Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How Bout Them Jazz!

The Jazz did it again. Another comeback... another victory! The final score was 104-94. Even Stuff the Magic Dragon couldn't handle our magical run. Take that Superman! Stuff it, Stuff!

Our trio of DWill, Paul Millsap, and Al Jefferson led the charge for the Jazz. Deron was impressive directing traffic. He took over when he had to make plays. DWill finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds. Paul had 23 points, while Big Al came up with 21.

These guys are proving to be a solid combo of talents for the Jazz... Perimeter general, all-around stat-sheet stuffer, and deep post scorer. With the way Paul is playing, the sky is truly the limit. Al isn't too far behind him either. All in all, I'm discovering that this team is really fun to watch.

It doesn't get much better than this... an east coast run. Let's hope we can continue our impressive play into Atlanta.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Take That!

You know it! In arguably one of the greatest games of the decade, the Jazz stormed back from 22 points down to white-wash the Big 3 and the Miami Heat in Overtime. Quite possibly the most unbelievable spectacle you've ever seen in basketball, the Jazz did without Deron Williams in overtime (fouled out) and took a line-up of Millsap, Fesenko, AK47, CJ, and Ronnie Price to the finishline and defeated the Big 3, with Arroyo, and Haslam. I was a Witness to this marvelous, unprecedented phenomena!

Can you even fathom such a miracle? Could someone even fabricate a storyline so truly indescribable as this one?

Millsap was the player who looked like the true superstar tonight. Big Paul went off for a career high 46 points and carried the Jazz to victory's bliss.

To think the Jazz haven't beat the Heat in Miami in over 7 years, and to come away with a victory over the Big 3 while being so shorthanded is absolutely phenomenal. Frankly, I could care less about what we've done so far in the season. That game right there was an amazing shot of adrenaline and I'm excited for what the Jazz can do next. I can only imagine that it'll serve as a tremendous boost of confidence cooler. So, with that being said, I'll say this to the opposing prognosticators, bandwagon observers, and the NBA's blue-bloods... Stick it, Heat! Take that, Big 3! Screw you, NBA! The Jazz will not be denied. Kudos to Millsap. Way to go Jazz! Keep up your surprising, winning ways. I now dub the new Big 3 to be the mighty Paul Millsap, the resilient Ronnie Price, and the strangely comical Fess.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Some Quick Jazz Thoughts

Well we're 2-2, with wins over a crappy looking Thunder and the definitely crappy Raptors. Overall though I think things are more positive than negative:
  • AK has put on some weight, and it's not just due to his stylish new haircut. He also looks much more alive on the court.
  • Big Al is out of shape and lost in the offense, but he's still putting up good numbers. It's hard for me to even see how he scores. . . he reminds me a bit of the Mailman in that you watch the game for awhile and think, "He's not doing much" and then look at the box score and he's put up 23 and 11.
  • Millsap has been a BEAST in some early games. Fun to watch.
  • Miles looked terrible -- absolutely terrible -- against Phoenix. Airballs, fouls, missed assignments, travels. Woof. He's put up good stats since then but he's a veteran of the system now. . . it was shocking to watch him stumble around like that.
  • I like Jerry's early confidence in Hayward. It's a good sign.
  • Our bench is not deep, and it's stocked with a lot of new guys. Injuries, particularly in the playoffs, are going to devastate us.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Diamond Discovered

The Jazz have done it again. Their 2nd round drafting prowess has proved miraculous.

Jeremy Evans has been a welcome addition to the Jazz roster after playing his way onto the team during the pre-season. Nobody expected it to happen. No one had heard of him coming out of Western Kentucky. But, here he is... making all of us (so called) draft experts look bad.

The pogo-stick leaper has been electric during the pre-season. He's played to his strengths (rebounding and garbage-man hustle plays) and provided the team with a boost of athleticism that has been desperately needed. It should be interesting to see if he'll be able to break the regular season lineup. I can't wait to see his 1st alley-oop dunk!

The Jazz need to be calculated and intelligent as they move forward with Evans. We ought to sign him to a low-cost, 3-year deal, similar to what Millsap got when he was drafted. Evans' has the abilty, athleticism, and attitude to contribute and improve our team. I'm excited to eventually see how he progresses.

It was a sad day to see our reserve hopefuls get cut from the team. Sundiata, Othyus, Demetris Nichols, and Ryan Thompson all gave strong pre-season showings. It was the most competitive group of hopefuls that I can remember trying out for the Jazz. Sundiata was unfortunately stuck behind 3 solid guaranteed contracts at PG. Othyus had trouble shooting from the perimeter despite showing skills, activity and toughness in other aspects of his game. Nichols had two strong pre-season shooting nights. And Thompson was the one with perhaps the most "potential" of the group. I wouldn't be surprised if the Jazz keep each one of these guys on speed-dial for the next time an injury hits our team. Frankly, I like each one of them, especially Othyus and Ryan Thompson.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I feel refreshed and excited about the Utah Jazz season. While football season still reigns supreme during the fall, I can't help but look forward to our new Utah Jazz come October. The new logo returns, our uniforms are back to the old-school style, half our roster has changed, and Deron Williams seems happy about it. There's just such a new sense of enthusiasm about the Jazz.

