The results are in...guess who's #1?

The results of LA Ball Talks team blog contest are in. And once again, Jazz fans have made it clear that True Blue Jazz is their favorite Jazz blog on the Internet. Thanks to all who voted. Stay tuned because we have big big BIG news on the way....Prepare for Jazz heaven.

Monday, November 10, 2008

We have a new home...The Bloguin Network

True Blue Jazz is very proud to announce that we have joined the Bloguin Network.

Our new and vastly improved blog can be found at www.truebluejazz.com

The new site will have our most recent posts along with the ultimate Jazz fan forum. Anyone can come and participate in the Jazz talk at True Blue Jazz. Don't worry though, you'll still be able to access our old site right from the new site. The very best of Booner, Hammy, Pick-n-Roll, Horny, Scrum and CB Jack will remain on My Utah Jazz.

So please update your link to the new True Blue Jazz!

How do you say "Damnit" in Turkish?

Do you want to see how the Jazz will look next year with only one big guy? Watch these next four games while Memo goes home to Turkey. This could turn out being a bad road trip with both D-Will and Memo being out. Lets see if Milsap can earn his paycheck for next year and the Boooze can be a super-duper star for a few games.

On a more serious note, I hope everything is okay for Memo and his family. I love that the Jazz as an organization allow their players to be family men first and basketball players second. I hope they all realize how important that is. Hurry back Memo.

3rd Edition Blogger Power Rankings - At The Hive

<<hive-large.jpg>>
Hello Blog fans. The NBA Blogosphere is back again with another edition of the Blogger Power Rankings.

This weeks rankings are being hosted by At The Hive. A great Hornets blog. (Sorry I just threw up a little in my mouth after I typed that.)

Please go visit them and drop some comments about why D-Will is better than CP3. They just don't seem to get it.

http://www.atthehive.com/2008/11/10/657666/blogger-power-rankings-wee

Here are CB Jacks rankings and comments.

Lakers          Week 3 and I am already bored of them being on top.
Celtics         Their young guys have attitude...I like it.
Jazz            Another let down at MSG. Will adding D-Will move this team higher in the rankings?
Raptors         SLEEPER ALERT SLEEPER ALERT. Celtics should be worried.
Cavaliers       Too bad the Kings men won't be able to put Lebron's hope of winning a
                championship in Cleveland back together again.

Hawks           Pinch me please. This can't be for real. No Josh Smith? Bring back the old Hawks.
Magic           The Man Child continues to dominate the east. This team is on fire.
Hornets         They'd be undefeated with Deron Williams...
Pistons         A.I. proving to the world that he is old.
Rockets The Dream (Shake) just turned into a nightmare.
Suns            I have nothing to say about the suns.
Knicks          D'Antoni may have awoken a sleeping giant.
Trail Blazers   ROYverated
Bucks           Not bad for a bunch of guys who pretty much suck.
Pacers          Granger is playing like he wants an All-Star bid.
Nuggets Chauncy will help....them become a 9 seed.
Kings           How much is Vegas losing now that they are winning?
Spurs           Parker will save the day! Wait...he what? Uh oh.
Grizzlies       Mayo is making a great case for R.O.Y.
Heat            Still WADEing with the bottom feeders
76ers           I told you so.
Bulls           Deng. These guys suck.
Mavericks       They don't deserve to be this low. But someone has to fill this spot.
Thunder         Almost put an amazing comeback together against the Jazz.
Nets            Train wreck.
Warriors        Thanks Monte. We owe you one.
Bobcats Felton got some revenge on Paul. Loved it.
Clippers                2nd best team in LA
T-wolves        Had my hopes up. Then flushed them down the toilet.
Wizards Agent 0? Not even 007 could save this team.



Friday, November 7, 2008

#1,000 for Jerry Sloan


I know we've heard about Jerry Sloan milestones for the last few years. There have been too many to keep track of. But this one is a little different.

Jerry Sloan won his 1,000th game with the Utah Jazz tonight.

I've not been a huge Sloan fan, but any basketball fan (including Dave at The Dream Shake) has to admit that Jerry Sloan is a first ballot Hall of Famer and will go down as one of the top 5 coaches of all time.

It appears Jerry has loosened the reigns a little and is giving his young team more opportunities to show their abilities. He does regret one thing. Not playing Deron Williams more as a rookie. It's okay coach, I think that turned out pretty well.

Jerry has coached from the Reagan administration,
to the Obama administration.

Most coaching wins with one team:
1. Jerry Sloan 1,000 Jazz 1988
2. Red Auerbach 795 Boston 1950-66
3. Gregg Popovich 633 S. Antonio 1996
4. Red Holzman 613 New York 1967-82
5. John MacLeod 579 Phoenix 1973-87

My favorite thing about tonight was during the post game. A reported asked Jerry if there were any games that stood out in his career.

Jerry's response? The losses.

Classic Jerry Sloan.

First Half = HOLY CRAP!

Not gonna lie, I did NOT expect that kind of performance from the Jazz.

Thunder stats
:

8 made FGs
21% shooting
29 points

Jazz stats:

21 made FGs
56% shooting
58 points

Also...29 rebounds!  I suppose that's what happens when the other guys miss 20 shots.

Look for lots of Fess, Kofous, Almond, and CJ in the second half.

Where you at Texas?

Just a gentle reminder to our "big brother" state down south.

Utah currently owns Texas. Period.

First the Rockets. Now the Horned Frogs.

Who's the little brother now?

(and I am not talking about BYU)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Paging Mr. Williams

I like the way I look in suits!


OK, I admire what the Jazz are doing with 2 backup point guards and last night was certainly a good win, but its time to for D-Will to get back. We got 8 points, 10 assists, 2 rebounds and 5 turnovers from the PG possition last night, not too bad. And for the season the PG position is averaging 10.5 points, 9.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 2.25 steals and 3.25 turnovers all very respectable numbers for sure. But, D-Will by himself last year averaged better with 19 points, 10.5 assists, 3 rebounds and the same turnovers so obviously we are statistically better with him playing.

Last night was the first game this season that I really felt like the Jazz needed Deron's offense. Actually more than that, they needed his deisire and will to win. His no effing way we are losing this game mentality to kick in sometime before the last 6 minutes of the game. It was good to see Booze and Ronnie Brewer get the fire late in the game, but it was almost too late and I don't think that D-Will would have let it go that long. Come back Deron and come back soon.

A few random thoughts about the Blazers: I dont think that Oden is going to make that big of difference when/if he gets back, seems to me that his ceiling is going to be something like Dikembe Mutombo. Joel Pryzbilla played that center spot awfully well last night. Brandon Roy is stud, lets trade CJ Miles and Ronnie Brewer and Morris Almond for him straight up. Lastly I dont think that this team is going to be that great for a few years. They have no low post offensive presence, Lamarcus Aldrige is a jump shooter and Greg Oden is certainly not going to fill that role. If the threes are not falling, they are dead.

Good win by the Jazz, it was nice to see Memo hit a 3 for the first time this year and it came in a very clutch spot as we would expect. Also, it seems like the Jazz are fouling less so far along with taking care of the ball more. I am going to do a little research on that soon and see if its actually better.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Random Jazz Notes for 5-November-08

Here is the latest Jazz notes floating around the NBA.

