Archive for the ‘Matt Harpring’ Category

Jazz Get Past Raptors With Huge 4th   Leave a comment

Yet again, the Jazz had a really bad quarter. This time, they changed things up though, playing solidly in the first before sucking it up in the 2nd. I guess that happens when you turn to your bench and bring in a line-up of Flop, Harding & Knight. Flop has to be the worst player in the league, or right up there. And that’s counting all 2nd-round rookies this year, and all NBDLers that have been called up and even Jason Hart. Harding has been sucking it up for the past couple of games, and that continued. Brevin brings a veteran presence that the team probably needs. He also brings a terrible jumper, overconfidence on his own jumper, the innate ability to cause the offense to stall immediately, and more. Combine the 3 of them with AK (who loves to drive into the post all wild-like and then dish off to Flop) and Korver, and you’re going to have a hell of a time. In a bad way. By the way… passing to Flop should be an offense punished by immediate benching. Luckily for the Jazz, AK & KK carried the Jazz bench, scoring all 38 of the bench points. The rest of the bench (aka the other 3 guys already mentioned) went 0-5 with 3 assists, 1 TO, 4 fouls and 0 points.

Fortunately for the Jazz, Deron, Okur & ‘Sap (getting another start for the Injury Magnet) played well, overcoming off nights from CJ & Brewer, and teaming with AK & KK to lead the Jazz. Deron had 25 & 9, taking over late yet again. Okur couldn’t drain a trey, but went 9-17 for 19 & 11. ‘Sap finished with 18 & 11. Brewer had only 4 points on 6 shots (though he did throw in 5 assists), and CJ had 5 on 5. Truthfully, the game was ugly throughout, before the Jazz finally woke up late. They outscored the Raptors 28-14 in the last quarter, largely due to playing D and having the Raptors miss their jumpers. It ended up being enough, as the Jazz got a road win, something that we’ll take no matter who we’re playing.

Meanwhile, for the Raptors… Chris Bosh had 30 points & 10 boards (before choking?). Jose Calderon had 10 & 11, Anthony Parker had 16 & 11, Bargnani had 20 and 8, and The Matrix was held to 8 & 8. By the way, the caption to the picture is kinda telling for the Raptors. As are the polling results on the home page.

Here’s how the Jazz extended their streak to 11 games.

I’m not a big fan of the bench, outside of the top 3 (top 2 if the Injury Magnet turns on). Well, I like The Koof, but he gets less time on the court than the guys making mid-court shots for money. And Fesenko & Almond, but they’re both in the D-League right now. That leaves the top 3, the next 3 (mentioned above), and Ronnie Price. If this team is really dependent on anyone behind the top 3 for production (which they are, especially with Injury Magnet out), they’re in trouble. If the Brev Brev/Price duo has to play more than 5 minutes (well, just Brev Brev because J-Slow all of a sudden hates Ronnie Price), they’re in trouble. If Flop hits the court, they’re in trouble (and my TV is off if the game is on, but that is irrelevant). If Harding gets called on in any game that isn’t against the Spurs/Nuggets/etc., they’re screwed. I know this is true for most teams beyond the first couple of guys, but given the way injuries are hitting, the Jazz have to be prepared. Turning to Flop & Harding does not equal prepared. If you enter a playoff series against the Lakers/Spurs, and put Flop on the court, you will be laughed out of the building. And eventually run out of it as well.

This whole spiel is probably irrelevant now, given that the big FAs (like Drew Gooden and Joe Smith and Mikki Moore, etc.) have all signed, and the deadline to add players that can play in the playoffs (or something like that) has passed, but still… how the team can leave Flop on the roster and not go try to get someone that can help is beyond me. Hopefully it doesn’t come back to bite us in the backside…

That said, the Jazz won. Guess we might as well enjoy that. The last 5-game-Eastern-Conference-road-swing is underway, and the Jazz have a 1-0 start. Things could definitely have been a lot worse… and it seemed like they would be until 12 PM MST, when they finally woke up (they = Deron, it seems). Up next… the Pacers.

Houston, This Time You Have The Problem   Leave a comment

Okay, not really… both teams played well, but Deron took over late, and there’s no stopping him when he feels it. The game was close throughout, with both teams losing their starting center to foul trouble in the 4th.

The stars? Deron & Brewer yet again. They came up especially huge late. Deron finished with 26 & 14, Brewer had 19 & 4 steals. Oh, and Okur had 16 & 8 before fouling out.

How about AK and his assist of the night?

AK finished with 6 points, 4 assists & 3 rebounds in an off night.

Speaking of off nights, want to know who didn’t have one? That’s right… Booze was feeling it, finishing with 20 & 17 (!). He also had a team high +/- of +15.