I can't say that the "newness" of our team will translate into more wins or a better season, but I think we'll have more fun cheering on our team and following our progress and improvement. I like our roster. Al Jefferson brings an exciting element of power under the basket in replacement of Boozer. I'm looking forward to seeing him play in a Jazz uniform. Gordon Hayward should be able to contribute and get some immediate court time. It'll be fun to see him progress as a Jazzman. It's great to have Raja Bell back in a Jazz uniform. Watson and Elson should at least play some important minutes in reserve for us. And frankly, I like the rookies we brought in to fight for a roster spot. Jeremy Evans and Ryan Thompson could be welcome surprises for our youth movement (or for our passionates fans in Orem). Othyus and Sundiata could have a battle on their hands to keep their positions. There's a lot to look forward to this season. I welcome the excitement and fresh start. Bring on training camp, pre-season, and the start of the new-age Utah Jazz.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Potential Blockbuster

Could Andrei Kirilenko be on his way out of Utah? Reports are scattered throughout the major news streams about a possible blockbuster deal that would send AK47 to Denver in a 4-way trade. The Jazz, in turn, would receive Boris Diaw from Charlotte. The main attraction from the trade would be Carmelo Anthony joining the New Jersey Nets with Devin Harris shipped off to Charlotte and Derrick Favors to Denver to join AK. Could this trade actually happen? As a Jazz fan, it looks like a total salary dump. I'd rather have AK than Boris. Though, there's not a huge difference in performance from the two players. In addition, I certainly wouldn't enjoy watching Andrei suit up for the Nuggets. Regardless, it looks as though the Jazz make-over could be on full display this coming season. New additions abound on the Jazz roster.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Watson Joins Jazz?

I'm not sure how confident we can be about someone's twitter post being a true, viable source of legitimate Jazz news... But... we'll go with it anyway. Apparently, there's a rumor suggesting that Earl Watson will sign with the Utah Jazz. I'd imagine it'd be for the vet minimum. He apparently worked out for the Jazz last week. I think Watson would be a terrific addition. He's the kind of blue collar, unheralded worker that would fit nicely into the Jazz scheme. Hopefully, the rumor is true. The SL Tribune just makes it official... Watson will join the Jazz.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Elson Signs with Jazz

Francisco Elson has signed with the Utah Jazz. He's expected to play limited, but meaningful minutes for the Jazz while Mehmet Okur recovers from his achilles surgery. What then does this mean for Fess?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Did LeBron set a trend? Dime Magazine thinks Deron Williams will leave to Dallas during the 2012 free agency period. As a Jazz fan, this will be the most feared possibility. And frankly... I think the liklihood could be high... that DWill eventually leaves. Perhaps he wouldn't go to Dallas, but maybe Orlando, New York, or somewhere else. Let's sure hope not...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Missing Piece at Center

Our boy from Croatia, Ante Tomic, got a chance to showcase his talents against Team USA yesterday. In his debut side-by-side with these NBA stars, Tomic produced a solid line of 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Tomic impressed me with his agility, skill level, and size. He was clearly Croatia's primary target in the post. While Croatia got dismantled and Tomic did have trouble holding ground in the post (he's still very weak), it was apparent to me that he'd eventually have a terrific future playing in the NBA someday. Could Tomic be the missing piece at center to our Utah Jazz future? We may have to hope that he joins our ranks in SLC next year in order to give DWill an extra motivation to remain a Jazzman.

Until that time comes, we're still waiting upon Kyrylo Fesenko, the Fess, to agree upon our qualifying offer. According to this article from Hoopsworld, Fess has had some opportunities to go elsewhere but nobody has committed to him based upon his restricted FA status. I'm not certain how much better Fess will get, but for now, we're in dire need of another center. Apparently, the Jazz have also looked at Francisco Elson as a possible fill-in center prospect. Are there any other centers out there who could possibly make a difference to our team? The center prospects are definitely numbered (DJ Mbenga? Earl Barron? or perhaps just maybe... wait for it... our long lost former Jazzman, Jarron Collins).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Awakening of My True Jazz Fanship

This weekend, I was able to attend a fundraising golf tournament which included a "Who's who" grammy list of Utah icons. Some of the Jazz brass were in attendance, along with Senator Orin Hatch and several other prominent folks. However, the figure that I reveled in the most was the presence of Frank Layden. I wanted to take the opportunity to shake his hand and talk about the Jazz, yet, felt the rush to get onto the golf course and start my round of 18. I didn't get that opportunity to meet Coach Layden (What a legend he is!).
Thinking about that missed opportunity, I thought about what I'd say to Frank Layden if I had another chance to meet him. And if I could, this is what I'd say to him... "Coach, 'Thank You' for turning me into a true Jazz fanatic. Your 1988 playoff team was the team that awakened me to my true Jazz fanship. Because of you and that team, I've been a dedicated and devoted Jazz fan ever since." While I grew up enjoying Ricky Green and Darrell Griffith, nothing turned me onto the Jazz more than John Stockton, Karl Malone, and Frank Layden. The Jazz became a serious franchise in 1988 when we laid a tremendous scare into the back-to-back Showtime Lakers. It was then that our team and organization jumped onto a path of NBA relevance and competitiveness. We became a serious contender from that point forward. And for it, I'd like to thank Frank Layden... the funniest, goofiest Coach to ever walk the sidelines of an NBA court. Here's to you, Coach!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ryan Thompson to Fall Camp

Ryan Thompson has accepted an invitation to participate in the Utah Jazz fall camp. He played for Sacramento during the Summer League and had an amazing Portsmouth Tournament prior to the NBA Draft (despite not getting drafted later). He's an intriguing player... someone who I thought the Jazz would really consider drafting in the 2nd Round. I really like this kid. He's got great ability and may have a chance to make the roster. He'll be in a battle with Othyus Jeffers to make the team.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Staring Into Space... On the Roster

The Utah Jazz will be a luxury tax payer next season. This is something we can expect will happen. With the addition of Al Jefferson to the roster, the Jazz will pay $73.7 million for 9 players. The luxury tax line is set to be $70.3 million.

With that being said, how do you suppose the Jazz will choose to fill out the roster?


As the Jazz continue to add players to the roster, their salary commitments will only rise further past the luxury tax line... meaning additional moves will cost double. Who can we add to the roster for next to nothing?

The Jazz are slowly moving forward in negotiation will Kyrylo Fesenko. His salary committment ought to raise that luxury level up to $1-2 million more. Sundiata Gaines and Othyus Jeffers will most likely return based on the fact that they're relatively cheap and sitting on non-guaranteed contracts... $700K per player. And thus, we can expect more of this fanatically stellar play! I'd expect Jeremy Evans to become our cheap 2nd Round artistic project. If I were a D-League star looking to find a roster spot, now would be a perfect time to try-out for the Jazz. I wonder if I should get in shape! It's time to uncover the cheap hidden gem.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mailman

It's only fitting that the Mailman's birthday is celebrated on the same day as the Days of '47 celebration in the state of Utah. The Mailman was one of the great men to come through this state. No question... he was a warrior.