-ESPN has Boozer ranked very high in their current MVP Race. Vote for Kirilenko for 6th man of the year (I can't believe I just typed that)

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/awards?page=awards-081104
CB Jack: Can there even be an MVP race 3 games into the season?

-Paul Millsap is "Not consumed by minutes or money matters"
http://deseretnews.com/article/content/mobile/1,5620,705260641,00.html?printView=true
CB Jack: Yeah he may not be consumed, but we as fans are.

-The inevitable Hall of Fame process has started for Stockton and Sloan.
http://www.sltrib.com/jazz/ci_10904019
CB Jack: Sloan's acceptance speech would go something like this "Thanks…what the hell am I supposed to do with this?"

-Blazers Edge breaks down tonight's game. I think they really like the Jazz up there in Liberalville.
http://www.blazersedge.com/2008/11/5/654197/game-4-preview-blazers-vs
CB Jack: I think they really like the Jazz up there in Liberalville.

-The Utah Jazz will honor their Olympians tonight.
http://www.nba.com/jazz/news/0809_jazz_honor_olympians.html
CB Jack: Boozer should only get to be honored the last 15 seconds of the ceremony once it's basically over. That might make him feel more deserving of any credit.



The First Ever Jazz/Blazers Young Man in an Old Man's Body Team

In my research of tonight's game between the Jazz and Blazers I could not get over the fact that Greg Oden looks like he could be Lebron James' Dad. The dude claims he is 20 but by the looks of his pics, he can't be a day younger than 62. With that in mind I began researching a few other Jazz/Blazer players who fell into the same category. You know, the old "I look a lot younger than I am look." Or, the "I will never have to show my idea....ever, look." So, in an effort to continue my un-insightful, worthless posts I present to you the First (and most likely last) Ever "Jazz/Blazers Young Man in an Old Man's Body Team."


Center: Greg Oden


"Which one of you said I look old?"



Power Forward: Bill Walton.


I was going to write a witty caption about the beard, the hair, the bandanna, the shirt, the set of arms that make me look like Karl Malone, but I really think I would just be wasting my time. The picture says enough. The pic shows a 23 year old Walton.....had he not gained 100 lbs and the red hair turned gray I would have sworn it was taken yesterday.



Forward: Thurl Bailey

Are you a twenty-something man wanting to look more mature? Consider this recipe:

One Pair of Large/X-Large Vintage NBA Approved Goggles
One Mustache
Crew Cut/Flat Top (Either will work)
One pair short shorts. (If they reach half-way down the thigh, they are too long)
Under the short shorts add one pair of Team Logo Spandex
One Pair Mid-Size Striped Socks
One X-Large Soft Knee Brace (Hard Brace with Metal Poles to add 10 more years)


Guard: Clyde Drexler




I'm going to be honest, although I know a lot of you will judge me for watching this, Clyde looks exactly the same in this photo as he did when he appeared on Dancing with the Stars. I guess all the humiliation you go through being the 20 year old with a receding hairline pays off when you turn 50 and look exactly the same. Who's laughing now?


Guard: Ron Boone

This picture is almost scary. The man has not aged since this pic, taken in 1932. (With the exception of the shaved head...which I think makes him look more mature.)

So, there you have it, The First Ever "Jazz/Blazers Young Man in an Old Man's Body Team." If you have others, feel free to share them in the comment field. Be sure to tune in and root for our Jazz tonight. We need all the help we can get to regain our dominance over Portland.

Booner

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bloggers Power Rankings - Week 1


The dilusional fans that are the blogosphere have once again put their collective heads together to give you the Week 1 Bloggers Power Rankings.
Thanks to The Lakers Nation for hosting this weeks results.
Find the Power Rankings here.
How on earth did the Jazz fall? Did we not win without Deron Williams? Oh well, better to fly under the radar right? Let us know what you think of the rankings.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Man-sap


32 min, 24 pts (15 straight in the 4th Q), 8-12 FGs, 8-8 FTs, 9 RBs, 2 asts, 1 blk

'Nuff said.

Pre-Game Power Rankings Update

Looks like someone at USA Today decided to NOT sniff glue before updating his rankings:

USA Today: 5 (+8)

ESPN.com
: 7 (+2)

Hoopsworld: 6 (+2)

NBA.com: 5 (same)

Sports Illustrated: 7 (-1, Pistons and Raptors jumped ahead)

High: 5  Low: 7  Average: 6


A Little Less "Thug" in the Thuggets


Iverson just got traded to Detroit for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and some 3rd round pick who will be waived immediately. My initial reaction is that the Nuggets are going to be more balanced and steady, but less explosive and the defense should be a bit better. Overall this move should put them ahead of Portland in the division rankings and make them a better rival for the Jazz.

The Way Too Early In The Season To Really Mean Anything Stats

I know its really, really early in the season and you can not tell much about this Jazz team after just two games, but I am going to try to anyway based on the stats. The only real surprise to me in these rankings is where Ronnie Price ended up. All of the other stats and team ranking seem to be right on after 2 games worth of data.

The Team Stats:

Offensive Efficiency: The Jazz rank third in the league in points scored per 100 possesions and 8th in average points per game. Not a big surprise here, the Jazz are an offensive machine and should be in the top 3 all year. Obviously the Jazz will get better with D-Will as well.

Deffensice Efficiency: The Jazz rank sixth in the league in points allowed per 100 possesions and 3rd in average points allowed per game. Can they keep this up? That is the NBA Championship question for sure. If they can keep both of those stats in the top 7 of the league I say yes.

The Player Stats:

The Good-
According to Hollinger's PER stat rating the Jazz have 3 players in the top 25 of the league. Boozer is coming in a #3, Brewer is at #21 and AK is at #25. Only San Antonio can equal 3 in the top 25 right now. You have to assume that D-Will will end up a top 25 player as well. I dont see AK and Brewer staying in the top 25, but they should be in the top 50 quite easily. The early returns for Ronnie Brewer look like all of the shooting practice and weight room work are paying off. AK is doing a little of everything and despite the constant questions about not starting he seems genuinely happy to playing as a 6th man.

The Average-
There is a pretty big gap from AK to the next Jazz player, but this next group is playing right around average for league according to the PER stats. Memo comes in at #133, Kover is at #142, Milsap is at #144 and Brevin Knight is at #160. If Memo can find his shot he should move up. Korver, Milsap and Knight seem to be right where they should be in the middle of the pack as role players.

The Bad-
Ronnie Price comes in at #242, which I don't think is reflective of his actual play on the court. He isnt really that bad and the team seems to better with him on the floor than Knight. His 1-9 game againt Denver is holding him down. CJ Miles is the last rotation player for the Jazz coming in at #254. I hope that CJ is better than this, he is certainly getting paid to be better. At least we have Harpring coming back to take his minutes and then maybe we can package CJ and Morris to the Sonics for some draft picks or spare parts.

I should point out that only 288 players qualify for this stat based on their playing time being more than 6 minutes per game. So no ranking for Almond or Fes.

