29 October 2009

Fesenko craps on Carmelo

I predict this dunk from last night ends up being the best slam of the season for the Jazz.

We'll continue to monitor the 2009-10 Utah Jazz Slam Dunk Contest.

28 October 2009

Paul Millsap: Ladies Man

Two girls not even watching the game:

Girl 1: "Who's that guy? He's cute."
Girl 2: "Is he smiling?"
Girl 1: "I don't know, but he's cute. He looks like a frog."
Girl 2: "Yeah, he has great face features."


25 October 2009

This is not last year, yet

With all of the injuries the Jazz have accumulated in the preseason, the world has started to wonder if the injury curse that started last October has yet to wear off.

While it is too early to say it has not worn off, it is too early to even ask the question. Last year's injuries happened to the Jazz's best players. So far, the injuries have been limited to role players.

Role players are important. Crucial. Vital.

But injuries to them are not fatal, because role players are also expendable. Replaceable. A dime a dozen.

Over the years, the Jazz have surrounded their quality players -- Misters Williams, Boozer and Okur -- with fairly high-quality quantity. Whether by creation or picking them this way, the 'quantity' also boasts versatility. Many players can do time at more than one position. In a bind, a few of them could provide service at as many as three positions. Despite my efforts to forget him, I just remembered that Kirilenko can play four or maybe even five positions. (I should note: I would make a deal with a genie that took away his versatility if he could excel at one position [small forward]).

Here is a breakdown of the players who can play more than one position. Alphabetical order:

Boozer, PF: Can also play center, and probably should be unofficially considered the back-up. This isn't a stretch at all, as the center position has deteriorated throughout the league to where it has no identity.

Brewer, SG: Can play small forward with ease.

Kirilenko, SF: Should get a lot of time at power forward, especially against smaller line-ups. Based on match-ups, also able to play some bits at center and shooting guard.

Koufos, C: It is a stretch, but he could play power forward when Fesenko is at center.

Millsap, PF: Must be effective at small forward as well. Will probably be part of a 3-person PF-C rotation with Boozer and Okur. Said Sloan to the Deseret News: "We've got to keep him on the floor as much as possible."

Okur, C: Will see a lot of time at power forward.

Price, G: Able to play both guard spots, but is neither a point guard nor a shooting guard. Anyhow, I'm really looking forward to the one playoff game he makes a difference in.

Williams, PG: When you have a point guard as good as him, why even bother to put him at shooting guard? Have you ever sat in the passenger seat when your friend drives your car. If so, you've only done it once on account of massive awkwardness.

Left off list:
Miles, Korver, Harpring (injuries)
Maynor, Fesenko (can only play one position)
Matthews (too unknown)

Let's paint the injury problem gold:
People always say that Sloan doesn't trust rookies. It's not true. Rather, he makes rookies earn their playing time, just as he does with veterans. This meritocracy fails when nobody play deems them worthy of playing time. So, he is forced to play players that don't deserve to play. These injuries give him less options, which gives the remaining players more chances to gain his favor. This could solidify the core of the team to where he only has to use a 9-man rotation.

Until Williams, Boozer or Okur has a significant injury, though, the Jazz do not have an injury problem.

20 October 2009

I hope you are gonna love this season, Baby

With the baseball playoffs happening, I have no use for preseason basketball and haven't watched one second of any Jazz game so far. Only bad teams can glean anything from the meaningless games of October--and usually they don't. After last year, the only thing I care for is that Williams and Boozer make it through without getting hurt. Or do I care about Williams....

This rookie player Eric Maynor might be something special. Deron Williams might be his Ricky Green.

Williams and Green: Big-10 stars; Williams played at Illinois, Green was born in Illinois; Green helped the Jazz make it to their first playoff appearances, Williams helped usher in the era where the Jazz made it back to the playoffs. Green was a borderline All-star -- even went to one -- Williams is a borderline All-star. There is nothing wrong with Williams and there wasn't much wrong with Green. But with Green, a little-known player from a little-known college came along, unseated him, and ended up being great. Eric Maynor is also a "little-known player from a little-known college came along."

Okay, so I don't really believe that this will happen. Mostly, I just like saying, writing, text messaging the phrase "Deron Williams is Eric Maynor's Ricky Green." But, I will say, I don't completely believe it won't happen. Deron Williams isn't beyond being Ricky Green. He is more Ricky Green that he is Stockton.

I really like that Williams seems to have finally embraced being the leader of this team. Story goes that a few weeks ago when the Jazz were at a food bank (or something), his teammates were just chillin' until Mr. Williams came in and told them where to go help out. Lack of leadership is probably the biggest factor that has prevented the Jazz from playing good defense and winning road games.

If this leadership is real, and Williams is also less predictable with the ball, Eric Maynor might end up being Deron Williams' Eric Murdock.


CJ Miles' injury is a huge loss for the Jazz. With the Jazz making not moves this past off-season, Miles became--once again-- their only hope for critical and consistent scoring from a swing position. He is the only player capable of being both deadly from the perimeter and a force off the dribble

The relationship with Miles is a bit complicated isn't it? After 2007-08, you were positive that he needed more time. By January of last season, it was obvious that something important wasn't right with him.

Despite the disappointing 2008-09 season, Miles, according to the CIs, had a great off-season. (allegedly) He has finally figured out the NBA--the mentality, the work, the type of work, and all that Jazz. (There is no need for this blog to ever write 'etc.' or 'et cetera' when we have such an appropriate phrase fits so perfectly with what Sloan'd is all about in 'all that Jazz'.)

Cross your fingers that he gets back soon, and his new-found sense of self comes with him.


Did you see LeBron James on the season finale of Entourage a few weeks back?
Watch (caution: swears):

What a hardcore dork. Seriously. Why did geek chic become such a thing with younger NBA players?


We really need to discuss Boozer The Man sometime soon.