"I hope someday somebody will walk up to my kid without me there, and say, 'Let me tell you about your dad.' And I hope it's not anything sports related."

"A strain... What's a strain?" Good article from the D-News.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Way I See It...

The NBA free agency period is slowly starting to wind down and most players have made their intentions as to where they're going to play. Miami was the big winner this summer, while teams like Chicago and New York made a postive dent. It seems like the discrepancy between the "haves" and the "have-nots" has continued to widen. The Lakers seem to retool with an additional set of players to compliment their currently stacked roster, while teams like Golden State and Minnesota remain in stagnant mode. The West will once again be brutally tough and competitive for our Jazz. Here's how I see it shaking out... Everything hinges on the health of star players.

1. LA Lakers - Out goes Jordan Farmar and possibly Shannon Brown. In comes Steve Blake and Matt Barnes. The core remains remarkably the same... Kobe, Fisher, Artest, Odom, Gasol and Bynum. How do you stop this team? I envision another 3-peat on the horizon. Yuck!
2. Portland TrailBlazers - The rise of the Blazers will start this year. They're big... Oden, Camby, Pryz, Aldridge. They're athletic... Batum, Roy, Matthews. They're deep... Bayless, Fernandez, and Babbitt. And they're experienced... Dre Miller. This team is ready to blow up.
3. Dallas Mavericks - I don't know what to think of the Mavs. They're a solid regular season team with limited ability to win in the playoffs. With Dirk, they'll always be competitive. Perhaps this is the team that will drop out. But, I don't see it. Kidd, Marion, Butler, Terry and their youth (Beaubois and Jones) will keep them in the hunt.
4. Utah Jazz - Al Jefferson should have a huge year. He'll replace Boozer admirably. Millsap will get more opportunity. And we have the best point guard in the NBA. The Lakers always await us though...
5. OKC Thunder - OKC made the right moves this summer. They got bigger with Aldrich and added depth shooters with Daquan Cook and MoPete. Westbrook, Harden, and Green will improve and Durant will be an MVP candidate.
6. Denver Nuggets - Still much of the same for the Nuggets. Perhaps with the return of Coach Karl, the Nuggets could regain higher positioning in the West. However, nothing has changed with their team. Al Harrington will provide some additional bench scoring.
7. San Antonio Spurs - Tim Duncan won't allow this team to fall out of playoff contention. Despite getting older, the Spurs will still be a solid team. Perhaps they can improve with better continuity and the addition of Tiago Splitter from Euroball. However, Phoenix absolutely destroyed these guys in the playoffs last season and causes me to think... they could be done.
8. Houston Rockets - The Rockets will be the deepest team in the NBA. From player 1-12, they're very solid. With a healthy Yao, Houston could actually rise up to #4 or #5. Scola, Martin, Battier and Ariza will keep them in contention without Yao.
Phoenix - On first thought, losing Amare will be devastating to the Suns. Who will they play in the post? However, on second thought, Turkoglu, Childress, and Warrick were solid additions. This was a deep and talented team to begin with. Even without Amare, Phoenix could sneak into the playoffs.
New Orleans - The Hornets still have Chris Paul
LA Clippers - The Clipshow could easily rise from the ashes. They could be the most improved team from last year. Blake Griffin will make a huge difference.
Memphis - This team has improved over the summer. With a few breaks, the Griz could outlast another injury prone team for a playoff spot.
Sacramento - Youth. The team of the future.
Minnesota - A long ways to go...
Golden State - A longer ways to go...

Go Jazz!

Monday, July 19, 2010


From today's D News (not exactly sure why this wasn't the lead, instead of a piece on Kosta Koufos maybe getting traded from Minnesota to Cleveland):

PROPS FOR HAYWARD: Jazz newcomer Gordon Hayward was rated as the No. 1 rookie in summer-league play in the online Courtside Analyst's last data-based rankings (as of July 15).

Two players with NBA experience — third-year Memphis center Joey Dorsey and Denver sophomore Ty Lawson — ranked ahead of Hayward overall.

But the Jazz's No. 9 pick in last month's draft was rated ahead of the likes of top pick John Wall (10th), Evan Turner (9th), DeMarcus Cousins (5th), Wesley Johnson (13th) and Derrick Favors (15th) in the rankings that factor in a variety of statistics and results.

"The best rookie so far has been Utah's Gordon Hayward," wrote the author, tywill33. "He was exceptional in the Orlando Summer League."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

To Offer or Not to Offer

According to Wes Matthews... he was never offered a contract.
"They said that I was a priority, but they never made me an offer. They never offered me anything. I'm sure that if they would have made an offer, it would have been a fair offer and I might have taken it."
As a restricted free agent, the Jazz used the strategy of having Wes Matthews find his market value to determine his offer rather than offer him a contract outright. What should the Jazz do in situations like this one? Like Millsap, Wes Matthews was a restricted free agent. We had the opportunity to match any contract he came up with. The Jazz, I suppose, didn't want to bid against their own qualifying offer... and it came to bite us in the behind. Would Matthews have accepted a low-ball offer from the Jazz? I don't think so... but we'll never know. How should the Jazz have negotiated through this scenario?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Raja and Wes

Welcome back Raja. You will clearly look mighty fly in white shorts.

Kevin O'Connor said this morning he was looking for a guard who could D up and shoot the three but that those were hard to find. Consider it found!

Maybe we'll get you back one day too, Wes. But for today it's good-bye. And good luck to Portland if they're handing out contracts like that.