I think that the Jazz are off to a good start and that we can take these wins and stats for what they are. While we have been missing D-Will our opponent has been missing their best player as well so I feel that the results of the games are close to what they would be with everyone healthy.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Almond "No" Joy

See ya later Morris, we hardly new you. The Jazz have decided that Morris Almond no longer has a place with the team and have declined to pick up the option on his contract meaning that he will become an un-restricted free agent next year. The SL Trib reports that the Jazz are seeking out a trade as well so there might be more to this story. Hopefully the Jazz just trade him for a future pick somewhere down the road or package him with some other loose parts for something with a little more valuable. I say we play GM for the day and post your best trade options including Morris Almond.

I would do one of two things here. Trade Almond for a future first round pick and hope that the team you send him to gets bad. I would look to trade him to someone like Detroit, Dallas or Phoenix who are going to have to go through some re-building years soon so you might get lucky with them bottoming out when you get their pick. The second trade I would explore is Almond and Harpring for a decent back up big man. I would move forward assuming that the Jazz are going to be able to re-sign Boozer and Okur, but not Milsap and try to get someone to fill that void.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kyle and Dwayne sitting in a tree....

Deron isn't the only one getting the big endorsements.


I wonder why they didn't choose Michael Doleac to represent the Caucasians?

Just 'cause you have a nickname doesn't mean you fit in, Birdman


It’s FINALLY back!!! Jazz basketball! Well it was great to get our first win! I agree with Hammy, that it didn’t have all the luster without DWill and Carmelo but it was good to see the Jazz back in action!

My observation from last night was how bad did you feel for the white, very goofy Chris Andersen! He knows he is playing for the McThuggets and has too keep up with his appearance! During the offseason he did a lot of work, not on his game skills but body art! He spent countless amount of time in his favorite tattoo parlor trying to make himself fit in with the team! When his mother was asked about his offseason work she mentioned he “looks like a human coloring book.” Interesting take!

At least he has the background history that the GM of the McThuggets looks for when finding NBA talent (suspended for two year after the 2006 season for breaking the drug policy of the NBA) So maybe we shouldn’t feel so bad that he may not be fitting in! I am sure him and his fellow THUGS A.I, Carmelo, and lets not forget THUG LIFE himself K.Martin, have a lot to talk about on trips home after losing to the Jazz.

We could not have started out with beating a more disliked team by Jazz fans (Well at least by me). Lets keep it rolling and I hope to see DWill back on the court soon. Turn over fest last night! Good thing the McThuggets had the same problem!

Video of Black Out

The Deseret News has a great video of the Jazz Black Out from last night's game against the Nuggets.

http://deseretnews.com/video/1,5563,600,00.html

Long live the Allan Parson's Project...

I thought they did a good job of keeping it fun, yet not thuggish like you would expect at the Pepsi Center.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Wait is Finally Over. Game #1 vs. Nuggets!

If you're like me, you've been waiting patiently for almost 6 months. Waiting for THIS...



Now, we all know that Deron will be watching from the sidelines, but that's no reason to not be totally amped up for the game!

-------------------------------

Game #1 vs. Denver Nuggets

The storyline for this game will no doubt be the absence of both Deron Williams for the Jazz and Carmelo Anthony for the Nuggets, who is serving a 2-game suspension for drunk driving. While Deron is the heart and soul of this Jazz team, I think Anthony is a bigger loss. The Jazz have depth at every position and can satisfactorily replace DWilll; Denver, on the other hand, will be hard-pressed to replace Anthony's 25.7 points and 7.4 rebounds, especially since they gave away their best rebounder and defender in Marcus Camby (who we'll see plenty of this weekend). Denver finished in the 8 seed last year and was handled easily by the Lakers in 4 games. The Jazz finished 4 games ahead of the Nuggets and won the season series 3-1 while scoring an average of 120.8 points per game.

This is essentially the same Jazz team as last year, aside from the Hart/Knight trade (YES!) and the addition of Kofous. Denver sent Camby to the Clippers for peanuts and lost Eduardo Najera to the Nets via free agency. Nene is back and so is the Birdman (the Nuggets' team preview can be found here).

Denver just doesn't seem all that threatening anymore. We beat them last year when they had a lot of talent, and they are not as good as they were then. The Jazz should win this going away, but look for Denver to fight pretty hard for the first 15 minutes or so. The combination of differing styles of Ronnie Price and Brevin Knight in the PG spot should make things difficult for the Nuggets, despite Allen Iverson's massive talent level (unfortunately, he can't score all their points...or can he?)

The line is Jazz by 7, I'll take the Jazz 105-96, but it'll be a 15 point game in the 4th quarter.

Be sure to head over to The Nugg Doctor and give them a little good-natured trash talk.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jazz vs. Nuggets - Game 1

Can we officially say that after the Jazz win this game Wednesday night that the Northwest division crown will be all wrapped up? I say yes we can, go ahead and put a fork in Denver, they are done. Unfortunately we are missing the two marquee players in this one so it might have a bit of an extended pre-season feel to it. D-Will is out with an injury and Carmelo is out with a case of being stupid. Way to keep it real Carmelo - you make 12 million per year, call a freakin cab or limo when you get drunk. Better yet, have the party at your house, I am sure that it is more tricked out than any bar you are at. Its time to start being a grown-up now Carmello.

On to 10 predictions for the game.

1 - Allen Iverson will go off for 40 but he will do it on 10-35 shooting and 12-15 from the line.
2 - Carmello will try to go out and get drunk after the game, but will not be able to due to the low alchohol level of Utah beer.
3 - Carlos Boozer will grab 20 rebounds. Who is going to stop him? And with AI jacking up 45 shots there will be plenty to get.
4 - Ronnie Price will dunk emphatically on Kenyon Martin.
5 - Does Kenyon Martin still play? (I know that is not a prediction, but is there a worse contract in the league than Kenyon Martin? Maybe Nene?)
6 - Ronnie Brewer will score 12 points in the first quarter on 4 dunks, 1 circus shot and 2 freethrows. Get ready for Ronnie Brewer Jazz fans, this is going to be a season full of ooh-aah dunks.
7 - The Jazz will score 120. In fact, I think every team in the league might score 120 on Denver this year.
8 - D-Will's ankle injury will get replayed about 25 times making all Jazz fans throw up a little in our mouths each time.
9 - AK will flirt with a triple double. The lack of defense by the Nuggets fit his helter skelter style perfectly.
10 - The lights are going to go out for pre-game introductions for the first time in Jazz history and Jaron Collins will trip over Kosta's feet further delaying his comeback from the horific off-season golf cart accident. Hurry back big fella, we need you.

All said, I for one can't wait for this game and season to get going. It has been a long offseason of torment and what ifs and its time for a season of redemption. I am a little bummed that game one is missing some of the flair with D-Will and Carmelo being out, but either way its game time and this is our year.

LABallTalk Team Blog Voting Results

True Blue Jazz was voted the #1 Jazz blog on the net.

Thanks to all of you who actually went and voted for us.

Big props to the other Jazz blogs who participated.

SLC Dunk
All That Jazz
The Cowhide Globe

We are honored to share the same passion of Jazz basketball with you.

Skull Betrayal Dude = Fearless Love?

<<boozer family.JPG>>
Eric Neel of ESPN put an interesting article together about Carlos Boozer and his son's sickle cell anemia. Good article. The title at the top is just slightly creepy.

I would love to type a quick editorial praising Carlos for being a great person. But there is a part of me that just won't allow me to do it. I won't go into details, but it's the result of something I saw first hand.

