it and they've already got a bad injury with [Carlos] Boozer. But that obviously means Houston should look out, too, and Dallas ... I keep thinking that they're going to be OK but they're having so much trouble scoring. Something just doesn't look right there.
"Maybe I'm kind of ducking your question. All I know for sure is that an injury is what's going to kill somebody. It's getting harder and harder to win on the road, so can Utah continue to maintain without [Boozer]? You don't even want to go to Memphis or Minnesota or Oklahoma City right now. On their home floor, with nothing to lose, these young teams are dangerous. They're growing up."

And a word on the D-League showcase in Orem:

Jazz forward Kyrylo Fesenko was sent down to the Utah Flash on the second day of the Showcase. Pistons guard Alex Acker played just four games this month in a brief stint with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, but two of them were in Orem.
The reaction to both developments was generally the same from NBA team representatives.
"With the trade deadline coming up?" said one Western Conference executive. "They were being showcased."

With the way we played this weekend, I certainly couldn't argue with the opinion that the Jazz could easily miss out on the playoffs. We just lost to the Mavericks who gained ground on our now 1/2 game lead.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


This is why we're NOT an elite team. Injuries aside, we should NEVER lose to the Thunder. Jazz lose 114-93.

"We had four good games at home where we have energy. We were unselfish, we made the plays," Deron Williams said. "But we get on the road and I don't know, we feel like we can't win. I don't know what it is.
"They outhustled us, they outrebounded us. We just didn't play tough at all."

Enough said.

The Jazz by the Numbers

As we near the halfway point of the season, it's interesting to check out the Jazz' year so far in terms of numbers.  

The most disappointing one has got to be 101: that's how many games our boys have lost due to injury this year.   Of course there's a silver lining there -- Millsap has had a chance to shine, losing Collins is actually a good thing (especially with Kosta playing the way he has been), and Harpring's absences haven't hurt much -- but when Boozer, AK, Memo, and D Will go out for various lengths of time. . . well, it leads to losses.  

7-11, our record on the road, is also not encouraging.  It's especially disappointing when you consider we have losses in places like New York and DC.  Come on Jazz, those are winnable games!

But the Jazz also have some great numbers.  They're 15-4 in the conference (5-0 in the division), have a four game winning streak going, and, among the teams in the West, have the second best average margin of victory (only the Lakers are better).  Speaking of the Lake Show, we're 8 1/2 games behind them for the top spot in the conference.  Barring something huge there's no way we'll catch them.  But here's the best number of all: today, even with all the injuries and crappy road losses that we've had, the Jazz are only 2 1/2 games out of the second spot in the West.  That's pretty amazing and a huge break for us.  No one besides the Lakers has separated themselves in the conference this year.  Let's hope the Jazz do soon.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Memo, the Marvelous

If NBA Jam were calling the Jazz game last night instead of Hot Rod, it would have been shouting… “He’s on Fire!” Truly, as I was sitting 3rd row, it nearly seemed like flames were coming off his hands as the ball left his fingers. Every shot he fired seemed like it was going down. Even after hitting his 30th, some-odd point in the 3rd quarter, Memo started showing his “guns-up”… blowing off smoke coming from his finger-tips. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed such a remarkable individual performance. Memo showed us how dangerous he can be when he’s playing his best game. His offensive repertoire can be unmatched when he's "ON"… hitting inside, from the 3-line, off the dribble, fade-aways, duck-ins, off-the-catch, off-the-screen-and-pop. Unstoppable! We were all hoping that he would go off for 50. Reality was, he wasn’t too far off that mark. Memo went 13-19 from the field, with 3 3-pointers and 14 of 15 at the foul-line, finishing with 43 points. From, he said "I felt like one of those nights I wasn't going to miss," said Okur, the 6-foot-11 center who is the Jazz's top 3-point threat. "I took what they gave me. They gave me open shots and I took it." The guy was unbelievable! With Memo playing so well, Millsap (though injured currently) recording 19 double-doubles in a row until the Detroit game, & AK47 going for 23 as starting the power forward last night, how should we feel about the absence of Carlos Boozer? Should we even care?’s Chad Ford offers us this little nugget during his chat today…

andy (vegas): I feel like in 10 years we will look back and laugh that we ever thought softish, jump shooting, injury prone Boozer was more valuable then tough as nails, scrappy, and savvy Milsap. Thoughts?