One of the craziest offseasons ever for the Jazz appears to be coming to a close. Only time will tell how we do, but here's one fan who thinks we've improved.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bring Back Brew

I never fully understood why we traded Ronnie away. I suppose it was to open up more time for Wes Matthews and save us some money.
Now that big Wes Matthews has secured himself an outrageous long-term contract, it's time for the Jazz to reach out to Ronnie Brewer and bring him back home. I'll admit... Wes Matthews brought more to the table than Ronnie Brewer. He's a more complete player. But what if we signed Ronnie for $15M less? I think Ronnie will cost us just above $4M per season. I think this could be worth the exchange. Apparently, the possibility is more than real. Memphis just signed Tony Allen. And we're battling the Utah Jazz East (Chicago Bulls) for Ronnie's services. Other players we could reach out to (instead of matching Wes Matthews' contract) are Roger Mason, Shannon Brown, Antoine Wright, and maybe 19 pt 1st half... Joey Graham. These guys should come much cheaper than Wes and provide close to the same production. Plus, the Jazz need to make due with their mid-level and bi-annual exceptions. We still need to add a big guy (other than Fes) that will attempt to fill Boozer's empty shoes. Do any of these low budget PFs bring a cheap-gain appeal to our team? Sheldon Williams, Kwame Brown, Craig Smith, Josh Powell, DJ Mbenga, Josh Boone, Hilton Armstrong, Ike Diogu, Lou Amundson, Anthony Tolliver... It's like we're buying Keds at the DI or something. We only have about $2-3M to spend on a post player. Hopefully, one of our summer league hopefuls, Augustine or Davidson, can make a difference in fall camp. As the great 80's group Bananarama once sang... It's a cruel summer! And it has been for the Jazz...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Matthews Mayhem

Boy, we're getting pilfered. This is kind of depressing. The Jazz are placed in a tough spot once again. Wesley Matthews just signed an offer sheet for 5 years and $34 million. Apparently, the offer sheet is front-loaded for $9 million next year.
I hope the Jazz are considering their options. They have 7 days to make a decision to match or not. Other "cheaper" options could be available. Ronnie Brewer might be one of those other options... to bring him back.
I'm happy for Wes Matthews. I raved about his play all last season. Going from undrafted to receiving a $34 million contract over the course of one season is an amazing success story. Kudos to him. As much as I like Wes, I don't think the Jazz should match the contract. Let Portland reap what they offered.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Boozer To Chicago reports that Carlos Boozer has agreed to sign with the Chicago Bulls for 5 years and $80 million. If true... Best of luck in Chicago, Carlos. It's been a good run.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rookie Review

The Jazz signed their two NBA draft picks and recently announced the Rookie Team to play down in Orlando, Florida.

One of those players signed was Jeremy Evans of Western Kentucky. Evans will participate with the Rookie Team and was our 2nd Round draft pick this summer. If you're asking... "Who the blazes is Jeremy Evans?", then you're not the only one wondering. I've never heard of the guy. And I'm supposedly the "Draft Guru". Frankly, I remember watching him play once in the Sweet 16 with Courtney Lee, a couple of years back. I'm amazed we drafted him. He must have left an amazing impression on Jazz brass. Apparently, Evans is an athletic marvel... yet skinny (196 lbs) and under-developed for a 4-year senior. His numbers were very underwhelming... 10 pts, 7 boards, and 1.8 blocks per game. Perhaps he can prove us wrong during the Summer League.

I'm intrigued to follow our Jazz participants this summer. Of those who could potentially surprise are Jermareo Davidson, Paul Harris, and Tyrese Rice. Davidson possesses the requisite size, athleticism and length to play on the interior for the Jazz (6'10", 230). He had a solid career at Alabama and found opportunities to play in the NBA for Golden State and Charlotte. Harris nearly made the team last fall despite having ankle problems. He's a tremendous rebounder and defender for a guard (very similar to Othyus Jeffers). Rice can shoot and run a team. He's got great instincts at the point guard position. We'll have to see if anyone can replicate the success of one past summer league star, Wesley Matthews.

In this environment, I believe Sundiata Gaines and Othyus Jeffers ought to shine. They have the hunger, staying power and experience to prove they belong. Both guys put up awesome numbers at the D-League level against similar type of competition. It'll be interesting to see what our boy, Tadija Dragicevic, will do. I expect us to bring home the Summer League championship trophy this year, because we've got the tools and we've got the talent (It's Miller-time!). Anything less would be uncivilized...err...disappointing.
Go Rookies! Go Jazz!

Korver to the Knicks?

"The New York Post, meanwhile, reported Thursday that the New York Knicks 'have interest' in veteran Jazz shooting guard Kyle Korver as a fallback plan if other preferred scenarios don't play out."

That is a serious fallback plan.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


It's Carlos Boozerama... around the clock... all the time.

Boozer's time has arrived to become a free agent again and plenty of teams offer him the chance to score a big-time contract. Who will Boozer be "screaming" for next season? Do the Jazz have a shot at securing his services for more seasons? We should soon find out.

Stays With The Jazz: 25% Chance
I still think there may be a small chance Boozer remains with the Jazz. However, we'd have to do some serious re-tooling of the roster to fit him into the equation. We only have $10M to spend until we hit the luxury tax threshold again. That's a tight spending limit! Boozer alone will be asking for $15M per season.
Signs with Chicago: 20% Chance
Chicago likes Boozer. They've got two spots available. However, LeBron, Bosh, JJ, and possibly Amare' could sign there instead.
Signs with Miami: 15% Chance
Miami is looking to add the tri-fecta of Bron, Bosh, and DWade. Wade is almost assuredly staying in Miami. Bosh has been the primary target in South Beach. However, Boozer could be a secondary option depending on where Bosh lands (Chicago or Miami).
Signs with NJ: 25% Chance
This is the ultimate back-up plan for Boozer. NJ is opening room for 2 big-time free agents. If Miami and Chicago are taken by Amare' and Bosh. Boozer will most likely land in NJ to play alongside Brook Lopez.
Sign & Trade to Orlando or Detroit: 10% Chance
Orlando could be a real possibility. Dwight Howard has expressed interest in having a power forward running mate. Boozer would be that guy. This would be the best scenario for the Jazz too (unless he stayed) we could recoup some talent in return... perhaps Gortat, Bass, future pick. Detroit is a long shot.
Signs with NY: 3% Chance
New York would rather sign David Lee, if they lost out on Bron, Bosh, Wade, Amare', etc. I think Amare' has a chance to land in New York with possibly Joe Johnson (if that happens... then Boozer lands in Chicago or Miami).
Signs with Washington or LA Clippers: 2% Chance
Washington has been savvy, stealing players from teams trying to unload salary for the free agent market (Hinrich & Yi). Boozer is not needed in the Capital City. LAC has a guy by the name of Blake Griffin.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hayward... the Hero or the Goat