I wish Carmani the best in his healing and growth process. I hope having his family back in SLC puts Carlos in NBA mode and he is able to capture his regular season dominance and transfer it to the playoffs.

Here is a link to the article.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=boozers

Monday, October 27, 2008

Matt @ Hardwood Paroxysm LOVES THE JAZZ!

I had to type that just to get a stir out of him. Finally a website he can't control.

Though you TBJ fans might like the Season Preview of the Utah Jazz over at HP.

I have to admit, he brings it...and he brings it hardcore. I actually agree with his assessment of AK. Matt hates the Jazz. True Blue Jazz hates the Rockets and Nuggets. Booner hates his man nippers. It's all in the circle of life. It's okay to disagree.

SLC Dunk didn't find it funny at all.

I really don't care either way. However I did ask Matt personally to reconsider one of his comments. I know he's a Hornets fan and I can't wait for the back-and-forth we'll get when these two teams meet in the post season.

Let the Jazz ripping begin!

(Please visit Hardwood Paroxysm and let him know your thoughts so he believes me when I tell them there is a Jazz Nation.)

Wow, we even got a follow-up article. Not every fanbase can say that.

Bloggers Power Rankings - Preseason


Ryan at Hornets247 had a great idea this off season and decided to put together a group NBA bloggers and do a weekly Power Rankings. True Blue Jazz was happy to participate. This will become a new weekly segment throughout the season.

True Blue Jazz is excited to host the Power Rankings in November and February. These are the best and brightest NBA bloggers on the net. Surprising enough, not every blog put "their" team in first. I must admit that the Power Rankings are probably the most legit I've seen (next to USA Today...not). Perhaps this is because there are multiple people from every team involved.

I won't spoil the surprise and tell you where our boys in blue ended up. You'll have to visit Hornets247.com and find out for yourself. Feel free to leave a comment on his site and represent for the Jazz fans. We are currently getting slaughtered over there. Well...I am at least.

Power Rankings Roundup: 3 days until tipoff

ESPN.com: 9

Sports Illustrated: 6

NBA.com: 5

Inside Hoops: 5

USA Today: 13 (WTF!?)

Fox Sports: 6

HoopsWorld: 8


High: 5. Low: 13. Average: 7.4

Game on in 56 hours!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Northwest Bloggers Season Preview



Jeremy at Pickaxe and Roll put together a nice little survey for all of the Northwest Division bloggers to participate in. The results are back and I wanted to share them with you.

Let's just say it was a Utah Jazz love fest. You will find my comments after each question.

1.
Who will be the Newcomer of the Year in the Northwest Division?
Greg Oden – 69.2% (9 votes)
Kevin Love – 15.4% (2 votes)
Mike Miller – 7.7% (1 vote)
Rudy Fernandez – 7.7% (1 vote)

CB Jack: That's some pretty stiff competition you got there Mr. Oden. Where is Brevin Knight on
this question?

    2. Who is the most overrated player in the Northwest Division?
    Carmelo Anthony – 46.2% (6 votes)
    Carlos Boozer – 15.4% (2 votes)
    Kevin Durant – 7.7% (1 vote)
    Al Jefferson – 7.7% (1 vote)
    Andrei Kirilenko – 7.7% (1 vote write in)
    Jeff Green – 7.7% (1 vote write in)
    Chucky Atkins – 7.7% (1 vote write in)

    CB Jack: Thank the Lord that bloggers are finally starting to put their thinking caps on. Melo IS the most overrated player in the West and perhaps the NBA. I was a little surprised at the AK write-in (I know it was you Nugg Doctor…wait. How did he not get invited here? I am not happy about that at all. You must respect the Nugg Doctor). How can AK be overrated if he is no longer rated at all?

    3. Who is the most underrated player in the Northwest Division?
    Ronnie Brewer – 30.8% (4 votes)
    Mehmet Okur – 23.1% (3 votes)
    LaMarcus Aldridge – 15.4% (2 votes write in)
    J.R. Smith – 7.7% (1 vote)
    Ryan Gomes – 7.7% (1 vote write in)
    Nick Collison – 7.7% (1 vote write in)
    Joe Smith – 7.7% (1 vote write in)

    CB Jack: Easy Ronnie. Don't let this stuff get to your head…on second thought, do. The TBJ boys and I attended the preseason game last night against Portland and come the 3rd quarter Booner says to me "Ronnie has 18 pts? When did that happen?". I have to say he has a legitimate change at making the All-Star game…if Kobe gets hurt, Brandon Roy does a boycott and the entire West Coast falls into the Ocean. So you're telling me there's a chance!?

    4. Who is the worst rotation player (at least 15 minutes per game) in the Northwest Division?
    Sebastian Telfair – 30.8% (4 votes)
    Johan Petro – 30.4% (4 votes)
    Jeff Green – 23.1% (3 votes)
    Corey Brewer – 7.7% (1 vote)
    Matt Harpring – 7.7% (1 vote)

    CB Jack: Um…someone got this really wrong. I would put one CJ Miles at the top of this list. And every other "worst" and "overrated" list.

    5. Who will make the playoffs?
    Portland Trailblazers – 61.5% (8 votes)
    Portland Trailblazers and Denver Nuggets – 23.1% (3 votes)
    Denver Nuggets – 15.4% (2 votes)

    CB Jack: zzzzzzz zzzzzzzzz

    6. Are the Utah Jazz a legitimate championship contender?
    Yes – 76.9% (10 votes)
    No – 23.1% (3 votes)

    CB Jack: Damn skippy they are. Again I'm sure the Denver blogs banned together and boycotted the Jazz in this answer. SLC > Denver biatches!

    7. The Minnesota Timberwolves will be in the playoffs…
    in 5 years – 38.5% (5 votes)
    in 3 years – 23.1% (3 votes)
    um…don’t hold your breath T-Wolves fans – 23.1% (3 votes)
    next year – 15.4% (2 votes)

    CB Jack: I couldn’t tell if this question was a joke or not? I think it was. I hope it was.

    8. Who will be the player of the year in the Northwest Division?
    Deron Williams – 77.0% (10 votes)
    Al Jefferson – 15.4% (2 votes)
    Greg Oden – 7.7% (1 vote write in)

    CB Jack: Well done bloggers. I am so glad there wasn't an AI or Melo reference here. I understand the T-Wolves fans put Al Jefferson, I would too if he was on my team. I was a little surprised there was no mention of Brandon Roy?

    9. Where will each team finish in the Northwest Division?
    First – Utah Jazz – 100% (13 votes)
    Second – Portland Trailblazers – 84.6% (11 votes)
    Third – Denver Nuggets – 84.6% (11 votes)
    Fourth – Minnesota Timberwolves – 92.3% (12 votes)
    Fifth – Oklahoma City Thunder – 92.3% (12 votes)

    CB Jack: And there you have it. All 13 bloggers agree that the Jazz will be hanging another "Northwest Division Champions" banner in the ESA. Pick-and-Roll said it best last night at the game: "We seriously need to stop hanging the division banners. It's time for a World Championship banner the size of the Great Salt Lake in this joint."

Here are the bloggers who conceded the division crown to us. This guys are doing great work.

