Sunday, December 28, 2008
The Jazz have suffered so many injuries.
We’ve been ravaged by injury. Carlos Boozer has missed 20 games and counting. Deron Williams missed 13 games with an ankle sprain. Paul Millsap is out with a knee injury. Kirilenko has missed a few games here and there. Memo has missed 8 games, 3 recently with back spasms. Matt Harpring has missed 12 games with his ankle issues. And the unforgettable Jarron Collins has NOT even played a game yet this season (perhaps that’s a blessing).
We’re still in the playoff hunt.
Yes, I know… we’re currently resting outside of the playoff eight (sitting at #9). But, considering the players who’ve been out for us, it’s fantastic to see that we’re still playing above-.500-ball. Hopefully, time will heal our injuries and we’ll get back on the floor healthy soon.
Paul Millsap has nearly matched Boozer’s production as a starter.
It’s awful that big Paul had to suffer from the Jazz injury bug. He was on such a roll! Millsap racked up 15 double-doubles in a row until the Milwaukee game where he had 11 and 9, and suffered a hyper-extended knee. His averages were suberb!… 15 and 9.
Our wings are stepping up when we need them.
Perhaps this might be a good stretch to have our stars injured on the bench… it just may force some of our younger players to grow up and develop. In particular, Ronnie Brewer and CJ Miles have been forced to play more minutes and increase their production. The other night, while not having the option of going to Boozer, Okur or Millsap, Ronnie Brewer produced for a 23 point, 7 rebound night against Dallas and then backed that up with a 21 point, 7 rebound outing versus Houston. In similar fashion, CJ Miles scored 14 and 15 points respectively over those two nights.
Koufos enjoyed a break-out game & Fes has a pulse.
We’ve heard a lot of praise regarding Koufos and his work-ethic. It’s great to see that it’s paid off on the court. Koufos exploded the other night against Dallas, scoring 18 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. He’s proving that he could be the steal of the 2008 draft (when getting picked so late in the 1st Round), while providing some much needed quality minutes on the floor. His counterpart, Fes the giant, awoke this weekend. He shocked the very core of Jazz fans by playing extremely well (8 points, 4 rebounds & 3 blocks vs. Dallas; 12 points, 11 rebounds, & 3 blocks vs. Yao). One thing is for certain… he doesn’t lack for talent or size. It’s just a motivation & “mental makeup” question (if we could just work on this aspect…).
The Jazz remain competitive against the elite teams despite being short-handed.
We very easily could have won that game against Houston. Infact, we should have. If only Ronnie would have hit those foul shots… Regardless, we’re playing tough against the elite teams like Dallas and Houston without Boozer, Memo or Millsap in the line-up.
And I’m sayin’ a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The D News has Kevin O'Connor's response to Boozer's opt-out talk yesterday: "It's a little peculiar."
I find it strange though, for a few of reasons:
1. He's injured. Does he expect a raise when he hasn't played for 14 straight games?
2. Millsap is playing well. Could this be his way of saying, "Well, I'm just as important as Paul"?
3. It's December. These decisions usually don't happen until the end of the season. Like I said... perhaps it's just a no-brainer.
The good news is that we now know Boozer will be on the market during the summer of '09. The Jazz can now prepare for that absolute inevitability. The article gives a good explanation to the logjam of contracts and situations the Jazz will have to face in the offseason. Hopefully, this doesn't play out to be a distraction for the Jazz during this season. Because... we need to get back to our winning ways.
Despite Pasty Gangsta's lack of confidence, the Jazz stormed back last night to overcome a horrific start, and come out victorious against the Nets.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Of course, this decision is a long way off into the future. But, it's great to see Millsap playing so well in light of Boozer's absence. His 32 points and 10 rebounds against KG and the Celtics shows us that Millsap may be ready for a permanent resting place in the starting lineup.
Clearly, I think it's best to have both Boozer and Millsap healthy and contributing to the team. We'll have to hope that Boozer returns to the lineup soon. Because without him, the Jazz have been playing .500 ball (in 14 games, the Jazz are 7-7 without Boozer in the lineup). Get well soon, Carlos... And let's continue the great effort, Big Paul Millsap!