Well... it wasn't the most exciting draft ever. But I'm not surprised in the least that we took Gordon Hayward at #9. He's the right type of player for our team.
Infact, I'll go as far as to say... I think that once Gordon Hayward took his Butler team on his back through the Salt Lake City Regional and dismantled Syracuse and Kansas State for a birth into the Final Four, he was officially set in stone as the Utah Jazz selection for the NBA Draft. He locked himself into Jazz hearts (perhaps not the fans but most certainly the Jazz brass).
Frankly, I like the pick. Who else were we going to take? Ed Davis? Raw and injury prone. Luke Babbitt? I'll trust the Jazz evaluation. Patrick Patterson? Nothing special. I jokingly lobbied for Cole Aldrich as the pick because he played center... a position where the Jazz could use some help. Hayward was probably the guy all along. Once Monroe left the board, it was all over. There wasn't another quality big man with additional "super-power" to his potential.
Just think about it... If Gordon Hayward hits that shot, Butler wins the national championship. Yeah, Butler! Say it again... Butler! That's unprecedented! You gotta admit... it was ALL Hayward during that run to the Final Four. He was something special. I don't necessarily think he'll be something special in the League, but I'll place a bet that he'll be pretty good for us.

Hayward? Seriously? The 9th Pick?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Draft Prediction

It's just too perfect to pass up. Cole Aldrich and the Utah Jazz are a match made in hoops heaven. The Jazz can't pass-by this guy if he's available, can they? Fred Flintstone Junior? Double-0 Aldrich? Kansas 7-footer? Good call by the Rock-monster. It's gotta happen... Right?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Draft Buzz

The NBA Draft is right around the corner and the Utah Jazz may have some serious decisions on their hands.

Invitations have gone out to those participants who will occupy the Green Room at the NBA Draft. They include: John Wall, Evan Turner, Wesley Johnson, Derrick Favors, DeMarcus Cousins, Greg Monroe, Ed Davis, Al-Farouq Aminu, Cole Aldrich, Luke Babbitt, Gordon Hayward, Ekpe Udoh, Paul George, Patrick Patterson, and Xavier Henry. Nearly all of these players could be considered and selected by the Jazz.

The player getting the most buzz for the Jazz pick is Luke Babbitt from Nevada. Apparently, the Jazz would enjoy getting a sweet shooting swingman to come in and play right away. Babbitt, Hayward, and Henry are getting serious looks.

Of the big guys around, if Ed Davis slipped to the Jazz at #9, then he could definitely be the selection. The other big guys being considered are Ekpe Udoh and Cole Aldrich.

Who do you think the Jazz will pick? The draft machine can help us create the potential scenario.

The Jazz could have opportunities to acquire an additional 1st Round pick if they so desire. Mid-1st Round picks are traded quite frequently. Chicago and Miami might want to save cap space for the free agent market, while Minnesota, Memphis, and Oklahoma City have an abundance of picks to possibly trade along to the Jazz. We'll see what happens...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Big Ed

Ed Davis of North Carolina will be coming to town to workout for the Jazz. Davis has been high on the radar of NBA teams for over a year. Big Ed was an integral part to the UNC National Championship team over a year ago, and would have been a top 5 draft pick last year had he come out early for the NBA Draft after his impressive freshman season. Davis, though, didn't fare as well this season at UNC, primarily due to injury and youth at key positions (No quality PG to get him the ball). Perhaps Davis can show the things he's capable of during the workout and regain his positioning in the draft with the Jazz picking at #9. He provides great athleticism, rebounding, shot-blocking, and length at the PF postion. Funny enough... Davis will be working out against local product and French flyer, Kim Tillie, from the University of Utah. So... anybody got Tillie in this match-up?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Long-time readers of TCG know how we collectively feel about the old Jazz logo. In fact, it's embedded in our own name. So it is with open arms that we welcome you back, Jazz note! You were gone too long.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Masters of the Shot-Block

The big guys we've been waiting to see finally visited the Jazz on Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday saw players such as Cole Aldrich, Ekpe Udoh, and Hassan Whiteside go up against each other. On Wednesday, the Jazz saw Patrick Patterson and Larry Sanders. It would have been exciting to witness these workouts and see which players had the ability to separate themselves from the pack. I really don't know what the Jazz will do with so many options for them at #9. In some ways, they can't go wrong... and yet, the Jazz must get the best value pick at the position they're slated to select. It'll be a tough decision come draft day.

The Big Board (I think the wings are making a surge upward):
1. Greg Monroe, Georgetown
2a. Gordon Hayward, Butler
2b. Luke Babbitt, Nevada
2c. Xavier Henry, Kansas
5. Ekpe Udoh, Baylor
6. Cole Aldrich, Kansas
7. Patrick Patterson, Kentucky
8. Hassan Whiteside, Marshall
9. Ed Davis, UNC
10. Paul George, Fresno St.

On the eve of our World Cup match against England, here's to our 2nd Round hopeful from the Mother Country... Ryan Richards. He could be a potential sleeper.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Next Wes Matthews

I get more excited about the 2nd Round draft picks than I do about the 1st Round guys. Considering our penchant for snagging 2nd Round discoveries, the Jazz have developed quite a nice roster (and even past alumni) of hidden gems. Bryan Russell and Shandon Anderson are examples of past success stories. Paul Millsap, and CJ Miles were also 2nd Round picks who overachieved and made an impact on the Jazz.

