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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Utah Jazz-Midseason Grades for Staff and Starters

It's time for the midseason grades. These grades only reflect the opinion of CB Jack. Please feel free to comment and give your opinion.

Staff

Kevin O'Connor: For a guy who has stunk up the majority of his draft picks, he sure made up for them in quality trades. Fesenko has potential to be a starter/good rotation player, but the verdict is not out on Almond. He can score in the D-League, but is currently shooting 11% in the big league. The Korver trade was one to put on his resume. Great job so far Mr. O'Connor. GRADE: A-

Jerry Sloan: Signed a one year contract extension early in the season. While Sloan has done wonders for a group of less talented players, he seems to have lost his fire this season. He needs to realize that this team needs a little praise now and then. They are not season veterans who can take the constant criticism and not begin to play head games with themselves. He could say whatever he wanted to Stock and Malone, but they had been around the block enough to take it with a grain of salt and keep playing. Jerry's time may be up. GRADE: C-

Starters

Deron Williams: Talk about a guy who is so close to achieving stardom he can smell it. If only we could get him to touch it, embrace it, and take it to bed with him. While his scoring is up 3 points, along with all of his shooting percentages, his turnovers are also up .4 per game. As a co-captain I want to see more leadership out of him. His defense has been sub par in my eyes. While he should have been an All-Star lock at the first of the season, Deron will not dress in New Orleans this year thanks to his struggles in December. GRADE: B

Ronnie Brewer: We all knew he had it in him. I loved this guy since seeing him sport a Jazz blue suit on draft night. His offensive game has progressed much quicker than I anticipated. He has an amazing ability to get to the hole and flush down anything within 5 feet of the basket. His defense has been good at times, but he has a difficult assignment almost every night. Currently he is 12th in the league in steals. GRADE: A-

Andrei Kirilenko: After all of the off season trade speculation, I was worried as to which Andrei would show up this year. I have been pleasantly surprised with his effort. My knee jerk reaction to yell "Don't do it..." when he appears to be setting up for a shot is gone. Watching highlights of him in Euroleague made me think we needed to get him the ball more around the basket, I'm not so sure of that anymore. I seem to see him get blocked and stripped going up for layups more than he should. His three point percentage and assists are all up from his career average, but his blocks and steals are both well below. GRADE: B+

Carlos Boozer: Two years ago I actually took a full size poster to a game that read "Boozer leads our team in $teals". I was sure this guy was bending us over and laughing all the way to the bank. This is my cue to eat crow. He is a virtual lock for the All-Star team and has been the most dominant power forward in the NBA to this point. I love his offensive game, although I wish he would get a few more power dunks like last year. His defense on the other hand leaves much to be desired. You would think that with his ability to beat bigger, faster, taller guys on the big end, he would have translated that into ways to play better on the defensive end. Not so. He is a defensive liability for us. Carlos, meet your Achilles heal. GRADE: B+

Memhet Okur: The money man seems to be troubled with all of the sub-prime lending. I know babies are blessings and all, but little Melisa Okur has jinxed her daddy big time. I know the guy is slow, but when he takes the ball to the hoop he almost always converts. So why doesn't he do it more often? Go to the hoop Memo! His glimpses of greatness are often overshadowed by his lazy defensive court sense and lack of overall energy. If the Jazz hope to get back to last years form, I think this is the guy they need the most. GRADE: C+

So there are my grades for the first half of the season. Bench grades will be coming soon. They will be great for some, and straight up ugly for others. Here's to hoping our guys get their act together and put together a playoff push!

Real Players. Real Fans. Honest Bloggers.
My Utah Jazz!

15 comments:

UtesFan89 said...

Thanks for the linkage!

As for the grades. It's not "Jerry's time may be up"... it's "Jerry's time is up."
And K'OC... I guess I'll give it to him this year. The previous drafts still hurt though.

And The Glove... I don't see him coming to Utah. He wants a championship contender... as of now, the Jazz aren't even playoff material.

Stevia Suave said...

Great post, I think you are dead on. Maybe a little generous with Derron, who I think deserves a B or a dunce cap for his propensity to turn over the ball when the game is on the line, but that may be the Jerry Sloan coming out of me.

Stevia Suave said...

I meant B minus, I just got so excited to take it the post I turned it over.

C.B. Jack said...

Senor Suave,

I really want to put Deron lower, but his increase in shooting percentages has been big and I think they Jazz have certainly benefited it. His assists are only down .2 per game. His turnovers is what cost him an A- in my eyes. Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading the blog.

Ken said...

Great line about the money man and sub-prime lending!

Ron Boone said...

Not to make light of this great post but I would like to give the following grades to the behind the scenes folks:

Jazz Bear: A
(The guy has to be at least 50 and he is still bringing it.)

Concession Staff: C+
(No offense if you work there, but I sat in the Russells Ice Cream Line for the entire third quarter. Speed it up fellas.)

That Old Guy That sits Side-Ways behind the Jazz Bench: A+
How many years has this guy had to avoid turning to the left or right to catch a last second shot, a fight or just a good play in general? Talk about self control. I would love to get tickets right next to him and just yell things like, " Oh my hell, the guys arm just fell off" or "Is she naked etc" Just to see if he would budge. This guy is the Jazz best asset.

Jazz Ball Boys: A
Have you ever tried to mop the sweat stain of a 7 Footer with a mop the size of your hand? Not to mention you only have 10 seconds to do it. Let me tell you, it aint easy. Good work boys.

kjus said...

How do you give Ronnie an A-? He does great in the first half and then disappears in the 4th quarter. I would have given him a B-.

Whistle said...

Did you forget Ronnie is in his second season and he is playing the top players in the league every night. Did you honestly expect him to be this good at the begining of the season. I know I didn't. I think the A- was a perfect grade.

UtesFan89 said...

Ronnie disappears in the 2nd half because Sloan benches him for Korver and Harpring and anyone else he can find. Not much Ronnie can do about that.

kjus said...

Whistle, he is getting paid a lot of money so who cares if he is in his second year. During the losing streak, when would the Jazz fade? Why did they trade for Korver? Brewer fades in the 4th and can't hit three pointers.

Stevia Suave said...

I'm going with C.B. Jack on this one. He's getting paid a lot may not be relevant because He is making an entry level salary. It's not like he is a big drain financially like Ostertag "the big 00" was.

I think that he is doing great for his second year. While I hope he works hard on his shot in the off-season, I think he is a good addition to the team.

I wonder how he will have progressed in a few years when Deron and Boozer are approaching their peak (this might be a good post for one of you excellent Jazz minds).

Whistle said...

A-

Ron Boone said...

B

Anonymous said...

Who cares he sucks anyway and so do you Whistle.

C.B. Jack said...

Really? This coming from a guy who has to post as Anonymous? Check yourself fool, cause you're wreckin yourself.