Here are some additional articles to think about... SLTrib by Gordon Monson and John Hollinger comments at ESPN.com.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The Jazz Dancers. Keep doing what your doing, ladies. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite see you very well from the 21st row, corner-aisle. Bad view... But,"Nice moves anyway..."
The In-house Jazz Dunk Team. Do these guys actually get paid to dunk? I believe that I could probably jump on a trampoline and fly around, doing acrobatic dunks too. No... actually not. But, I do remember playing dunk ball off a tramp in 6th grade. It was pretty fun. Please don't wave your arms in self-grandeur after performing an acrobatic flush. You're really not THAT good!
The KissCam, the FlexCam, & the DrummerCam. You take your pick. It's pure and utter joy. From the unassuming to the unexpectant or outrageous, the JumboTron Cam keeps the laughs a-coming. Just beware! The Cam will getcha, oh it'll getcha, if your not careful.
What's the fad?
The Pink Jazz Jerseys. I saw a lot of Kyle Korver "pink" jerseys being worn by the lovely ladies. What's not to like? He's got tremendous form on his 3-point jumper.
The retro Jazz logo, tight Stockton shorts, and shades of green and gold.
What rocks? A Jazz blowout over the Raptors last week and a Jazz victory over the Blazers. I'm currently 2-0 when attending Jazz basketball games.
What sucks? An Orlando Magic 28-7, 3rd quarter run resulting in a Jazz loss. Yuck! That sucks.
Brewer was noticably ailing during the Portland game on Thursday night. One could visibly tell that he was affected by the family news regarding his aunt. He didn't seem to be playing with his usual energy and enthusiasm.
We hope that Ronnie returns soon and might be able to overcome this sad and tragic time for his family.
The questions remains... who replaces Brewer in the starting line-up? Kirilenko? Korver? Almond? If I were making the decision, I'd play Morris Almond at the 2-guard, so as to keep the rotations the same. AK47 and KK26 seem to relish coming off the bench and bringing the instant offense and defensive spark. Let's keep it the same.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
You can expect the Jazz to lose at least one game of a back-to-back when they play two days in a row. They’ve been consistent in losing the 2nd game of the back-to-back this season. So far, the Jazz have played in 8 back-to-back games. On the first back-to-back set, the Jazz beat Sacramento, only to lose to Minnesota the next day. It has been consistently that way since… winning the first game and then losing the next day. Last weekend was no different. The Jazz walloped Toronto on Friday and then lost to Phoenix on Saturday. Hopefully, this won’t become a common trend for the Jazz as it has shown to be.
The Phoenix-Utah game was so close that both teams were tied after each period of the game. After the 1st quarter, the score was tied at 26. The halftime score was knotted up at 50. And finally, the 3rd quarter tally was tied at 78. The Suns were able to score 2 points more in the 4th to win the ballgame, 106-104. These teams are clearly evenly matched when they play each other. The Jazz won the first encounter against Phoenix 109-97.
Memo For 3!
Memo had an awesome game against the Raptors on Friday night. His offensive game showed up a-plenty for the Jazz. He was awesome, making circus shots, fade-aways and 3-pointers throughout. I believed that he needed to be singled out for his spectacular play on Friday. He put up a stat-line of 21 points and 5 rebounds. The next night against Shaq, Memo posted a solid 12 and 13. Hopefully, he can keep up his production as the season progresses.
14 In 12
Harpring surprisingly played against the Raptors and blew-up off the bench, scoring 14 points in 12 minutes. He was unbelievably productive. His staple, foul-line extended jumper, coming off the down-screen was automatic. For someone who has “harped” on Harpring in the past (like myself), I have to admit that on Friday, he was awesome!
10 In 6
Koufos scored 10 points in 6 minutes of garbage time. As mentioned by Pasty Gangster, Kosta was impressive. We might just have a terrific player on our hands.
Knowing Boozer’s history with injuries, his quad may take longer to heal than first expected. I’m not sure I really believe this report about Boozer's return. Let's hope it's true.
