Friday, February 27, 2009

NBA Stimulus?

Recently, we learned that the NBA has borrowed $200 million in order to distribute to teams in need of additional cash. Apparently, between $13 and $20 million will be available for each team that has expressed interest in the funds.
David Stern doesn't believe that this should be construed as a bailout, but rather, a strong investment towards a strong league.
Through, Mr. Stern states that, "It's exactly the opposite" of a bailout, "This was a show of strength in the creditworthiness of the NBA's teams."
Do you believe him? Certainly, this borrowing-act can't be a good sign for the NBA (and in particular, for the operations of its specific teams). With the changing times in our economy, the NBA will have to adjust just like any other business enterprise. The Sports Guy, Bill Simmons delves into this subject regarding the current realities of today's NBA... (or as he puts it... the No Benjamins Association) as it attempts to keep up with the economic landscape.
How will this affect the Utah Jazz moving forward? I believe we have a strong franchise here in Salt Lake. Our fans seem to support the team (I don't have attendance figures to back that up). And our management has been strong and secure for many years. With the passing of our loyal owner, where does our franchise go from here? I believe the Jazz will be situated in Utah for years to come... though in the not too distant future, I could see our teams' personnel changing drastically to meet the economic landscape of the NBA (meaning... possibly no extension for Boozer & Memo, trading AK's bloated contract, & only re-signing a few notable youngsters... which may not include Millsap). The fate of the franchise will fall on the shoulders of the "Big 3"... Jerry Sloan, Kevin O'Connor and Deron Williams.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Majority of Utah Jazz Players Have Never Heard of Themselves"

. . . at least that is what The Onion is reporting. The story goes as follows:

SALT LAKE CITY—In a USA Today poll of NBA players and fans published Tuesday, four out of five Utah Jazz players admitted to never having heard of their team, their teammates, or themselves. "Wait, who the hell is that guy?" Utah forward Paul Millsap said while looking at a picture of Jazz forward Paul Millsap. "I seem to remember the Jazz playing pretty well for the past few seasons, and they always have a bunch more white guys than other teams, but I don't know any of their names or what they do. Ostertag's not on the team anymore, is he? Though to be honest, it's not like I'd know him if I saw him." During last night's game against the Warriors, the Jazz were charged with their 49th consecutive delay of game penalty when no one got up from the bench after coach Jerry Sloan announced the starting lineup."


No, I'm not talking about my round of golf. I'm looking at Kyle Korver's +/- last night against the Wolves. During the almost 30 minutes Kyle was on the court, the Jazz outscored the Timberwovles by 33 points, more than a point a minute. Think it was an aberration? On Monday, the Jazz outscored the Hawks by 25 during Kyle's 28 minutes on the floor. With Kyle, AK, Millsap and Harpring coming off the bench, the Jazz have the best second unit in the league and it's starting to pay dividends in the win column.

Kyle is playing so well, I may have to get myself some Evo.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hungry Like the Wolf

The Jazz take their five-game win streak on the road tonight when we visit the pesky Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves are just 1-5 since losing star Al Jefferson to a season-ending knee injury and we have won both of our clashes with them this season. But the Jazz are just 9-17 on the road this season, and this is the type of winnable road game we have let slip away too often over the last couple seasons.

Portland lost last night and Denver has lost three straight. We are now only one game behind the Blazers and three behind the Nuggets. We still have a shot at taking the Northwest Division Championship, but to do so we are going to have to be hungry like the wolf, starting tonight in Minnesota.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Boozer's Debut

Two points, five rebounds and one bucket on a questionable goaltending call.  What the hell did Boozer think this was. . . an '08 playoff game?

Random link of the day: check out Shane Battier pseudo-fornicating with Andres Nocioni.  I don't understand why they didn't run that picture on the front of the NY Times magazine last week. . .    

A Fitting Tribute

The D-News is reporting the potential liklihood of the Utah Jazz honoring the deceased legend of Salt Lake City and former owner of the Utah Jazz, Larry H. Miller.

"The Jazz likely will retire a number in Miller's honor and may even someday erect a statue of him to stand alongside those of John Stockton and Karl Malone outside of EnergySolutions Arena."

