My Writings. My Thoughts.
I think many of you already know who I might choose for this topic but you ought to read it just the same. I was asked to write a guest post for a great basketball blog: Best Player on the Planet. There I outlined who I thought is the Best Point Guard between Rajon Rondo, Steve Nash, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams. Read it here.
With the Knicks late season surge, the Jazz chances of getting a top 3 pick fell to just 8%. At one point during the 2009 season, the Jazz had as high as a 10% chance at landing the #1 pick and approximately a 22% chance at getting a top 3 pick.
Incidentally, the Washington Wizards (who won the draft lottery) had a 10% chance at winning it.
Ok, seriously, the WIZARDS?! The same team that gave enormous contracts to terrible players and have made some HORRIBLE Front Office decisions.
Gilbert Arenas was given a 6-year $111M deal in 2008 despite missing the majority of 3 seasons in his time with the Wizards. The Wizards awarded Antawn Jamison a 4-year $50M contract as Jamison turned 32 which made him on the decline, physically, when they gave it to him. Finally, Caron Butler was the final member of Washington’s “Big Three” who was given a 5-year $46M deal.
Sadly, their “Big Three” was injury plagued and only barely mustered better than .500 play while they were healthy. Before the 2009 draft the Wizards traded their #5 pick for Randy Foye and Mike Miller (aka, 2 players who have long since seen their better days) from the Minnesota Timberwolves. I’m no genius, but if you have #5 pick aren’t you supposed to trade it for good basketball players?
Finally, the Wizards had the #1 pick in 2001 and selected Kwame Brown who has long since been declared as the worst #1 pick of all time.
This same team who has been irresponsible w/ their team and their trades lands two #1 picks in only a 10 year span?? The world is an unfair place…that much is sure.
Hopefully, karma will come back to them and they’ll figure out a way to draft a bust w/ their #1 pick.
Meanwhile, the Jazz will draft 9th…which is pretty great! The Jazz have only had two top 10 picks in the last 27 years and one of em was Deron Williams and look how he changed the franchise. Granted, DWill was taken 3rd but the Jazz have a chance to add a very talented player to the roster this summer with as big a chance as we’ll have in the near future.
To outline what kind of talent goes around #9 below is a list of players who were drafted in the 8-10 position lately:
- #8 – Jordan Hill (big man w/ potential still)
- #9 – DeMar DeRozan (possible bust but he can dunk! That’s important in the NBA right?)
- #10 – Brandon Jennings (future All-Star and nearly earned Rookie of the Year in 2009)
- #8 – Joe Alexander (mega bust..sucks to be the Milwaukee Bucks)
- #9 – DJ Augustin (solid point guard but probably never an All-Star)
- #10 – Brook Lopez (future All-Star and a franchise center)
- #8 – Brandan Wright (bust! they should have taken Thaddeus Young)
- #9 – Joakim Noah (future All-Star and a teammate that EVERY NBA player wants on his team)
- #10 – Spencer Hawes (decent rotation player but not quite worthy of the #10 pick)
- #8 – Rudy Gay (future All-Star and about 45 days away from receiving a near-max deal)
- #9 – Patrick O’Bryant (bust! another great decision by the Golden State Warriors. I hope they don’t change)
- #10 – Mouhammed Sene (what’s another word for bust? Complete and utter failure?)
- #8 – Channing Frye (a late bloomer for certain but probably never an All-Star)
- #9 – Ike Diogu (he sucks…nuff said)
- #10 – Andrew Bynum (probably a future All-Star and/or will miss at least 3 more season w/ injuries.)
- #8 – Rafael Araujo (how do you say bust in Portuguese?)
- #9 – Andre Iguodala (All-Star and quality wing player)
- #10 – Luke Jackson (who?)