Deron was amazing. CJnot so much. He’s gone MIA as of late… coinciding with the return of Booze? He finished 1-6 for the game, with 2 points. His stats offensively since Booze’s return… the first 2 games, when Booze was playing minimal minutes, he was 4-10 (8 points… in 12 minutes!) and 6-10 (15 points). Since then though, he’s gone 2-6 (4 points), 1-5 (2 points) and 1-6 (2 points). Save for the 15 point game, his minutes are hovering near 20 right now (on the lower end), almost 4 minutes lower than his season average.

Booze played well, the bench didn’t, and the Jazz won. Korver only had 2 points, and Harding & ‘Sap each had 4. Luckily the team shot well (50%) and was perfect from the FT line (17-17). Speaking of the FT line (and therefore fouls), the Jazz were called for 11 more fouls and the Rockets shot 15 more FTs. And yet the Rockets fans were complaining. Quite simply, well… first, they should’ve made their FTs (24-32). And second, as sad as it is, in this day and age, the NBA allows flopping (and rewards for it)… so it’ll continue. There were flops on both sides (each center ended up fouling out because of them… depending who you ask). Also, it’s stupid when refs that can’t see the play (behind it all) blow the whistle. Leave it to the guys that can see the play!

Unrelated to the game, but why is the ‘pro-hop’ not an up-and-down or something like that? And speaking of that, you might as well toss out the rulebook, because the refs don’t follow it. Making it even easier for them to help the ‘superstars’… which is highly stupid. Quite simply, the call should be the same whether it’s Kobe or Flop. If it’s a charge on one, it’s a charge on the other. Reaching in? Check. Blocking foul? Check. Anything.

Contract year issues. I think Fesenko, Almond & The Koof (not in a contract year) should all be playing more. If not with the Jazz, then in the NBDL. Taking Flop off of the 12-man roster hurts the team in no way.

The Jazz “are going streaking”, having won 9 straight as they get ready to host the Nuggets (coming off of a win against the Blazers yesterday) tonight. FYI… if you watch the video, you see more of Will Ferrell than you’ve ever wanted to see.

Whiny Little Girl (not so little) obviously went off on the officiating. How dare they call a foul on him?!? That said, this ‘preferential treatment’ is just pathetic and stupid. Oh, and he’s over the back on almost every one of his boards… he’s lucky they aren’t calling that.

If my review isn’t long enough for you, The Dream Shake has you covered. Profanity included. If you want the profanity but not the length, The Dream Shake is there too. Seriously, it seems like they’re closet Jazz fans, given how much time they devote to “hating” the Jazz. Oh, and the sites not only have profanity, but also a lot of ‘Utah sucks’ (to state it nicely) and some anti-Mormon sentiment. Because obviously all Jazz players are Mormon. I’ve never seen how saying “F*** Utah” or “Utah sucks” or “How are your wives?” adds anything to a sports discussion, but eh… I guess that’s all they know. Sad, really… the NBA almost gives us all something to bond over (like hating the Kobes & Celtics and all), but some people would rather not. Eh. Anyhow, enough of that off-topic thing…

Speaking of the Rockets, the game’s “surprising explosion against the Jazz D” was Kyle Lowry. Last time Von Wafer, this time Lowry. What?

Up next, the Nuggets…

Jazz Beat Kings, Roll Through February   Leave a comment

If, before February started, you had told me that Jazz would go 10-1 in the month, I would’ve laughed you out of the building. Even with Booze & AK due back, injuries were killing the team. They had had a sub-par January, losing against most of the good teams (and Oklahoma City). 10-1 seemed like a far off dream.

If you had told me that the 1 loss would’ve been a blowout loss in Golden State, I would’ve laughed you out of the building for a completely different reason… and it has nothing to do with the Jazz owning the Dubs as of late nor anything to do with the Dubs struggling this season. With the February schedule featuring Dallas, the Kobes, Boston & New Orleans (even with all of them at home), Golden State would’ve been no higher than 5th on my list… even if considering “sleep-walking games” and the Jazzsters pathetic play versus not-so-good teams.

That said, yesterday’s too-close-for-comfort (until the end) 102-89 win over Sacramento did exactly that for the Jazz… giving them their best month in franchise history. Not bad.

Ronnie Brewer had a huge night, finishing with a career-high 26 points (previous high was 25)… and throwing in 7 rebounds and a couple of highlight-reel plays as well.

AK struggled with his shot, Harding made 66% of his shots. I guess we can blame dwillfan (piling it on?) because we need to blame someone. As for Harding… I guess the haircut helped.

Some more love for Brewer & Okur (who also had 26 points). While Brewer relied on dunks and all (going 10-18 from the field), Okur did it by going 9-12 from the floor (not bad), and 4-5 from long range.

As for the others… Deron had 16 & 11, Booze is still trying to find himself, ‘Sap just missed a double-double (8 & 12), CJ struggled offensively & Korver only took 2 shots.