How cool would that be?! Putting up a statue of Larry H. just behind those of Karl and Stock. I can just imagine it now... A statue depicting a heftier-set man, with a round 'Santa-like' belly, a slightly balding combover, a friendly smile with an out-reached hand (You know this guy!), and of course, unusually-larger-than-normal, constructured elbows... perhaps even a tear coming from off his face. I can't wait for the day! Perhaps the Jazz ought to retire a 'collared-golf shirt' or 'softball jersey' instead of a 'numbered Jazz jersey' for Larry? That would certainly set him apart as "Father" of all things Jazz.

Boozer's Back

Word on the street is that Boozer will be suiting up tonight. What's more, he'll be starting. And it couldn't come at a better time. His defensive skills will be put to the test against the rugged Zaza Pachulia.

The Jazz brass claims that Carlos will play around five minutes per quarter as he nurses himself back to health. I, personally, will wait to see him suited up and playing at a high level before I put too much hope in the Jazz' return to glory. But, it will certainly be nice to have a legitimate-sized power forward back on the squad. I'll miss Collins, though.

It does seem odd that Boozer became healthy right after (1) the Heat traded away any hope of signing Carlos over the summer and (2) rumors started to swirl that no team has enough money this summer to offer him real $$$. But regardless of the nobleness of his motivation, it seems that Carlos now has incentives to stick around at home games past halftime.

So, let's pour one out for the return of the man they call "the Booze." It's about damn time.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Larry H. Miller

It's a sad day in Utah.  

Like any of us, Larry H. Miller wasn't perfect, but he brought Jazz fans Stockton and Malone, two trips to the Finals, Frank Layden and Jerry Sloan, the Delta Center, and Deron Williams.  Miller's teams always competed.  And most importantly, despite numerous offers, he never even considered leaving the NBA's smallest market for greener pastures.   Miller always said the Jazz were "his gift to Utah."  And what a gift they've been.  

You will be missed, Larry.  

Must Love Dogs

Before Michael Vick happened, I was a young, naive, man-child living in Boston, Massachusetts. In those heady days, the Jazz' starting backcourt consisted of Carlos Arroyo and DeShawn Stevenson and the Celtics were an NBA laughingstock. The world was as it should be.

During the brutally cold Boston December of 2002, the Jazz came to town. Thanks to my vast network of NBA connections, I sat in the players' section. It was like going to an NBA cocktail party. I met Matt Harpring's wife (a handsome woman) and Kenny Natt's uncle (not a big basketball fan). Ben Handlogten (who lives in Boston when he's not dominating NBA centers) had a vocal cheering section of 40 plus; they even had banners.

But the eye-opening encounter of the night was meeting a 50-year old gentleman who was invited by Paul Pierce. The man was not Pierce's relative, not a childhood friend, not even a shady, AAU character: he was Pierce's "dog dealer." We spent most of the third quarter discussing how Pierce purchased dozens of pit bulls every year.

At the time, I thought, "Wow, that Paul Pierce is a real dog lover."

Hello, Mr. Luxury Tax

Now that the NBA Trade-Deadline has passed, the Utah Jazz can sit back and see what happens from here. The Jazz stayed intact. No trades were consummated. Meaning… there ought to be serious implications for the “here-and-now” as well as the future.

As Jazz fans, we continue to wait for Carlos Boozer to return to the court. Certainly, there’s a possibility that his healthy return could pay big dividends towards a “successful run” through the NBA Playoffs. We can only hope that this will be the case! In similar fashion, we as Jazz fans, wait for Carlos Boozer to make his decision to potentially opt-out of his contract. It will happen (either way) this summer. (So too could Memo and Korver… but they more than likely will not).

Being that our current economy is in such a crappy state, the NBA Salary Cap and Luxury Tax levels have been predicted to drop dramatically for the next season. Spending on contracts in the NBA could hit a dramatic low this summer (both in amount & length). Tom Ziller, from Fanhouse, goes into great detail about this unusual potentiality. As we sit now, the Jazz (with Boozer deciding to finish off his contract with Utah) will be sitting at $71 million dollars of payroll… right at the current luxury-tax threshold (salary cap is $58 mil). With the tax level predictably falling over the next year, the Jazz will be sitting squarely in luxury-tax land next season. And to think… this does NOT even involve the hope, consideration and need to re-sign Paul Millsap yet. Yikes!