Participants
Jeremy – Pickaxe and Roll
Andy – Denver Stiffs
Wyn – Canis Hoopus
College Wolf – TWolves Blog
Joe – Thunder Guru
Zebulun and Benjamin – Blue Blitz
Royce – Thunderworld
Casey – Trail Blazers Center Court
Coup – Rip City Project
Dave – Blazer’s Edge
Basketball John – SLC Dunk
UtesFan89 – The Utah Jazz
CB Jack – True Blue Jazz

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Get Your Jazz On

"This is our Year....No, Really, it is!"


ESPN just came out with their Western Conference Predictions. Chances are you're all nerds like me and have already read them. If not, however, here you go. Sure you can view every team in the West, but there is only one team that matters.

Pretty predictable stuff really. We are always going to be third on the list behind Kobe, CP3 and their clubs. I'm a bit disappointed by the few "4's" we have on there but our Homer, John Hollinger's #1 ranking makes up for that.

Could this be the year? In Utah, the phrase, "This is our Year" is a bit cliche. In fact, I think C.B. Jack has the "This is Our Year" banners from '96, '97, '98, '99, '06, '07 & '08 hanging on his newly born sons' wall. But the 2008-2009 Season may truly be our year. Why, well there are all sorts of reasons. We're young, yet mature, we have depth and a whole lot of talent. But realistically, lets cut the crap. After this year this team could completely dismantle. We know we can't afford everyone and who knows what trades will go down, who will stay who will go etc. The truth is, there is a sense of urgency felt by Jazz Nation that it's now or never. I'm feeling it. Call me crazy but I truly think we can do it. I'm ready to get this started and find out what the Jazz are made of.

I'm curious to see what you think. How would you rank the Western Conference? Be honest. (However, if I see one person rank Utah anything other than #1, I will find out who and where you are and send the Millsap bro's to take care of you. It can be done, I promise. Have you seen Eagle Eye? Watch your back naysayers.) No pressure though. Here is my completely un-biased prediction of how the Northwest will be Won this year:

1. Utah

2. Blazers

3. Wolves

4. Nuggets

5. Thunder (We will drop one to this team this year....guaranteed. Most likely right after we roll L.A. and Boston.)

My prediction for the West:

1. Utah

2. Hornets

3. Lakers

4. Suns

5. Spurs

6. Rockets

7. Mavs

8. Blazers

9. Clippers

10. Warriors

11. Nuggets

12. Wolves

13. Kings

14. Grizzlies

15. Thunder

Booner

Monday, October 20, 2008

Meet True Blue Jazz

GOOD NEWS! ...sort of



Deron will miss at least 2 weeks after an MRI revealed a second-degree sprain. After Ross Siler's post about the possibility of missing 4 weeks, hearing only 2 weeks sounds like great news. Deron could be back as early as game #3 against the Clippers, but that's probably pushing it, I would guess that his first game is either Portland on Nov 5 or Oklahoma City on Nov 7, right before we head out on a five-games-in-seven-nights Eastern road trip. Of course, there's still the possibility that he could miss 4 weeks, but I'm going to be optimistic.

SL Trib
Des News
ESPN

More Praise from Hollinger

John Hollinger listed his 2008-2009 All-Breakout Team today. He breaks it down by how well known the players are and in the "You already knew, but..." category is Deron "MF'in GAMER" Williams:
Does anyone else find it a little weird that he hasn't made an All-Star team yet? Although he's had a bit of a setback thanks to Saturday night's ankle sprain, that oversight should be corrected this year -- especially if the Jazz are as good as I think they'll be. Williams has a good chance of passing Steve Nash and Chauncey Billups in the point guard hierarchy given his steady improvement; even last year, his numbers were much stronger after the break than before, including 12.0 assists per game in the second half. And while Carlos Boozer busies himself with the vagaries of the South Florida real estate market, Williams will spend a full year as Utah's unquestioned go-to guy.
Also on the list is Ronnie "Don't Call me Ron" Brewer. Hollinger puts him in the "Stealth All-Star Candidates" category with this description:
If I had to vote one guy as the league's most underrated player, it's him. A productive two-way player for one of the league's best teams, the third-year pro reportedly has shot the ball far better this preseason -- and that was his one weakness. Even if he doesn't improve a lick from outside, his knack for scoring around the basket and
improving defensive skills make him one of the best players at his position, and he's still getting better at only 23. With his playing time likely to increase along with his prominence on a key Western contender, he may not stay underrated for long.
I'm not sure how I feel about all this attention from Hollinger. In the past we have flown under the radar just long enough to sneak up on some teams. Ask any "expert" who the top 3 Western Conference contenders are and you'll be hard-pressed to hear anyone name the Jazz. But if we keep getting pub then it'll be harder to sneak up on anyone.

However, it may be stupid to think that we'll be sneaking up on ANYONE this year. With 15 playoff victories in the last 2 years, I doubt that any team is going to look past the Jazz.

It Could be Worse...

In an effort to remove this image of D-Will from my mind I started thinking about ways this D-Will injury could be worse. Now, I know the results from the MRI are still up in the air, but lets assume worst case scenario and D-Will is out 4-5 weeks. Which I should say before I get into the lighter side of things, would ruin, Halloween and Thanksgiving....not to mention me and my four year old daughters birthdays. In fact, I've already told my daughter if D-Will is not back by her birthday she can count out any gifts. Why, you ask. Because I will be using the funds for the weekly bouquet of flowers I'll be sending to D-Will. Stalker? No. True Blue Loving Caring Fan? Yes. There is still hope for us Jazz fans. Here is why.


Some of you know I am a die-hard New England Patriots fan. Let me tell you this, I would give up making love to my wife for Tom Brady only to have a "Left ankle inversion sprain." (My wife would give me up completely for Tom Brady.) Had he suffered the same injury as D-Will, there would still be hope in site for Patriot Nation.





At least we don't have this guy:







Remember this celebratory-induced injury? (my personal favorite.)


Ahhh, eeee, ewwww, ahhhh.





Do I really need to explain why D-Will's sprain is better than this?







(Don't look if you have a weak stomache)Umm, yea. I'll take the sprain over this.




So, cheer up Jazz fans. If there is one thing D-Will has proven to me, it's that the guy wants to play and he wants to win. He will be back. Whether it's two weeks or four weeks, Deron will be back and the Jazz will be just fine. Besides, look at it this way, we still have Boozer. This could be his chance to carry us.......on second thought. Hurry up D-Will, please hurry up.
Booner

Saturday, October 18, 2008

DERON HURT

I was just watching the preseason game against the Bulls and Deron rolled his ankle pretty bad on a 3-point shot in the first quarter. He came down on Rose's foot and was writhing in pain before being carried off the court. I HATE speculating, but it looked bad enough that he might miss the first couple games of the season. This team is maybe a .500 team without him, HEAL FAST AND COME BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!!

Couldn't get the video up before ESPN (roomie's Bday party had precedence) but here's ESPN's recap and video highlights (NBA.com highlights as well). Make sure your desk is clear of sharp objects.

UPDATE: Left ankle inversion sprain and X-rays are negative.