The Jazz D was as expected… Kevin Martin had 19, and Rashad McCants exploded for 17 off of the bench.

Some more Brewer love… if they redid the lottery the year he was picked knowing what is known now… where would he end up? The answer? Most definitely NOT #14. We got lucky.

Speaking of the draft… should we say ‘No’ to the 2009 NBA draft? My thought… if we still have the pick (aka we didn’t finish with a good enough record for it to end up in the hands of the Timberwolves) come the off-season, we should use it. The team is going to need at least 1 PG, and potentially a back-up PF to play behind either Booze or ‘Sap. And they might even need a back-up wing (what?!?) if Korver opts out & leaves and if Harding can’t play on. If the team doesn’t have a first rounder, well then it’s irrelevant… no reason to trade back in. If you have it… use it. Of course, that could just be me, a fan of the draft, speaking. The draft is a lot more boring if your team isn’t picking.

While we’re at it… more Brewer love. Is this guy amazing or what?!

And to finish with the Kings… Gooden buyout? And Gooden to the Cavs as a surprise FA signing?

Speaking of losing to the Dubs on the road… guess who we play (and where) tonight? Yep… last half of a home-road back-to-back. Golden State of Mind is seemingly fluctuating between pessimistic & optimistic. Part of the reason for pessimism? No Captain Jack as Nellie continues his “bench 1 star wing-guy” every game to develop the youth. Interesting… J-Slow wouldn’t do that even if the Jazz were last place in the West with 2 weeks to go on the season. And Nellie has like 1.5 months left still.

Jazz Roster Ranking   3 comments

BBJ over at SLC Dunk has this thing going where he’s ranking Jazz players from #15 to #1, with the following criteria…

Where I’m going with this is that I’m going to apply the same principle to the current Jazz roster. If you were an editor (GM) and had to start chopping off players, who would be the first ones to go?

We all know the players that are at the top and bottom of this list. The interesting thing will be to see when the axe falls for everyone in between.

There aren’t really any rules set in stone that I’ll go by. But I’ll take into account things such as stats, salaries, chemistry, team need, and whatever else I come up with. For the sake of this column, we’ll assume that everyone in the league has 15 players on their roster and that they’re having to make the same cuts.

If rosters were suddenly cut to 7, who would you want? If rosters were 5, who would you want? And so on. 3. We’ll also assume that everyone’s healthy.

His #15 to #11 can be found here, and #10 to #6 can be found here. I decided to partake, though without separating it into 3+ well thought out posts. Instead, I have 1 post with 1 sentence explaining my thoughts (at least partially). For those that know my thoughts about the Jazz, some of the rankings might be a bit of a surprise, but it’s how I seriously see it right now. (My list below)

Read the rest of this entry »

San Antonio 106, Utah 100   Leave a comment

Talk about mind-bogglingly ugly.

–>Brewer had 23 points after 3 quarters… and didn’t score in the 4th. Of course, it didn’t help that he didn’t start the 4th, and J-Slow waited for him to cool down before putting him back into the game.
–>Okur seemed to finally find his shot… but disappeared big time down the stretch. He did have 17 boards though.
–>6 points from the bench (combined), including a couple of ugly looking treys by Korver. Trade him!
–>One game after playing well in a loss, the Fes/The Koof combo played for just over 3 minutes combined. What?
–>Tonya Harding yet again played alright, but didn’t pull a Bruce Bowen or a Cheap-Shot Bob on anyone on the Spurs unfortunately.
–>The officiating (on both ends) was absolutely horrific. They had no idea about possession calls, flops were called every which way, and in general, it was perfectly legal hack someone, as long as it wasn’t a 7-footer on the Spurs (or a guy married to an ABC show star).
–>The Spurs were draining everything (51.4% from the floor).
–>The Spurs were 11-20 from downtown (55%!), and that’s after missing their last 4 treys. The Jazz refuse to play perimeter defense, and Matt Bonner (the 2nd coolest red-head in the league after Scalabrine!?) and Roger Mason lit them up. Hell, Mr. Longoria had 2 treys on the night… giving him 11 on the season.
–>Deron was 2-6 from the line.
–>CJ had yet another maddeningly inconsistent game… a couple of nice dunks & huge treys offset by some very stupid plays.
–>I miss AK.

Oh, and if you want to know why the MLB & No Fun League are better than David Stern’s WWF on the Hardwood, just look at the officiating. I mean, I’m a Pirates fan, and I know they’re going to be bad. But at least I have the knowledge that it’s because the team was badly constructed and is rebuilding… and not because the umpires unfairly call everything against the Pirates. Not the case in the NBA, where the refs do whatever they feel like.

Of course, it doesn’t help the Jazz to constantly leave players open on the perimeter, yet for some reason, that doesn’t change. And we’ve been seeing that forever. What? As they say, defense wins championships. (Also, as someone somewhere might’ve said at sometime… “change can be a bi***”.)