Now… Boozer has said once before that he’ll likely opt-out. As we analyze it, the only real competitors on the open FA market (for his services) will be Detroit, Memphis & OKC. Competition will be the factor that drives his price range. Will they desire to sign him? At more than the Jazz are already paying him? Even after he has missed 43 games this season (and counting)? Do you think it’ll be wise for the Booz to opt-out? I wonder if all of these factors (the economy, the falling luxury-tax level, Boozer’s on-court absence, his injury woes, etc) will change his mind towards free agency, and cause him to wait 'til 2010.

If so… then we’re screwd! We’ll see Mr. Paul Millsap walk. Our chance to shed salary is gone until next year. There’s nothing we can do… except pay into the luxury tax land (which the Jazz won’t do since they’ll be squarely inside there next season). Thus, who would you rather have… Millsap or Boozer? It’s one or the other. You decide.

I hope The Larry H. Miller Group is selling a lot of cars these days. If not... oh wait… oh no.

Dethroning the Champs

Well, for one night at least. Our Jazz earned a gritty 90-85 victory last night against the best that the Eastern Conference has to offer. The game was not a thing of beauty - two of the roughest teams in the league and the refs were letting them go. But it is an important win for the Jazz as they have reestablished their home court dominance by taking down the two best teams in the NBA in the last three games.

From my viewpoint, the key to the game last night (other than Kevin Garnett playing zero minutes in the second half) was the much-maligned Matt Harpring. The guy is basically immobile, and has a contract that is going to absolutely kill us next year, but last night he provided a toughness that no one else wearing white seemed to possess. The first quarter was an absolute beat down as the Celtics intimidated the Jazz and physically outmanned them at every position other than point guard. Then, Harpring came off the bench, knocked some teeth, and was more aggressive than Pierce. I don't think the Jazz win last night if Harpring is hurt. He pulled down a crucial rebound with a minute to go - a rebound that not Memo, Boozer, and certainly not Collins would have snagged. So kudos to Harpring, and kudos to Sloan for sticking with the old guy during crunch time.

Next up: two home games against good, but not great, opponents before the Jazz head out on the road to see what type of team we really are working with.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Boozer Back to Cleveland?

With the trade deadline fast approaching, the interwebs are abuzz at the moment over the Cavs trying desperately to acquire a big man. Apparently there have been talks of swapping Ben Wallace for Shaq!

While there has been little talk of the Jazz making a move, there are reports now that the Jazz offered Boozer to Cleveland (scroll down a few questions). That would be completely ironical - seeing as how Boozer is hated like poison on the shores of whichever Great Lake borders on Cleveland. However, it is a perfect fit - the Cavs are starting Ben Wallace, and have to rely on Mo Williams to provide scoring behind Lebron. Adding Boozer gives them a 20-10 monster in the middle. Plus, the Cavs play crazy good team defense, so they can hide Boozer's one glaring weakness.

For the Jazz, this trade - assuming they get Sczerbiak in return - would be a godsend. Although Boozer is an all-star when he plays, it is apparent that the Jazz and Boozer are parting company sooner or later. And if, as seems likely now, Boozer doesn't opt out this year, you can kiss Mr. Millsap goodbye. From my vantage point, it is infinitely better to keep Millsap permanently, rather than keeping Boozer for one year.

Update: The trade deadline has come and gone with no Jazz moves.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"I Have Triple-Joy"

Andrei Kirilenko has returned to the court in full force. AK played a marvelous 17 minute game in which he gave the Jazz 14 points and his usual hustle stats (one of which was a swipe of Conley for a fast-break dunk). Kirilenko even stated afterward that he was winded after his 17-minute performance, missing 20 days for injury & surgery (quick recovery!).

Andrei has also returned to the "quote-ables" column, mentioning that he's experiencing "triple-joy". His triple-joy moment came as a result of returning to the court from injury, helping the Jazz towards victory and celebrating his 28th birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday AK! I wish all of us could enjoy the effects of "triple-joy" (in one shape or form) every so often... like AK47.