Chad Ford: That's a little harsh, though I agree that Milsap looks like the answer to the Boozer conundrum. If he can get healthy, I think the Jazz will look to move Boozer for something before the trade deadline.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jazz Won, Chris Paul None

Rally Time

While I have to admit that Chris Paul is a phenomenal talent, it was great to see the Jazz tear his team apart after the 1st quarter last night. It was an incredible showing by our Jazz. The final score ended up being 116-90 after showing a tally of 33-29 Hornets at the end of the 1st. The Hornets only scored 13 points in the 2nd quarter. And from there, it was all Jazz.
Team Play vs. The One
There's something to be said for the Jazz and the way they play together as a team. It almost looked as though it was "team play" versus "the Chris Paul show". I believe that the Jazz have always had a better team than the Hornets. Even when the Hornets posted an impressive record last season, I thought the Jazz were better. I believe that it's always been this way over the years of Deron Williams battling Chris Paul. The Jazz have a record of 9-3 against the Hornets when Deron faces off with CP3.
One Up
Give the guy his due props... he's good! Chris Paul had a better night than Deron Williams. CP3 scored 26 points and dished out 7 assists. Deron, on the other hand, had 8 points and 8 assists. To his defense, Deron was battling a cold and wasn't playing at full strength. On top of that, Deron mentioned that he wanted to get his guys involved in the game. "I just tried to push the ball and get everybody involved," Williams said. "Luckily everybody else stepped up and I didn't have to do much scoring tonight."
Spreading the Wealth
The Jazz had 5 players in double figures scoring. Millsap, Memo, Andrei, Korver and Harpring all contributed significantly. The bench outscored the Hornets 48-28. That's where the true strength lies for the Jazz... bench production.
Utterly Giddy
This is how Kevin O'Connor must be feeling in regards to the play of Paul Millsap. It certainly will make his decision much easier when he decides to sign Paul to a multi-million dollar contract and let's Boozer walk. His cap-crisis will all be solved through the play of Millsap. Big Paul had a "monster" game against New Orleans. He tallied 27 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 assists. Utterly unstoppable! Us Jazz fans must thank the state of Louisiana for giving us some of our best players... the Mailman, Pistol Pete & now Paul Millsap (through the LaTech connection). Thank you NOLA! Thank you Superdome (for a great Ute victory)! Thank you Chris Paul!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Kosta Krush

As regular readers know, a number of us here at TCG have man crushes on Kosta Koufos (question: is the plural of "man crush" men crush or man crushes?).  My personal infatuation only increased last night after watching the Jazz-Warriors game and this morning after checking out ESPN's rookie ratings.  

For those who didn't catch the game, it was not our boys' best effort.  The Warriors were getting wide open looks and we weren't converting as often as we should on the offensive end.  We won because we were hustling at the end of the game, however, and no one was hustling more than Kosta.  This was in stark contrast to say, Memo, who might have boxed out once on the night, or Miles, who has yet to meet a rebound he wants to really go after (best example of this -- in the fourth quarter after the Warriors missed two shots and got the rebound twice, CJ came waltzing through the lane in an attempt to get the board after their third attempt but instead hit it out of bounds and then promptly turned around and signalled "Jazz ball" with an outstreched hand. . . I think he counts this as effort).  KK finished with 11 points, 5 boards, and a block in 19 minutes of play.  

As for ESPN, some quick checking reveals that Kosta has the fifth best PER (the statistical measure the stats gurus there think is the best measure of a player's ability) among rookies.  He's basically tied with odds-on ROY favorite O.J. Mayo. . . not a bad place to be when you were the 23rd pick in the draft.  

In closing, Jazz fans around the world should start salivating at what our bench will look like with everyone healthy.  Kosta replaces Collins permantently and Millsap backs up Boozer (or vice versa for all I care).  We round things out with Korver, AK, and Brevin Knight.  Tough second squad to say the least!