That’s how long Coach Sloan thought he’d be around the NBA as a coach. Instead, he’s the longest tenured head coach for one single organization (@ 20 years). ESPN.com reports…
Being the only TCG contributor living in the greater SLC valley, I feel like I have the responsibility to see more Jazz games (I watch a lot of games on KJZZ and Fox Utah). But on Friday night, I finally got my first chance to see the Jazz “live” this season against the Raptors. It took a friend (being rejected by 3 girls) to finally step up and ask me to go to the game. There’s nothing like a dude striking out 3-times in order to get the nod. Twas’ my good fortune. Go Jazz!
Next Up: @ Minnesota
Monday, December 8, 2008
- Kosta is for real. Did anyone catch the end of the Toronto game? Granted it was garbage time, but in six minutes of action he put in a few nice turnaround jumpers, grabbed some boards and threw one down. He finished with 10 points on 5-5 shooting and also hustled, which you know Jerry loves. He's still a rookie so he's going to have rough patches here and there, but watch out for him!
- I for one am going to be sad to see Millsap go back to the bench upon Boozer's return. 17 and 11 over the last few weeks. . .those are great numbers. I think we now officially have a logjam at power forward and that ain't a bad thing considering one of the guys has a foot out the door already.
- I don't think Korver or Almond are ever going to be great fits on the Jazz as the team is currently constituted. Even with all of the injuries, neither has really stepped up to the plate and there's a lot of competition already at those spots. Korver knocks down a few threes here and there and is nice to have around to finish off close games at the line, but he makes as much as Brewer and Miles combined and is half as valuable as either.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
"I just think," he said, "we have to continue to work at it, see how we come back, not have too many ice-pick wars in the locker room and out in the street, and we'll be fine."
Ice-Pick, the Villian...
Go Jazz! Win those Ice-Pick Wars!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Millsap in the starting lineup. Is this something we should get used to? We all know about the impending franchise decisions that need to be made at the end of the season…all regarding who we’d like to pay… Boozer or Millsap? Millsap hasn’t missed many games during his short career with the Jazz. He’s certainly a fan favorite and a Jazz work-ethic-aholic (similar to the Mailman). When he’s played in the starting lineup, Millsap has performed admirably. It is true however, that Boozer is plain and simply better, and will always be. Yet, it may not change the fact that the franchise might want to keep Millsap and pay him less (as comparative to Boozer). I guess we’ll have to worry about that decision when the season concludes. Things that make you go hmmm...
Kirilenko coming off the bench. AK provides a lot of energy and production while coming off the bench. This has turned out to be a brilliant decision. Kirilenko seems to be a totally different player this season compared to the last season. I really believe that it’s because he has a defined role and purpose coming off the bench. The M-Factory would agree with me... "Inner sense and a whole lotta class."
Jazz Inconsistency. How do we go from destroying the Sacramento Kings one night to being blasted by the New Jersey Nets the next? That just doesn’t seem to make sense. Aren’t both of these teams considered lower-level, bottom-of-the-basement performers? Neither team will sniff the playoffs. I have to attribute the Jazz inconsistency to injuries. We’ve had to utilize a vast array of players that probably wouldn’t normally see action (ie. Almond & Koufos).
It's those things that make you go hmmm, yeah!
Harpring Maligned. I think it’s probably best that the Jazz cut the cord with Matt Harpring. While I love his hustle, physical play and toughness (he defines what Jerry Sloan thinks is Jazz ball), he’s always injured. First, it was his knees, then ankle. Now it’s his back. Harpring just can’t get healthy (poor guy!)… He’d probably look better on the bench next to Phil Johnson and the Milkman, as a player/assistant coach. As the C+C said it... "You say to yourself: I'm gonna hit him with a brick"
Almond in a Jazz uniform. Why is he still with us? I recognize that our team is suffering through injuries and his contributions to the team have been helpful during this time… but… his contributions have been very minimal, and we’ve already decided NOT to extend his contract (via team option). Let’s trade him! We’re log-jammed at the wing positions. And with CJ Miles playing his best ball of his career, we already know who the future of our franchise is… Brewer and Miles. Case settled. Let’s trade him. I’d even take a future draft pick. Those things that make you go...
Fes. What else needs to be said? He should find a permanent apartment and resting place in Orem… make a few Boise All-Star Games for the Flash. I don’t believe that he’ll be successful in the NBA. "Just an example of how another brother can trample, Ruin your life..." It's those things that make you go hmm.