CJ Miles exploded for a 24 point game. He went 2-3 from the 3-pointline, dished out 2 assists and grabbed 3 rebounds. His production was a huge lift in propeling the Jazz towards victory.

Boozer is still unsure when he'll return to the line-up. He's already missed over half the season (42 games). In his stead, Millsap scored 18 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. We're used to having Millsap fill-in for him. Infact, Millsap has essentially replaced him. I understand that it's important for the Jazz not to rush Boozer back too early, but, the guy has been "out" forever. It wouldn't surprise me if he didn't return for the rest of the season.

Memo suffered from the flu and missed the game last night. Let's hope he returns to the floor soon. I think that along with AK & Millsap, Memo can "sure-up" our interior post-game. Collins scored 8 points and grabbed 7 boards, while Kosta Koufos played 11 minutes... in light of Memo being sick.

The Jazz have now lost 145 man games due to injuries, illnesses or other reasons. Last year, we only had 45 games lost.

Up Next: The Boston Celtics come to town for a Thursday night TNT special.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Guess Who's Back?

To quote Snoop, "Guess who's back in the *^#)#$& house?"

Answer: Only one of the two men pictured below.

Hint: The pictures are symbolic in that they accurately depict what each of these Jazzman prefer to do, and what each will be doing this evening in the Tox Box.

What Trades Mean for the Jazz

Over the last couple days, there have been two major trades in the NBA: the Heat sent Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to the Raptors for Jermaine O'Neal and Jamario Moon and the Hornets sent Tyson Chandler to the Thunder for Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox. Both of these trades have possible ramifications for the Jazz.

Heat Spend Their Cash: Because the Heat added O'Neal to their books, they won't have the money to be a major player in the free agent market this offseason. This should put an end to the Boozer to Miami rumors, and may increase the chance that Boozer resigns with the Jazz.

Hornets Put Up the White Flag: This trade made the Hornets' payroll better and their team worse. They gave up a strong interior defender and rebounder for two journeymen. Although the Hornets are trying to spin the trade as a chance to updgrade their front court, David West didn't seem to be buying it and I don't think the rest of the Hornets will either. Check out this scoop from ESPN:

At the Hornets' Tuesday morning shootaround in Oklahoma City, West told the New Orleans Times Picayune that he was hoping his team would resist the trade interest in Chandler."I don't know if that's somebody we can afford to lose,'' West told the newspaper. "So I'm not sold on that idea. You just don't find a 7-foot-1 athlete like that and he's the only 7-footer we have. Especially if we're planning on making a run into the playoffs, we're going to need size to compete with Portland, San Antonio and the Lakers. I'm not sure that would help us."

Does that sound like a guy ready to make a deep playoff run? The Hornets are currently 1 1/2 games ahead of the Jazz, but following this trade, I will be surprised if we don't catch them by the end of the year.

Deshawn? Arrogant?

This might be of interest to Jazz fans:
In a recent SI Poll, players and executives were asked "which NBA player thinks he is a lot better than he really is?" Deshawn Stevenson tied Kendrick Perkins for the #1 spot.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bring on the Grizz

Being from Utah, I have a soft spot for mascots that end with "zz." For a while there, we had the Jazz, Buzz (AAA baseball), Starzz (WNBA), Blitzz (outdoor soccer), Freezz (indoor soccer), and Pioneerzz (St. George minor league baseball team). It was ridiculous. Thankfully, the days of Utah's fascination with the double Z are over. But after all those years of cheering on double Zs, I can't help but like the Memphis Grizz. And what's not to like about these lovable losers. With a 3-19 road record, the Grizz are sure to enjoy the Tox Box and appear to be the perfect team to help the Jazz start their late season push to the playoffs.

Friday, February 13, 2009

3 Jazzmen for the Hall of Fame

A lot of Hall of Fame news to report.

