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!