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.
Well, for those of you that don’t know, the Suns released Dee Brown today. Though I’m guessing you all know that, because seriously… who doesn’t spend their Tuesday surfing the net to find out about ex-Jazzsters? Those of you that have also been paying attention to the Jazz know that the Jazz have really been struggling, and could really use a jump-start. I know there’s a lot of anti-Boozer sentiments out there, but I’m going to leave them alone because it is my greatest wish that they disappear. (Yeah, right.) Instead, I’ll propose something more minor than some blockbuster that would help the Jazz in the short-run (the player/players received in return for trading Booze for pennies on the dollar will be able to play right now while Booze can’t) and kill them in the long-run (no way the Jazz get players comparable to what a healthy Booze gives us).
It’s quite simple really. What the Jazz really need is a semi-serviceable big man who can be a presence inside for a year or so (though The Koof has been looking solid as of late). I don’t know which free agent you could chase after to fill that gap though. The other spot they need help right now is the wings, where the starting duo of CJ Miles & Ronnie Brewer just isn’t cutting it, and Kyle Korver’s shooting struggles aren’t helping. On the other hand, the Jazz have a couple of expendables in Matt Harpring, Jarron Collins (finally healthy, it seems, and an expiring contract) and Morris Almond (expiring contract because his rookie option wasn’t picked up). Some might even toss Kyrylo Fesenko or even Miles (if the deadline for not being able to trade him has passed) in there. Almond has shown a willingness to shoot… and shoot a lot. But his lack of other stuff (occasionally he show up in the rebound column) is hurting his chance to play… something that could happen to CJ sometime soon if he doesn’t step it up. Now, you’re not going to get much of a shooter of some weird combo of No Knees, Flop & Mo Almond (even if you throw Fesenko in there), and probably not much of a shooter straight up for CJ either. (Plus, I don’t see the Jazz trading CJ so soon after matching the offer sheet he got from OKC.)
What the Jazz should do, in my opinion, is try to trade 2 (or more) of the 4 guys (CJ can’t be packaged, if I remember correctly) for a big. Doesn’t have to be an All-NBA team guy or something… just someone that can come in behind Memo (and The Koof, if he shows a solid defensive presence) and maybe divert the opposing guards from driving to the hoop so often. Who’s available? I have no idea. Joe Smith of the Thunder is, but I’d pass. If they’d be willing to give up one of their other bigs though, maybe it’d be worth considering (Robert Swift, Johan Petro, Mouhamed Sene). Maybe one of the guys in New Jersey (Sean Williams, Josh Boone). Who knows? Just someone. Why would they take the guys the Jazz are offering? Well, there are a couple of expiring contracts (though relatively small). Or maybe they think they can utilize Mo Almond better than the Jazz are (wouldn’t surprise me in the least). Or maybe they want the veteranness & toughness of No Knees. Or maybe they think CJ is worth a look (if you trade CJ for a big, then you release one of the Fesenko/Flop duo). As I see it… if teams are willing to trade for a retired Aaron McKie or Jason Collins or the likes, there will be teams that wouldn’t mind No Knees or Flop.
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Yeah, the title pretty much says it all. Shorty is a Sun, all because LHM doesn’t like that he’s not married, or something like that. “Bad influence” on Deron… yeah, whatever. Because obviously Deron is unable to take care of himself.
Best of luck (again) to Dee… but please don’t come back and destroy the Jazz. Remember us? We drafted you, and while LHM doesn’t seem to be much of a fan, all the fans here definitely were.
Bright Side of the Suns
Wizards get: Mike James, Javaris Crittenton
Grizzlies get: Future 1st round pick (originally Memphis’)
Hornets get: Antonio Daniels, 2nd round pick in 2015 or cash from Memphis
After the trade went down, the Wizards released ex-Jazzster Shorty.
The Wizards were in need of guard help, especially with Agent Zero out. So they settled on youngster Javaris Crittenton (traded for the 2nd time in his short career), a youngster who was caught in a log jam in Memphis… one that resulted in him played about 6 minutes a game in 7 games this season. He struggled to get the time behind Kyle Lowry & Mike Conley (on the other hand, I assume we can put an end to the Conley-to-Portland rumors). The Wizards also acquired Mike James from the Hornets. James was added in the off-season, but couldn’t beat out Devin Brown (another ex-Jazzster) for the back-up PG spot. So now the Wizards have 2 new PGs to man the position, especially with them trading their other PG. Pradamaster over at Bullets Forever likes the deal, but nails it on the head by mentioning that it totally depends on Crittenton’s development. And nails it on the head again by mentioning that the Daniels-for-James swap is a definite downgrade.
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Suns get: J-Rich, Jared Dudley
Bobcats get: Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, Sean Singletary
Seems like a wash for ex-Jazzmen today (Shorty gets cut, Bell leaves a team he wasn’t happy with).
Interesting deal though… the Suns add another wing that would really fit the system if D’Antoni was coach. (Note to Steve Kerr… D’Antoni isn’t the coach!)
Bell was unhappy in the new system. Fine. You have to deal him. From the rumblings over at Bright Side of the Sun, it seems like they think Diaw was being overpaid (which he probably was, at $9 million). Still, just dealing him because of that is stupid. I look for the Suns to be trying to add a better PG soon, be it via trade or FA. Or maybe just play Barbosa a whole lot more, as he could end up being the key back-up behind both Nash & J-Rich. They do have Alando Tucker too, but I don’t think he’s just going to jump up to playing major minutes. And trading Diaw… all of a sudden, their back-up bigs are Robin Lopez & Louis Amundson (another ex-Jazzster). Not exactly solid… at least not yet.
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Yeah, the Jazz host the Grizzlies tonight at the ESA.
- Deron should be back today. Finally! Hopefully he isn’t trying to rush back again though. We need him… healthy. Interesting though, that he picked the Grizzlies as the team to return against. Because Manu Ginobili did the same thing on Monday, and it worked out well for the Spurs.
- The game is not on KJZZ. Obviously. I mean, why would the Jazz ever put their games on local TV?
- The Jazz beat the same Grizzlies team just 4 days ago, 103-94 in Memphis. And that was without Deron & Booze. Read the rest of this entry »
The Wizards (& their fans) and Jason Hart win… the Jazz (& their fans) lose. Thanks a lot LHM. “Oh my god, he might corrupt Deron.” Deron’s not 6-years old. He’s matured, he’s married. He knows what he’s doing in life. Picking Hart over Shorty for any reason (basketball or not) is plain stupid. Any owner/GM/coach with half a brain would admit their mistake and cut their losses now. But the Jazz don’t do that. Nope. They’d rather suffer their losses. Because they’re happy “coming close”. I mean… is winning it all even a goal for them? Because they’re not acting like it.
Best of luck to Dee. The NBA needs more guys like Dee (corrupting other players be damned… why aren’t the Wizards afraid of this?). I’ll miss watching the “One-man fastbreak”. Instead… we get the “One man horror show”. Fun fun fun.