So, the lesson here is that solid ball players can be mined in the 2nd Round and developed into good players. If there was ever a magic formula to selecting one of these players, it would have to be that they were overlooked, upper-class, productive college performers playing with a chip on their shoulder to perform at the highest level. With the right opportunity (like Wes Matthews), these guys can make an impact. The Jazz system also allows these players to thrive based upon the concept of team basketball. Everybody can find a niche if they work hard enough.

Who should we look for?

The Top 5
1. Luke Harangody, F, Notre Dame
The Gody needs us more than we need him. He'd be perfect in our system as a Harpring-esque, "bully & bruiser" type of player. He just fits our style. I don't think he impacts the NBA... unless he's a Jazzman.
2. Mikhail Torrance, G, Alabama
No one had really heard of him until the Portsmouth Tournament. He's a productive senior combo-guard with good athleticism.
3. Lazar Hayward, F, Marquette
Hayward could be the heir apparent to Wes Matthews. Same school, similar-type player, good shooter, physical presence... He'd be a solid forward in the Jazz system.
4. Manny Harris, G, Michigan
Manny does a little bit of everything. He's a stat-sheet stuffer. I believe he could play back-up SG as a poorman's Rip Hamilton.
5. Omar Samhan, C, Saint Mary's
The Sandman took his team to the Sweet 16. His numbers were incredible. With a little conditioning and athletic training, he could definitely be a solid back-up center for us.

The Younger Brothers: Ryan Thompson, G, Rider; Elijah Millsap, G, UAB
If you take a flyer on a guy in the 2nd Round, it may as well be on someone who comes from quality NBA stock. Jason Thompson and Paul Millsap are doing pretty well in the league right now.

The Unknown: Ever heard of Mac Koshwal? Neither have I. He averaged 16 points, 10 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block per game as a 6-10 center for DePaul. Get on it!

The Dukies: While I don't cheer for Duke (infact... I despise them), I respect their program and tradition (and more so now that I have visited Cameron Indoor recently). One reason why Duke players perform so well is because they play hard together and assume player roles. Zoubek and Sheyer were solid system guys. Zoubek rebounded and clogged the paint. Sheyer ran the team and shot threes. Both guys have a shot at the NBA. Frankly, there's no better match for the Jazz than two solid winners. We might as well draft one of them.

The Prediction: Jazz pick a Dukie. If we go big in the 1st, it'll be Sheyer in the 2nd. If we go swingman, we'll then select Zoubek.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Big Board

The Big Fella, Greg Monroe from Georgetown, came to visit the Jazz for a workout today. Monroe was the first prospect to start off the Pre-Draft Festivities for the Jazz off-season. It's fitting that Monroe visited first and foremost, since Monroe is probably the Jazz's primary target for the upcoming draft on June 24th.
It would be great to have a shot at drafting Monroe, however, I believe he'll move ahead of the Jazz's drafting spot come June 24th. He'll get heavy attention from teams such as Sacramento, Golden State, and Detroit. It's not out of the realm of possibility that he could drop to #9. Though, I'm not expecting it. If we want him, we'll have to trade up.
It's getting tough to put together a Draft Big Board for the upcoming draft in 3 weeks. There are a lot of quality players who are about the same (talent-wise), yet won't be stars. In some ways, I wish we could pick two players in the 1st Round so we could fill in holes for a post player and a swingman. Quality role/rotation players abound in this draft.
Here's my best guess at our current Big Board...
I think Wall, Turner, Favors, Cousins, WJohnson, and Aminu will be gone before the Jazz pick. Monroe will have a chance to be there.
1. Greg Monroe - Like Hansbrough and Hibbert in years past... we want him. He won't be there.
2. Luke Babbitt - Jazzman... shooter, scorer, passer, southpaw.
3. Cole Aldrich - Defense and rebounding. All things we need. Ready to contribute.
4. Gordon Hayward - Winner. Terrific playmaker, ballhandler, passer and team-player.
5. Ekpe Udoh - Could be higher on our board. Provides length and shotblocking.
6. Ed Davis - Best athlete of the big men. Not the most polished or ready. Could be higher on our draft board.
7. Patrick Patterson - Great character guy. Fits our style to a "T". Could be a solid Millsap back-up.
8. Hassan Whiteside - Boom or bust. This is who we pick if we shoot for the stars. Incredible length, size, & shotblocking. Jazz probably aren't that risky. Not ready to contribute.
9. Xavier Henry - Great talent and shooter. Underwhelming freshman year. Could rise our board, yet I believe the Jazz will like Babbitt and Hayward better.
10. Paul George - Terrific size and athleticism. Raw talent.
I wouldn't be disappointed in any of these players. In fact, I'd hope to draft a couple of them. Go Jazz!

Monday, May 31, 2010

And The Winner Is...

The Draft Combine passed us by and the measurements are "In". Who's bigger, stronger, and faster? Who's the best athlete? The measurements always seem to make a huge difference in providing that certain change of perception. Last year, we all remember that Tyler Hansbrough measured a solid 6'9", and he jumped a handful of spots on draft day because his measurables were better than what people thought. His grit, tenacity, and production ultimately took him the rest of the way to a higher draft-day landing spot with Indiana.

The big winner of the Draft Day Combine measurements was Luke Babbitt from Nevada. Babbitt measured in at a legit 6'9" in shoes, jumped a 37 inch vertical and ran the sprints and slide drills with quickness. Babbitt also shot efficiently in the shooting drills. Now... this shouldn't be a huge surpise to people since Babbitt averaged 22 ppg, 9 rpg and shot 50% from the floor and 42% from 3pt last season for the Wolfpack (My only concern: Why didn't they win more games at Nevada?). Babbitt showed that he's more than just a solid prospect... He could definitely be a consideration at #9.

In height and wingspan, Greg Monroe, Ekpe Udoh and Ed Davis all measured with great length... (the lacking "buzzword" characteristic for our current bigmen). Monroe could even play a legit center at his height of 6'11". Hassan Whiteside was ridiculous. He had a 7'7" wingspan. Cole Aldrich measured shorter than advertised, even though he showed solid wingspan and good athletic prowess in other areas.