  • A hearty TCG congratulations to John Stockton and Jerry Sloan for their selection as finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

  • Jerry and John join other luminaries from the past, such as Michael Jordan, Dennis Johnson, Chris Mullin, and David Robinson. Whether "the Admiral" makes it in on the first ballot or not, he'll always be a hall of fame virgin in my book. This video helped me (and I'm sure a lot of our readers) find some important answers in high school.
  • Lastly, one other Jazzman made the cut: Bernard King. King scored nearly 20,000 points in the NBA, and nearly 200 for our Jazz. He was traded to the Warriors after pleading guilty to sexual assault. Way to go Jazz!

Second Half Schedule

Last year, the Jazz went 17-24 away from the ToxBox. That included impressive wins at Boston, Orlando, New Orleans, Phoenix, and Detroit (remember, they used to be good). But it also included head-scratching losses at the Nets, the Clippers, New York (with Isaiah), Charlotte, and Minny & Sacramento - twice.

This year, the Jazz are at 9-17 on the road, meaning we'd have to go 8-7 after the break just to match last year's road mark. That's not going to happen. Here's why: The Jazz still have a five game east-coast road trip in March, and while none of the teams are finals contenders, all of them are fighting for playoff spots. And then, the dagger: the final nine games of the season include six road games against LEGIT western conference teams. Portland, Denver, New Orleans, Dallas, San Antonio, and the Lakers. Ugg.

Those last six roadies could easily be an 0-for-6. That means, if the Jazz have any intentions of getting anything better than an 8 seed, they need to take care of business in March against the Indianas of the world. The team hasn't given me much faith in their road-readiness thusfar. The signature road win of the season to date was at Philadelphia in Deron's first game back from his first injury. Come March, if that is still our marquee road victory, we better start prepping for the lottery.

Hollinger Gets Around to the Jazz

John Hollinger finally got around to talking about the Jazz. A day after writing a column on the Jazz-Lakers game that focused entirely on the Lakers and provided a myriad of excuses for their defeat, Hollinger's current column contains some good insight into what the Jazz win over the Lakers could foretell about the second half of the season for the Jazz. He points to some of the problems the Suns, Mavs, Rockets, and Horrnets are facing and posits that the Jazz could end up in the five spot facing the Blazers in a favorable first round match up.

So it's time to call your shot. The Jazz are currently 30-23 with 29 games remaining after the all-star break (14 at home and 15 on the road). How many of our remaining games will we win and where will we be seeded come playoff time?

My Take: I think we will go 19-10 after the break, finishing with a record of 49-33 and taking the forth seed. For this to happen, Portland is going to have to stuggle. But they are young, and I am not convinced they can continue on their current pace through the home strech.

What's your take?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Boozer's "early departure" last night

It has come to Cowhide Globe's attention (by means of reliable sources) that in the midst of a heated battle with the Lakers, Boozer hopped in his SUV at halftime and headed for home. "Good luck fellas! I am going home to watch Grey's Anatomy!" This speaks volumes to Boozer's committment to the team. It speaks volumes to his emotional investment in his teammates. It speaks volumes to his love of the game.

I am truly disappointed.

Pulling the Curtain on the Lake Show

Big win for the Jazz last night. Although ESPN's John Hollinger spent his entire column this morning making excuses for the Lakers, the fact remains that the Jazz beat the hottest team in the NBA without Boozer or AK. D-Will controled the game, and the Jazz made the big plays when they needed them most.

Speaking of D-Will, in the month of February he is averaging 32.5 points and 9.3 assists a game and shooting 58% from the field. I have mentioned this before, but will do so again: the way D-Will is playing, I would take him over any other point guard in the league. Plus, check out some of these dunks.

There have been some rough streches so far this season, but with D-Will and Millsap getting some much deserved rest over the all-star break and Boozer and AK scheduled to return shortly, the Jazz are primed to make a strong late season run.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Important Team Pastor Update

Earlier this week on TCG the Crotty Kid wondered aloud if the Jazz had a team pastor.  Booner claimed they didn't, but we now have this important update from Jazz Communications Coordinator Hannah "The General" Lee, who was blogging from the recent Jazz-Thunder game:

One thing fans may not know about is pregame chapel. Each team is in charge of providing a staff person to oversee 10 minutes or so of chapel services before tipoff, which is (of course) voluntary for the players to attend. Services in OKC were just a few doors down from our locker room. I saw a few players from both teams heading in and, all of a sudden, running down the hall to get to chapel is Jeff Green. Coach Mack says, “Ataway son, you’re a runnin’ for Jesus!” Jeff and I looked at each other and chuckled. (Credit to chapel or not, but Green had 23 points and 8 rebounds and his team won.)