UPDATE 2: Ross Siler points out that a severe ankle sprain means Deron would likely be out for 4 weeks, which which takes us to Nov 19 against Milwaukee, 11 games into the season. These are the games he could miss if it is a "severe" sprain:

  • Denver
  • Clippers
  • @ Clippers
  • Blazers
  • @ Thunder
  • @ Knicks
  • @ Sixers
  • @ Wizards
  • @ Bobcats
  • @ Cavs
  • Suns
Without Deron I predict a 6-5 start; WITH Deron that's easily 9-2. Let's all pray to the Basketball Gods, on this Sunday, that it was not as bad as it looked and that he'll be back in 2 weeks!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

CB Jack vs. CJ Miles: Round 5

Here was my thought process as I watched the preseason game against the Nuggets.

Before the game:
"I should post a recap about the game and rag on the Nuggets. I should also post about how the current Jazz players are starting to look more like the 90's Jazz players."

After the 1st quarter:
"I should post about how I don't like the Nuggets and how they have become the Cincinnati Bengals of the NBA."

At Halftime:
"I think I'll post about how Deron Williams is an underrated defender"

After the 3rd quarter:
"I am definitely going to post about how Deron is an underrated defender, how Boozer is still soft, how AK should NOT be coming off the bench, and how I didn't really miss Matt Harpring except when Kenyon Martin was on the floor and I wanted them to fight."

After regulation:
"I wish this game would end. I should blog on that. I should blog on the fact that the Nuggets have no business challenging the Jazz for the division title. The Northwest Division is a two horse race. Jazz and Blazers."

After the OT loss:
"I have given this team my heart and soul. I have dedicated countless hours to complaining about their every move and praising their every other move. I have jumped on and off of multiple band wagons. But one bandwagon I have driven and am wearing a seat belt on is the CJ MILES IS HORRIBLE bandwagon. If he trips and loses another game for this team, preseason or not, I am going to jump Jazz ship all together."

Hop on Jazz fans because it's the truth.

(Queue my venom for CJ Miles to start foaming from my mouth)
You think the Feds bailed out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae? You think they are letting Wall Street executives off the hook? This is nothing compared to the Bailout we are giving Kevin O'Connor and the Jazz Brass for signing CJ Miles to his fat contract.

How on earth did we let them convince us that CJ Miles was worth 14.8M over 4 years. Honestly. Maybe it was our fault. The Bloggers fault for not making a big enough stink that this guy is not the future, he is not a starter, and he is an NBA journeyman at best.

No, I refuse to take the blame. I'm blaming all of you Jazz fans. I'm blaming Larry Miller's illness. I'm blaming Greg Miller for letting K'OC talk him into one of the biggest blunders in Jazz history. That's right, I just dropped the history line.

Don't give me the "It's Preseason" line either. Here are CJ's stats so far in this preseason.

-Started all 4 games
-just under 20 minutes per game
-Shooting 29.2% from the field
-Shooting 68% from FT line
-Shooting 20% from 3-pt line
-2.5 rebounds
-1.8 assists
-2 turnovers
-7 pts per game

Do not start this kid under any circumstances. His defense has been below average at best. Don't try and talk me out of this. Sorry Hammy but I just cannot agree with you or the rest of the world about bringing AK off the bench and starting CJ. The blogging world and beat writers everywhere are justifying themselves with claims that are nothing short of a reach. Fact is, the Jazz are a slow starting team and having CJ "Light's out" Miles starting will only add to that. AK has played with this starting group for 4 years. He knows them and they know him. I can attach a CB Jack personal guarantee that AK's numbers will be the exact same whether he starts or comes off the bench. Only one thing can motivate AK and that is AK himself.

So CJ, when you read this (we know you will because every NBA star Google's himself 3 times a day), I dare you to comment and tell me you feel good about accepting that fat paycheck every two weeks. Tell me that you deserve starter minutes. Tell me that you're gonna prove us all wrong and that this is finally your year. Tell me CJ. And in return I will call you a fake to your face.

I will not rest until CJ Miles is not in a Jazz uniform. Jazz nation will agree by the end of November Think about this post next year when we are looking for 15M to sign our core players.

Oh, and since I had already done the leg work. Here is what I originally wanted to blog about after the 1st quarter.


Millsap bringing back the Big Dog Antoine Carr look.



And did Felton Spencer have a child named Kevin Lyde?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The AK Debate Rages On

I have to admit, I am intrigued by the idea/plan to bring AK off the bench. I think that bringing AK in with the second group could be the missing link for the Jazz. Realistically you could replace AK in the starting line-up with CB Jack and that unit would still be good so why not bring him off the bench and give him more control with the 2nd unit? Here are the possitives that I see with this move:

  1. AK gets to be more of a facilitator with the second unit. The offense should run through him and that is not a bad thing. AK is not a black hole shooter, he likes to make the great assist as much as scoring.
  2. AK gets to play against other teams second units. This should help all of his stats and make him happy. Happy AK = productive AK.
  3. No more Matt Harpring. I love the energy and toughness that Matt brings, but he is a shell of his former self and needs to become more of what CJ Miles was last year.
  4. Gives Almond and Miles some minutes to see what they can do with the starters as spot up shooters. Whoever is in this spot will get plenty of good looks.
  5. The starters would only have one player (Brewer) that the other team could leave open to double D-Will and Booze instead of two. Imagine Booze and D-will going one on one with the ability to kick it out to two shooters (Memo and Miles/Almond) or find Brewer cutting. The offense should be dy-no-mite.

This would be your second unit for the Jazz. This group could beat the Sonics (I refuse to call them the Thunder) or Grizzlies first team guys.

Backcourt - Price or Knight and Korver
Frontcourt - AK, Millsap and either Booze or Memo depending on the rotation.

I am curious to see how this all plays out when Matt comes back, but I have high hopes for the Jazz with AK coming off the bench. Chime on what you think will happen if AK stays as the 6th man for the season. I am curious to see what everyone else thinks about this.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Are the Blazers for real? Let's find out...

<<Blazersedge.gif>>

In preparation for the BIG HUGE VERY IMPORTANT preseason game against Portland on Sunday, we shot a few quick questions over to Dave at www.blazersedge.com. Here is the skinny...

TBJ: The Blazers won the season series against the Jazz last year 3-1. Who wins the season series this year.
 
BE: Best guess:  2-2.  The Blazers still have some nice matchups but everybody is going to be taking Portland more seriously this year, including the Jazz.

TBJ Note: I could see this happening. The Jazz struggled with the Blazers last year. I can't wait to see what Blazer has his career night against the Jazz. I'm expecting Steve Blake to drop 32 and 15 assists on us.

 
TBJ: Compare Mehmet Okur with Arvydas Sabonis. 1-on-1 who would win in their prime.
 
BE: The key here is “in their prime”.  Sabonis never played in the NBA in his prime.  Before injuries took him he was an absolutely huge man who could dribble and pass like a point guard, shoot like a small forward, and dominate centers.  He’d have killed Okur no matter what stage of his career Mehmet was in.  The NBA Sabonis…I still would rather have him as a Blazer because I loved watching him but from a straight statistical standpoint Mehmet has a strong argument and I'd expect Jazz fans to choose him.

TBJ Note: You are expecting correct. Jazz fans will always certainly take Memo here. Although Arvydus was hands down the first Euro player who I really liked.