A lot of solid potential choices ought to be available to the Jazz at #9.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mr. Hayward

Just like skinny euros, the Jazz love the white shooting guard. Going back to the days of Bobby Hansen, Bart Kofoed, and most certainly the retired Jeff Hornacek, the Jazz can't do without one. We now have our chance to secure another (although... there's no way the heart-throb Kyle Korver leaves us).
We all know his game. We saw him lead his team to the brink of a national championship... pretty amazing feat! He's got all of the intangibles. Perhaps, just maybe, the Jazz veer away from the lure of big, lumbering post player and seek out the services of a complete ballplayer, in Mr. Gordon Hayward. David Thorpe, from Sporting News, seems to think so. I suppose we'll just have to see what happens. I tend to agree with David Thorpe... Hayward is undervalued. He's a lock for the lottery. And the Jazz would be wise to secure him. Yet, it looks as if the Jazz might have a tough choice on their hands. Aldrich or Hayward? Udoh, Davis or Hayward? Perhaps the Jazz could trade down a couple spots (Memphis at #12?), acquire another pick or asset, and select Hayward. The Jazz roster could use more caucasian shooters.

Skinny Euros

I doubt the Jazz will draft draft Mr. Montiejunas. Why? Because he is a skinny, soft, Euro big man and we already have one of those. No, not Kosta (he's not European), not Fesenko (he's not soft), and not Memo (not skinny). I mean, Ante Tomic!

Remember the 2008 draft? Along with my elation at picking Kosta Kofous, the Jazz also provided some laughs by drafting two Europeans in the second round. Here is what the taller of the continent's prospects has been up to lately.

Actually, people are taking notice of Tomic. He's still skinnier and paler than anything Utah County ever produced, but he has some real basketball skills. Whether those are NBA-level skills is another question.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Donatas Motiejunas

The Rock Monster points out the Jazz are not limited to picking Greg Monroe or Cole Aldrich if they're looking for a big man in this year's draft. There's also Donatas Motiejunas. Goofier than Fesenko and Ostertag, skinnier than AK, more foreign than Boozer and Williams. He is. . . Donatas!

The best part: based on his one quote in this video, he is brilliant.

"There not going to be another Jordan. So, in the same way, there will not be another Sabonis."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mid-Level for Matthews?

Ross Siler from the SL Tribune makes an interesting observation. Wesley Matthews could be looking at a big pay-day this summer after taking over the starting SG spot as an undrafted rookie. Because Matthews has only played one season with the Jazz, we don't own his Bird-rights. And if we have any desire to resign him this summer (as we do) as a restricted free-agent, we'll have to utilize our mid-level or bi-annual exception to keep him. Competitors vying for Matthews signature will be able to sign him only up to the average NBA salary (mid-level), meaning the Jazz can match up to that point based upon the past Gilbert Arenas rule.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Draft Day Flashbacks

As the summer of youtube rolls on, may I present a 25-year old reminder of why draftees now hire consultants?

1. The outfit - This is likely the best outfit ever worn to the NBA draft, and that is saying a hell of a lot. The reason "Mail's" outfit beats out other top picks is the earnestness with which Karl rocks his knitted-tie-with-overstuffed-pants look. He's not trying to impress his boys, he's just wearing what he would wear to church.

2. The tears - Who knew that Malone was always a softie?

3. The shout-out to Monica: his fiancee. Whoops!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Can We Avoid the Inevitable?

I can see it happening already. "With the ninth pick in the NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz select... Cole Aldrich of Kansas." Could there be a more fitting pick than Cole Aldrich? He just spells out J-A-Z-Z Man. I think it's time that we get ready for the inevitable. Cole Aldrich is our guy. In the line of such greats as Mark Eaton, Eric Leckner, Walter Palmer, Greg Ostertag and even Curtis Borchardt, Alrich brings the requisite profile. He's our man.

My Way Too Early NBA Draft Prediction:
1. Wizards John Wall, G, Kentucky
2. 76ers Evan Turner, G, Ohio State
3. NJ Nets Derrick Favors, F, Georgia Tech
4. T-wolves Wesley Johnson, F, Syracuse
5. Kings DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kentucky
6. Warriors Al-Farouq Aminu, F, Wake Forest
7. Pistons Greg Monroe, F, Georgetown
8. Clippers Ekpe Udoh, F, Baylor
10. Pacers Gordon Hayward, F, Butler
11. Hornets Ed Davis, F, North Carolina
12. Grizzlies Luke Babbit, F, Nevada
13. Raptors Hassan Whiteside, C, Marshall
14. Rockets Patrick Patterson, F, Kentucky

Nicknames are already being considered for the bigman in the middle...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Mailman's first attempted delivery

The best part of the NBA season is upon us. The final four of Orlando, Boston, L.A., and Phoenix has plenty of good and evil potential and some intriguing matchups. Personally, I'd love to see Phoenix get the title, but I'm also partial to the Celtics' team game.

However, there won't be much Jazz news until the draft picks up steam. So, to get us through the next few weeks, I'll be posting some Jazz-related videos for you purists.

Today's submission: The Mailman's first NBA appearance. Karl doesn't exactly light the world on fire, but it is fun to remember back to the mid-1980s Jazz. I was actually shocked by how bad the teams look in that video. Lots of bad shots, errant passes, terrible ball-handlers, etc. As usual, Stockton is the exception to the rule: calm, collected, heady, and in-control.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Unis

So apparently the Jazz are getting new uniforms next year. Why does the world know this? Because Greg Miller posted a photo of them on his Twitter account.

Note: I think I could have done the same thing if I found Deron Williams and Randy Rigby on the street and convinced them to pose for a picture with a white towel.

What Now?