So the questions remain.  Is the staff person assigned to monitor Utah Jazz chapel services Mormon?  Is the staff person assigned to monitor chapel services OK with Kyle Korver being the only Jazzman to ever attend, or does it get weird when game after game it's just the two of them alone in a room praying together?  Finally, is the staff person assigned to monitor chapel services, in fact, Head Coach Jerry Sloan?  Inquiring minds want to know.

In the meantime, speaking of believing in things, guess who still has a soft spot for Old St. Nick!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kobe Coming To Town

Look who's coming to town... Kobe Bryant. Our favorite, quintessential "MJ" poser.

Do you hate Kobe? Hate is a strong word. But I can assure you that I dislike him.

ESPN's the Sportsguy provides us with a quality assessment of whether we are true Kobe haters or not. He categorizes antidotes of "hatred" in 5 distinct groups.

1. I see my Kobe glass as half empty

2. He's just so polarizing

3. I'm not willing to admit that he's the best

4. I don't like him personally

5. I hate Kobe... like I really hate him

As for me, I think that I fall somewhere in category #2 and #4... showing small signs of hatred. I'm certain that TCG's very own "Booner" borders on category #5.

As a teaser, here are some quotes that I enjoyed from the Sportsguy...

"I like watching him and arguing about him. I like being bothered and thrilled by him. And I really like when he plays like Michael J. Fox instead of The Wolf."

"THREE ASSISTS AND NO REBOUNDS. Talk about a team guy."

"When LeBron arrived in New York two days later and notched his amazing 52/9/11, he didn't break Kobe's new record but definitely cheapened it."

Go Jazz... Beat LA!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Boozer v. Millsap

Paul Millsap is wonderful basketball player.  He hustles, boards and scores, even if he has been going through a slump lately.  What he does not do is post people up or play well with his back to the basket, and it's starting to become a problem.  

Last night's game was a debacle and the blowout loss shouldn't be blamed simply on sore legs.  The Warriors are not a good basketball team.  With Biedrins out they have ZERO size and all they do is shoot jumpers all night.  Their defense is terrible.  Monta Ellis is frail and playing on one leg and CJ Watson is a rookie -- D Will couldn't ask for better matchups.  

Yet the Warriors killed us, mostly because Memo and Millsap couldn't get the job done inside.  Why?  Because Turiaf, Maggette, Randolph and Jackson mandhandled them (see below: Randolph weighs about 155 pounds and has no biceps).  As soft as Boozer is -- and he is soft against bigger, stronger players -- we would have won that game by ten last night had he played.  No way does Don Nelson dare to put any of those guys besides Turiaf on Boozer for more than two trips down the floor.  

The Jazz have no real choice but to rid themselves of Carlos in the near future.  But without him we will struggle.  No one besides Williams can create his own shot or consistently score on people one on one.  Memo, AK, and Millsap are very good players and I have certainly been one to consistently sing Paul's praises in the past.  But I fear a bit for the future. . . 

Note: I actually started this post before I read Crotty's comment on the Guru's piece this morning.  Needless to say, I think he was dead on.  

Carrying The Load

Deron Williams has been dominant over the past few games. He’s been doing the heavy-lifting by scoring 35, 34, 34, and 31 over his last 4. With his growing confidence and increased health, Deron has been looking like his old dominant-self. It’s for this reason why I believe that he’s an All-Star. He’s basically carrying this franchise on his back (at the moment). Unfortunately, we don't quite stack-up to the rest of the West with the current team we have on the floor. Here are some additional quick thoughts on our Jazz:

  • Memo has looked sharp as well. Okur has been averaging 21 ppg and 9 rpg over the last five games. He’s filled in the void left by Booz and Kirilenko.
  • Ronnie Brewer has increased his scoring production over the past five. He’s improved his scoring to 15.4 ppg.
  • Unfortunately, Paul Millsap has hit somewhat of a funk. Over the last five games, Millsap has been averaging 9 ppg and 6 rpg (well under his season averages and late double-double barrage). We’ll need increased (and consistent) production from Millsap if we want to stay-afloat in the playoff hunt.
  • CJ came back to the line-up against the Warriors and posted a 10 point, 7 rebound game. It’s nice to have him back in the line-up. Without him (& AK), we really lack the athleticism to keep up with the opposing wing players.
  • Jarron Collins played one solid outing last week... and now he gets all of the back-up minutes to Memo. It's classic Jerry Sloan-rotation-syndrome. If someone performs decently, he'll get rewarded, regardless if he's any good. Where's Kosta?
  • The Warriors beat the living-socks off of the Jazz last night. They ran all over us!... essentially doing whatever they wanted during an incredibly up-tempo game. We can’t play Warriors-ball with them (fast-break, run-n-shoot, no defense). The Warriors have too many athletes to keep up with. Let’s just chalk it up to “tired-legs” and “being outplayed”, then forget about this one. It happens… especially after playing 3 games in 4 nights.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Classic Karl Malone

Karl Malone's appearance on TNT at halftime of the Jazz - Mavericks game reminded me of this classic Karl Malone moment.

Sometimes, I really miss the Mailman.

Media Love for Dwill

Yahoo has been featuring this video and the accompanying commentary on its front page. And Dwill did that with a badly bruised thigh. When Deron is at full strength, I'd take him over any other point guard in the league.

Quotes & Questions

For those of you who didn't catch the game last night, our boys looked damn good.  Kyle Korver had nine boards for hell's sake.  But you know who looked even better?  The gents below, who offered up these pearls of wisdom on national television.
  • Mike "Czar of the Telestrator" Fratello on Matt Harping: "The thing about Harping in this league is that he eats you alive on the offensive and defensive ends of the court."  These are the comments that shed a little light on why Mike is hanging out in the announcer's booth instead of roaming the sidelines as a coach.  Note on the picture of the Czar below: he's the brosef on the left in the rainbow shirt.  Nice! 
  • Karl "The Mailman" Malone during TNT's halftime show: "Lamar Odom.  Lamar Odom.  Lamar Odom is my boy.  My boy is Lamar Odom."  Really bizarre.  Abosolutley no context whatsoever.  For the record, Lamar Odom had 20 points and six boards last night.  If that's all it takes to get Karl going he should really check out Andrea Bargnani's game.
  • Jason "Old Man" Kidd on Deron Williams: "Damn I'm old and slow.  D Will killed me tonight. . . did you see that play in the first half when he drove right by me and I didn't even try to stop him?  I'm amazed I was even 2-6 from the field -- 1-11 wouldn't have surprised me at all.  How ridiculous is it that I STARTED over him and Chris Paul during the Olympics?"  OK, Jason Kidd really didn't say that.  But he might as well have.  The Mavs are going nowhere this season or in the playoffs with that guy running the show for them.  
Finally, one question.  Lost in last night's blowout is the fact that Collins played twice as many minutes as Koufos.  Seriously?  We're honestly going to throw Collins out there against Tim Duncan or Yao or Bynum in the playoffs?  Come on.  The madness must stop.  

The Team Pastor

I consider myself a fan of the NBA. I mean, I can name the Hawks' third string center (Solomon Jones) and I know where Mark Blount went to college (Pitt). But this morning, while reading the local DC paper, I learned something about the NBA that I had not known before: NBA teams, at least some of them, have clergy.
For instance, on Tuesday the Wizards' Mike James stood in for the Wizards' official clergyman, Pastor John Jenkins. James offered some spiritual nourishment to his meek and lowly team. Alas, even after the sermon, the Wizards lost.

This all got me thinking: if a team from Washington D.C. has a designated clergyman, what about a team that plays its home games a few blocks from ground zero of mormondom? The Jazz have to have a pastor, right? And if they do, is he mormon? If the DesNews could report on this, I would pay good money to read the insightful online comments.