 
TBJ: Which rising star will win a title first: Deron Williams or Brandon Roy
 
BE: Williams won’t have the players around him that Roy will.  Brandon has the better chance.  That doesn’t mean he’s a better player or that the Blazers are a better team right now.  Portland’s starting lower but their upward arc is steeper.

TBJ Note: This could be true as well. While I think the Jazz window is open and the Trophy is beckoning them to enter. The Blazers chance is right around the corner, but I'm interested to see how they keep all of their young talent in Red and Black.

 
TBJ: What trade would it take to get Brandon Roy in a Utah Jazz uniform.
 
BE: Deron Williams.  Nothing else would come close.  Roy is a near-perfect fit for the Blazers.

TBJ Note: Not. Gonna. Happen. I like Roy. I like him a lot. But you can't put him on the same tier as D-Will. How about a Brewer/Milsap/Collins/Harpring/Price/Knight/Boozer deal?

 
TBJ: If you could create a Blazers/Jazz Dream Team starting 5. Who would fill what position. Who would be the 6th man (cannot be a starter) and who would be the coach.

 
BE: Williams, Roy, Kirilenko, Aldridge, Oden.  Sixth man is hard to say right now.  I like Korver and Millsap but I might be tempted to go with someone like Rudy Fernandez in the long run because he can play multiple positions.  I know Jazz fans are going to argue about the Aldridge/Boozer thing but I’m assuming we’re putting a team together for multiple years and Aldridge is going to be an all-around beast in about a season and a half.  Plus he complements Oden well.  I need someone who can shoot deep and defend the perimeter more than I need another 20-point guy with that backcourt.

TBJ Note: Aldridge? I like him, but doesn't he need to prove himself before starting over a two time All-Star and Gold Medalist? I would say Milsap or Korver because Rudy Fernandez again hasn't proven himself. You're putting him there 100% on "upside". Just agree with you there.

 
TBJ: Thanks and us Jazz fans look forward to embarrassing your young, inexperienced team ;)

BE: Enjoy it while you can.


Thanks to Dave for taking time out of his absolutely freakishly amazing busy day working on Blazers Edge. That blog has game.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Quick chat with Bright Side of the Sun


      <<Bright.gif>>
      As the Jazz prepare to play the Suns tonight, we took a quick moment to chat with the #1 Suns blog on the net, Bright Side of The Sun.

      1. Who would you rather have leading your team today: Deron Williams or Steve Nash and why?

      Today Steve Nash. But tomorrow and from there on Mr. Williams. I like D-Will's game a lot and his make up. And his size. I think we've clearly seen the best from Nash in the rear view mirror. If he's not over used he should have another good year left in him but he's just not the same player that he was. I am hoping that by next year he can come off the bench. Maybe

      we can trade him for CP3 in 2010?

      2. Who will go down with an injury first (missing 10+ games): AK-47 or Amare

      Other then goofy hair and tearful moments there's really nothing I would pick AK-47 over Amare for. Besides, Amare only get's hurt before the season starts. He's actually pretty durable. I am thinking that next year we just sit him out until November.

      3. Did the Jazz make a bad decision letting Raja Bell leave as a Free Agent?

      Yes. Or maybe not. Tough call. I don't think he's better then Ronnie Brewer right now but I do think he's a perfect Jerry Sloan type guy so I don't know why they let him go.

      4. How do you see the season series playing out this year?  Last year the Jazz won the series 2-1. Will Deron ever dunk on Shaq?

      Do we play this year? Honestly, I haven't given the Jazz much thought. 2-1 sounds good. Or 2-2 perhaps. I think both teams are more focused on their division rivals. You guys need to be watching the Blazers and we will focus on the Lakers. Do we play the Jazz this year?

      5. Pretend the Jazz and Suns merge into one team. Who starts at what position and why? Who is the 6th man (cannot be a current starter). Who coaches the team?

      You asked me this question last year. Same answer <http://www.truebluejazz.com/2008/03/come-with-us-to-bright-side-of-sun.html>applies except you can move Amare to PF and put Shaq in as Center. I am no longer a Boozer fan and I still would take an old Grant Hill over AK-47. What a waste of contract. Can't you trade him to Moscow for some borsht?

      I think a rivalry requires a two way street. I just don't find myself up for the Jazz this year. I think you guys took a step back and so did we.

      Editors Note: Allllrighty then. (Insert smiley face with blank stare here). That's fine they feel that way, I mean I didn't even consider the Suns a rival either, ever… in a world. (sniffle sniffle) I mean who would want to be rivals with a team who shares state lines…or is in the same Western Conference… or also has purple in their team color

      So there you go Jazz fans. Thanks to Phx Stan for taking time to chat with us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

5 Stupid Things Fans Say



You probably know them by heart, but I thought it would be a good idea to make sure that everyone knows the phrases to avoid in any semi-serious sports discussion.
  1. Team X will never win a championship.  Really Carnac?  You've seen the future?  People were saying that about the Red Sox for years, but, lo and behold, they've now won twice in 5 years.  This hits home with the Jazz because people were claiming the Jazz would never win a championship after the 2 Finals appearances in '97 and '98.  It's ridiculous for obvious reasons, no one knows what moves will be made or what players will get hurt.
  2. Your team only won because ____________.  You're right, we only won because you shot 10-20 from the free throw line, we shouldn't count this game.  We only won because your best player had an "off" night, so we'll forget about this game in the win column.  Jazz fans should be familiar with this one after last season's playoffs.  The Lakers only won because the refs kept Kobe at the free throw line.  Well, he's a hell of a player and the Jazz foul a lot, it was going to happen.  The Jazz certainly could have overcome it, but the Lakers were just better.  THERE, I said it.
  3. The refs lost us the game.  Anyone who still uses this line seriously needs to be hit over the head with something heavy.  Even in the Chargers/Broncos game, Denver still had to score and then they went for 2!  The Chargers had their chances to stop them.  Granted they likely would have been able to just run out the clock had Hochuli made the right call, but it's not like the refs took points off the board or anything.  Officials can't put the ball in the hoop, get the ball between the uprights, or get an RBI.  Officials miss calls and even make bad calls, deal with it.
  4. Team/Player X would beat/is better than Team/Player Y from 25 years ago.  This one makes me crazy.  The '96 Bulls would have beaten the '71 Sixers, it wouldn't even be close.  There is no way to calculate how stupid these claims are.  How do you measure talent across generations?  George Mikan dominated the game in his prime, but so did Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar, Jordan, Magic, Bird, O'Neal, Bryant, Williams, etc.  It's like saying that Genghis Khan would have beaten Abraham Lincoln in a fist fight (flashbacks to Bill and Ted, anyone?)
  5. Your team sucks.  The most basic of insults.  I doubt any other phrase is used more often.  I hear this a lot from Jazz haters out here in the Midwest, and it's usually from the less intelligent "fans."  If your team is floating around .500 or better, you do not suck.  You may be bad defensively or horrible free throw shooters or have no bullpen, but almost any team can win on almost any day, for example: any Jazz road game against a sub .500 team, Warriors over Mavericks, Nuggets over Sonics ('95), Dodgers over Cubs, Red Sox over Yankees ('04), Dolphins over Patriots, and maybe 25% of all games played in all sports in a given season.  Your team may have a bad season, but trying reduce an entire season to, "you guys suck" is really an insult to sports in general.
Having said all that, let me finish with this: the Cubs will never win a World Series, the Bulls only won in '98 because Jordan pushed off, the refs lost us the series last year, the '98 Jazz would have beaten any of the last 7 Finals teams, and the Rockets SUCK.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Let the (Pre-Season) Games Begin


The First Annual "Hammies"

I know its only pre-season and that the games matter about as much as T. Boone Pickens presidential campaign adds do, but I for one am pumped to see some Jazz action again. I can't wait to hear Craig Bolerjack say, "Were coming to you live from..." or to hear Ron Boone say something silly like, " I think the key to winning tonight is to score more points than the opposition". So, before we get the games under way, I want to present my pre-season Jazz team awards.