A hardy salute to our Jazzmen of 2009-10!
What a year it has been. We got absolutely crushed by our hated rivals on the west coast (Los Angeles), and yet, showed incredible resolve in demolishing our Rocky Mountain rivals to the east (Denver Nuggets). The playoffs were definitely a mixed bag. It was difficult to see the season come to an end, though, it was tougher to witness our team suffer a season-ending, series-finishing sweep.
All in all, it was a season of familiar results... Good enough to produce a playoff appearance and series victory, and not enough to contend for a title. Even when we encountered devastating injuries, we persisted through it and battled for more victories while making another playoff appearance for the Jazz record books.
We've had a great ride.
With that being said, our franchise sits in a tough spot on the continuum of NBA team progression. This group has hit its peak. Our time has expired. We're good enough to compete, and not good enough to win the title.
Over the course of the summer, we'll see how Jazz management decides to carry the franchise into the future. While I believe we need Carlos Boozer on the team in order to maintain our current playoff positioning, I recognize that we probably ought start the rebuilding process to someday (eventually) rise to new heights. Hopefully, our core group of holdovers can carry us through the 2010-11 season. Sometimes a team has to take a few steps back in order to surge forward once again.
My expectations for the upcoming summer of 2010 are as follows:
1. A hardy "goodbye" salute to Carlos Boozer. He's provided us with a remarkable 6-year 'roller-coaster ride' of solid play in the post. We just can't afford him. We'll miss the post presence he gave us. Chicago? New Jersey? Anybody?
2. Re-sign Wesley Matthews and Kyrylo Fesenko. Matthews has a bright future in a Jazz uniform. Fess will be our starting center next season. He's much more valuable than one might originally think...
3. Kyle Korver returns... whatever the cost. How can we let go of the lady-charming, fan magnet? This break-up is NOT happening!
4. Pick someone worthwhile in the draft. It'll be a big guy... Greg Monroe or Cole Aldrich come to mind at #9. Continue the crafty track record of 2nd round drafting...
5. Invite Sundiata and Othyus to the party. Summer league will be good for these guys. They'll both be on the 2010-11 opening roster next season.
6. Acquire assets, assets, assets. Check out OKC and Memphis and how they're rebuilding. They're doing it the right way for small town markets... through the draft. The Memphis 2011 1st Round pick is actually a good place to start.
7. Most importantly... Don't alienate DWill in the process of rebuilding. We need to build while we remain competitive... Too bad we'll have to watch the Lakers win championships (and age...) along the way. Sorry. But the truth had to be said.
Go Jazz! I'm looking forward to the draft.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Big O

The Salt Lake Tribune gave us an amazing article about the Big O... And I don't mean Oscar Robertson... but Othyus Jeffers. His story makes you hope that he succeeds even more. Othyus has already made my "favorite players to cheer for" list. I hope he sticks around with the Jazz for future seasons. Go get'em Big O!

According to Chuck and Kenny

The DNews provides quotes from TNT anchors, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley... And I tend to agree with their opinions.
The match-up between the Jazz and the Lakers reminds Kenny Smith of "a really great jayvee team playing a varsity team meaning the Jazz just are not big enough. He says,"I don't mean that as disrespect... I meant it as a size issue, where kids are older and little bit bigger and stronger, and that is what the Lakers are against these guys."
Charles continued..."They have got to try to play like the Phoenix Suns play and outrun the Lakers. First of all, they are limited defensively, but on offense they are working so hard to score... In my opinion, the only way they can get back in this series is to turn it into a track meet."
"Realistically, as long as the game is a half-court game, whether offensively or defensively, Utah is at a serious disadvantage."
I agree with TNT. Run Jazz, Run! Beat those Laker bigs down the floor and get quicker buckets.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Celeb Status

On so many levels, the Sports Guy nails the depiction of the Laker fan experience at Staples Center. This article is absolutely hilarious! An arena full of celebs, people wishing to be seen, fake, glitzy or otherwise, and outpriced die-hards relegated to the corners of the upper-deck... Laker games must be an experience toward some kind of wonderful. While I've never attended an actual Laker game, my ties to LA from living there have brought me close to so many of their fans. They love Kobe Bryant, while the rest of us true fans know better not to...
I think at one point in time,us Jazz fans once considered Wilford Brimley as our most well-known, recognizable celebrity supporter. I'm not certain we can claim such "glam" anymore. We don't have any celebrity supporters. Thus... How can we compare to "the Oscar" Jack Nicholson when we don't even have one celebrity figure (not even one) to call our own? It's not possible to compare to such awesome stature and status. In like manner, how do we match-up with Bynum, Lamar, Pau, Ron Ron, and his eminence, Kobe Bryant with our low-light, D-list cast of characters? Fes, Koufos, Ronnie "Energy" Price and Wesley "undrafted rookie" Matthews? Come on! Not happening. Unfortunately, I hate reading articles like this one, which gives LA Big Brother status to our little brother Jazz. It bugs me. The fact we're staying close in these games and cutting leads in the 4th quarter to nearly win out ought to be a hardcore slap to Big Brother Laker. Just give us one additional high level talent and we'd be winning this series. Remember, both AK47 and Mehmet Okur are not playing right now. Remember... nearly all of our players were drafted in the 2nd round or not at all. Remember... you won both games at home, which you were supposed to do. I'm just amazed at what the Jazz have accomplished in the post season with this crew. Go Jazz!

Monday, May 3, 2010


I really don't want to lose to that guy.

Or that guy.

But this guy -- a guy who takes a bubble bath with fake basketballs and allows himself to be photographed doing it -- that is a guy I hope to lose to.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


As we prepare for a our imminent showdown with the Lakers, let there be no doubt in anyone's mind who Snoop -- an LA native -- is cheering for in this series. Long Beach, Compton, Inglewood always up to no good. . . these are words that mean nothing to the D-O-double G-Y D-O-double G you see.

Let's do it Jazz!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Jazz Win! Jazz Advance!

The Jazz proved me wrong tonight... as well as during this series. I didn't believe we could beat the Nuggets without AK and Okur. And low and behold, we did it. What a remarkable series! Boozer was a destroyer. Millsap was dynamite. Matthews came through like a 10-year vet. We wouldn't be denied, even while encountering adversity. That's heart and toughness! Now... we've got the Lakeshow. Let the fun begin!