For my part, I couldn't find anything on the web. However, if the Jazz need a fill-in at the pulpit, I can almost guarantee who pulls out his pregame bible: Kyle "Jesus freak" Korver. He loves church! See if you can find him this past October enjoying the sermon of Pastor Bernie.

Anyway, does anyone out there in WWWland have inside info on whether the Jazz have a pastor? Inquiring minds want to know.

UPDATE: According to Booner (who would know) the Jazz do not have a pastor. But they have a dentist.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Deron Williams may play tonight
It'll be a game-time decision, but Deron Williams could start for the Jazz tonight. After missing the last game against Charlotte with a deep thigh bruise, DWill might give it a "go" tonight.
Let's be honest... Deron is a "must-have" for this match-up against the Mavs. Infact, so much so, that I'll say if we don't have DWill playing... we lose the game. And I actually think we'll win the ballgame if Deron is in the line-up.
Jazz Approaching 126 Man-Game Lost
Isn't that just an incredible stat? Especially when those "Man-Games Lost" are primarily due to missing our star players, Boozer and Kirilenko. That's devastating! If it were Collins and Morris Almond, I probably wouldn't even care.
All-Star Snubs
The Utah Jazz won't have any participants in the NBA All-Star Game, coming up in a week. If I had a vote, it would go to Deron Williams. Granted, Deron hasn't been off-the-charts this year, but he's played up-to-par with the likes of Chauncey Billups and Tony Parker. Parker has enjoyed a great season so far. The Spurs are playing well and he's been the focal point of that team (even better than TimmyD). Chauncey has turned around the fortunes of the Nuggets since the trade for Iverson. He's done well. I can understand their selections. If there was a stat that really ruined Deron's All-Star bid though, it was this... "126 Man-Games Lost". Not only has Deron battled injuries, but our whole team has faced injury. The Jazz haven't performed up to expectations and DWill is suffering for it. It might actually be better for him to rest during the All-Star week anyway.
Mailman In Studio
Karl Malone will be joining the TNT crew in the studio for tonights game. Can you imagine the Mailman sharing "wits" with Kenny and Ernie? That should provide some classic, comic relief! Tune in...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Difference-Maker

Jarron was ready to play. And when his number was called, he entered the ballgame and made a difference for the Jazz. Jarron scored 6 points for the Jazz and had an offensive board to go along with it. That may not sound like much, but when Jarron entered the ballgame, the Jazz were only up two points, 67-65, and when he left... the Jazz had blown open the game, winning 98-82 en route to a 105-86 victory. Jarron actually made a big difference.

As much as we "rip" on Jarron Collins, I have to give him credit for being ready to play. He played his role to perfection... unspectacular, steady, well-prepared which equaled to becoming a difference-maker. And how about his long-distance jumper (college 3-line extended)? Go get 'em JC! When the Jazz have players like Boozer and Kirilenko out with injury and Memo and Millsap struggling with foul trouble, at least we had someone willing to step up and help get us a victory last night.

Mavericks Profile: Josh Howard

Tonight, the Jazz have a crucial game with the Dallas Mavericks. If the Dallas Cowboys are America's football team, does that make the Mavericks America's basketball team? If so, somebody apparently forgot to tell Josh Howard.

Howard's unpatriotic rant was just another in a line of brilliant PR moves that also includes Howard admiting that smoking pot is an important part of his offseason workout routine.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Deron Out for Tonight

The Jazz's injury woes continue as Deron Williams will miss tonight's home game against Charlotte because of soreness from a bruised quadricep injured against Portland.

Battle of the 7 footers

Let this put to rest any rumors that the Jazz aren't "hip." My favorite part, other than the 'come hither' hand gesture, is the fact that the Jazz brass thought that their players would like to dance to Kool and the Gang.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Mustachio Man

On Monday, the Jazz welcome the Charlotte Bobcats to town. And with them will come one of Sport's greatest mustaches. Adam Morrison's 'stache has drawn more praise than his game in the NBA, and it's easy to see why. While he's only averaging a Jarron-Collins-like 4.5 points and 1.7 rebounds a game, his mustache continues to be an inspiration, at least to him.