MVP

This could go to Matt Harpring if he retires and clears his 6 mil off the books, Andrei Kirilenko if he decides to restructure his contract down to 8 or 9 mil per year or CJ Miles if he is indeed the next coming of Larry Bird, but since none of that will happen it goes Deron Williams. Easiest choice of the year, by a long shot.
Bold Prediction: Deron will be the leading League MVP candidate after the first third of the season. Take that Chris Paul!

Most Improved

From the camp reports that I read and the performance in the scrimmage game I think Ronnie Brewer will take this one for a second straight year. Imagine if Ronnie can actually hit the three at about 35% this year, he could be a borderline all-star.
Bold Prediction: Ronnie will be a second or third all NBA defensive team member.

Most Declined

Matt Harpring. All signs point to Matt becoming an after thought for the Jazz as the season wears on. His style of play has finally caught up to him and the young guys are ready to take his place. On a side note, did you guys know that Matt Harpring was a football player?
Bold Prediction: Matt is included in the complicated 4 team deal. See "Most to Gain" below for more details.

Most to Lose

Doesn't this have to be Carlos Boozer as he is looking to opt out and get paid next year? If it's playoff Boozer for 82 games he might as well not opt out because who is going to pay a 15 point, 10 board, 41% shooting no defense PF more than the 13 mil he is guaranteed from the Jazz? On the other hand if he goes 22 and 12 and plays just a smidge of D he will command 5 years and 100 mil and would get it for sure. A not so close second would be Memo as he can opt out as well, but I think at this point you know what you are going to get with Memo and can figure on pretty solid raise for him no matter what.
Bold Prediction: Carlos will average career highs across the board, even on D further proving that money is the best motivator for these athletes.

Most to Prove

CJ Miles, hands down. You got your money, now go out and earn it. And I don't want to hear anyone say that Sloan has to give him a chance. I think its pretty obvious that if you are deserving of playing time over another player, Sloan will give it to you. At the very least CJ should be able to take over Harpring's minutes.
Bold Prediction: CJ averages 10 shot attempts per game in only 10 minutes per game.

Most to Gain

Paul Milsap. Paul, it was nice knowing you. I hope you put up good numbers in Memphis or Oklahoma City next year because you sir are going to get some jack. I really hope the kid gets his and does well for who ever it is, because unless the Jazz let Carlos walk there is no way they can match the 5 year 50 mil deal he is sure to get. Paul's biggest goal this year should be to not blow out his knee and ruin that next contract.
Bold Prediction: Along with Matt Harpring Paul is involved in a complicated 4 team trade signing a long term extension with a new team and bringing the Jazz 1 expiring contract and 2 draft picks from some team that is on the bubble of making the playoffs.

Steadiest Performer

Adrei Kirilenko is going to surprise us this year. He is not going to make us think that he is getting paid what he deserves, but he will make us forget what he is getting paid if that make sense. I think that Andrei has finally "matured" enough to understand his role and is happy doing it.
Bold Prediction: Andrei will very quietly get 2 5x5's and 3 triple doubles this year.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it and like all future tellers I will be happy (outside of Deron for MVP, that is a lock) if I am right on any of these. As a preview of pre-season game number 1 all I can say is that the Jazz will kick the crap out of the Lakers and I hope that Kobe's pinkie falls off as he is getting fouled relentlessly by the Jazz.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Introducing your Bearded Utah Jazz

What do the Jazz need to reach that almighty pinnacle of an NBA Championship?

Facial Hair.

History has shown us that the beard commands attention and power.

Let us take a quick journey together...

Honest Beards: Abe's beard commanded respect, and an entire nation.



The White Wisdom Beard: Moses knew what it would take to have people follow him: A beard (The hand of God helped as well)


The "I'm dead serious" Beard: Brother Brigham led many people through difficult times, knowing that better times were just around the corner.


The "I wish it was real" Beard: Gumdrops and dump trucks. The one beard who has heard almost as many prayers as Jesus.


High Energy Beard: Macho Man knew how to use his beard to harvest his high energy even in to his early 50's.


Been around the Block Beard: ZZ Top knew how to use their beards to become superstars. Even though they never really deserved that title.


"I Pity the Fool" Beard: This vicious combination of Mohawk and beard made us all want to drive a black van with sweet rims.



Seriously, not again Randy.


I'll kill you and smile doing it Beard: This is a beard the Jazz could really use. This beard taught us that you never quit.



Funny Beard: Beards that didn't last nearly long enough. Their lives were short, but sweet.



I just made Beards cool: You can always raise your game a notch by showing up on a big night with one of these bad boys.




Smart Beard: Apple wouldn't be where it was today if it wasn't for the smartest most inventive beard on the planet.




So if you want to win an NBA championship, what do you do?

That's right. Release the facial hair. Boozer got us started with his "Bald But Beardy" look during the playoffs last year. Deron followed suit with his "Team USA Serious" beard. Memo showed up to camp with his "A year older and wiser Euro Beard". And last but not least Ronnie is still sporting his High School Sophomore mustache/patchy thing. The only guy left out is AK, which is surprising because with a prominent chin like his, you'd think he do whatever it took to compensate.

Let's break down each player and what beard they need in order to step their game up this season.

Andrei Kirilenko
Needs Steve Jobs' beard for his brains and ability to adapt.
Needs Santa Claus' beard for his ability to bring out the best in others.
Needs ZZ Tops beard to quit looking like a 17 year old.


Memo
Needs honest Abe's beard to keep him true to his position and play some interior D like he is supposed to .
Needs Macho Man Randy Savage's beard to build a fire in him and keep his energy level up the entire season.


Ronnie Brewer
Needs a Moses' beard to get a little older and more mature.
Needs one of the 300 beards to get that killer instinct and not give into all the prime time two guards he'll be facing this season.


Carlos Boozer
Needs Honest Abe's beard more than anyone in the league.
Needs Mr. T's beard to help him scare the bejesus out of anyone who steps in front of him in the paint. Ditch the little hook Booz and take it to them hard.

Deron Williams
This guy has a little of each of these beards.
Needs a little more Moses' beard to help him make wise decisions and take a game over when needed.
Needs Jim Halpert's beard to help him become the next big thing in the NBA and get in some high profile endorsements.
Needs Conan and Dave's beard to take his interviews a little less serious and let his true funny personality come through.
Needs brother Brigham's beard to help lead Jazz Nation to Zion and the Larry O'Brien trophy.

So there you have it. Put that Barbasol away Jazz men, because we are calling out the Facial Hair Gods to smile on you and take your game to the next level.

Go Jazz!