Cleveland 102, Utah 97   Leave a comment

In a recession, everyone suffers with money problems.


This might as well be a copy-and-paste from the Rockets game. Double-double for Deron (17 & 16) and ‘Sap (24 & 15), and not much else. Two others hit double-digits last night… Korver with 15 and Tonya Harding (read this) had 11. The Koof had 7 points on 3-9 shooting, Fesenko got time (where was he against Houston?) and 2 points… and a slap of LBJ (“The King” if you ask the NBA). King Jackass, if you ask me. I second what clarkpojo said in the game thread at SLC Dunk…

Before this season, I really really liked him. He had a certain humility to him, actually. But his ego has been huge this season. I started getting super bothered when he wouldn’t admit that he travelled against the Hornets and called the “crab dribble”, a move that has been around for about 50 years, his move. He is trying to be a little too big now.

Nails it on the head… and shows what’s wrong with the NBA… because the NBA is letting him get away with it all.

Okur struggled again… going 1-9 from the field and 0-4 from long range. I don’t know what’s up with him, but we need the Okur that went off for 43 points back. And now.

Other Notes
The second unit really kept the team in the game… Sideshow Bob had 5 fouls, and was killing the Jazz early, but when push came to shove, the Jazz stopped attacking the middle (3 FTs in the 2nd half) and settled for jumpers. At some point, don’t you have to attack the middle? Of course, I guess getting very few calls in your favor early (when they attacked, or when James charged over them) kinda limits your desire to attack. Plus you have ‘Sap, who rarely gets a call when he’s hammered… The Cavs were 10-27 from downtown. Um, defense?… Why no Ronnie Price? For all the awesomeness earlier, Brevin Knight has really been struggling of late.

The Jazz have another game tonight (in Denver). A home/road back-to-back, with airplane problems keeping them in SLC longer than expected. If you were someone who thought the Jazz should trade for Michael Redd, it’s not happening this year. Really unfortunate for the Bucks.

Houston 108, Utah 99   Leave a comment

Houston, we have a problem.

Actually, we have more than 1, as the game showed.

Despite getting 20+ point performances from 3 players (Deron with 32, Brewer with 23 & ‘Sap with 20), the Jazz never really threatened, and the TMac & Crazy Pills less Rockets walked away with the home win. Of the many problems that popped up…

  • The Jazz had only the 3 aforementioned players in double-digits. The Rockets had 5.

  • The Jazz bench got 8 points total, from 4 players. Of the 4 Rockets bench-players to play, 2 of them had more than 8. Each.
  • Okur was 2-13 from the field. Ugh. And he only had 1 assist, meaning that he wasn’t passing it very often.
  • CJ was just 3-8 from the field.
  • Korver was 1-7. No Knees, who didn’t need to play considering that TMac & Crazy Pills were both out, was 1-4. Plus the Jazz played him at the 4 a bit, which is just stupid. Knight jacked up 3 jumpers, and missed them all. Lot of confidence for a guy that’s biggest negative was his inability to make the jumper.
  • Flop was the first guy off of the bench (Flop!), and he only played 5 minutes. Why not bring The Koof off first? And why not bring Fesenko along… he’s a better option than Flop most of the times anyways. Flop missed 1 shot and had 1 TO in his 5 minutes. The Koof, on the other hand, had 4 points (2-3 shooting), 2 boards & 1 assist in 13 minutes.
  • The Rockets were draining treys, going 11-24 from deep. That includes a 5-7 night from Rafer Alston (seriously!) and a 3-5 night from Von Wafer. Um… defense? Wafer lit CJ up early and often.
  • The Rockets shot 60% from the field in the 1st quarter, and 46% for the game. And that would’ve been much higher if Aaron Brooks & Shane Battier hadn’t gone 1-9 from the field (0-4 from long range). Each! That’s just weird, by the way.
  • Late, with the game over… the Jazz were still fouling. And Wafer went in for a dunk despite the game being over, SOB. And J-Slow didn’t play Almond, despite him being a Houston guy. Kinda like when J-Slow refused to play Shorty in Chicago, despite it being a blowout. No wonder some fans out there hate him… I know its all about winning (which he’s never fully done, by the way), but still, when the game is over (either way), why not let the fans see a hometown guy?
  • The team really missed AK. And it’s obvious where not having Booze hurts… the bench is absolutely pathetic right now.

It might be time to make a trade… either to get some help on the bench (because our guys aren’t cutting it), or to get a 2-guard with a jumper (shifting Brewer to the 3 and CJ to the bench). Because this isn’t working. And Booze won’t be back for a while… his return won’t mean sh!t if the Jazz keep playing like they are right now. Especially with the stretch they have coming up.

Oh, and then there’s the whole LHM thing. Really sad.

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