- #8 – TJ Ford (mostly a bust)
- #9 – Michael Sweetney (he sucks too)
- #10 – Jarvis Hayes (a solid contributor w/ the Nets…which doesn’t mean much since they suck too)
- #8 – Chris Wilcox (currently sucking for the Pistons)
- #9 – Amar’e Stoudemire (All-Star and one of the top PFs in the league)
- #10 – Caron Butler (All-Star and another quality wing player)
- #8 – DeSagana Diop (barely a decent rotation player but not quite a bust)
- #9 – Rodney White (uhhh…he’s played for about 12 teams on 3 continents so….yeah)
- #10 – Joe Johnson (All-Star and quality wing player
So, you don’t usually find any superstars in the 8-10 range and it’s easy to pick a bust but a lot of great players have come in that range in the past decade or so. The odds are probably against picking a great player looking at the stats below.
All Stars: 9
Quality rotation players: 3
Blah rotation players: 6
It’s still possible for the Jazz to make a trade and improve their draft position leveraging a player trade or the Grizzlies future pick that we own. Time will tell.
You may or may not have noticed the lack of posts here at UBJF. Due to some unfortunate medical luck I found myself somewhat unable to do much of anything for a couple weeks including write about the Jazz/Laker series. However, now that it’s over there are some interesting things to take away from the series.
Even without the losses of Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko, the Jazz did very little to counteract the length of the Lakers.
However, I think that this year the Jazz could have beaten the Lakers had Memo and AK not been injured. This is why:
However, the length of the Lakers has always been a difficulty because the Jazz had to match up AK with Kobe which left Odom and Gasol to punish the Jazz.
Odom always killed us because his ability to run the point, shoot the 3, and rebound is too much for Boozer, Millsap or Memo. Andrei Kirilenko plays a similar role but rarely guarded Odom as he was needed on Kobe.
Neither Boozer nor Memo are good defenders but both (Memo more so) are decent post defenders. Having Memo guard Bynum is a good matchup though. Even Fesenko did a decent job on Bynum in Okur’s place.
There isn’t much the Jazz can do about Pau Gasol because of Boozer’s aversion to anything defense related and also because he’s too quick for Memo.
With the emergence of Wesley Matthews as a very solid wing defender and CJ Miles’ late-season defensive improvements it has no longer become necessary to have AK guard the opponent’s best wing player.
With that in mind having Matthews/Miles on Kobe Bryant frees up AK to guard Odom (who plays a similar style) which means he no longer kills us (especially on rebounds). A healthy Memo frequently brings Gasol/Bynum out of the paint w/ his ability to shoot the 3 which means the Lakers really only have 1 advantage in the frontcourt: generally Gasol.
In theory, the Jazz really could have beaten the Lakers in this series given these points. Especially since the Jazz were ultimately without Memo and, for the most part, Kirilenko and they still gave the Lakers some real scares.
In the 2008 playoffs the Jazz were able to win 2 games (both at home). In 2009, the Jazz only won Game 3 (again, at home). In 2010, while the lost all 4 games, the Utah Jazz competed much better than they had in ’08 and ’09.
Game 1 was winnable. The Jazz were up 4 points with 3 minutes left in the game and then failed to convert a field goal for the rest of the game.
Game 2 was a little tougher but it wasn’t a blowout. In previous years, the games in LA were not even close.
The Game 3 loss was simply bad luck. Deron Williams had a great look at a shot he makes with a high percentage but ultimately missed. Wesley Matthews made a tip at DWill’s missed shot that most times would have fallen in but just missed the bucket.
Game 4 was, well, not in the same league. The Jazz were beaten and done. They didn’t really compete in that game and lost it by a significant margin.
Overall, despite not winning a single game in the series, the Jazz competed better w/ the Lakers than they had done in previous years.
But, in the end Ws are what matter the most and the Jazz tallied zero of those. Turns out you can’t win a series like that.
It was rainbows and butterflies after the Utah Jazz posted a 112-104 victory to eliminate the Denver Nuggets from the 1st round of the 2010 Playoffs. Well, except for Chris “Birdman” Andersen’s blind screen set on Deron Williams with only :20 left in the game. Williams seemed visibly in pain and left the court as soon as the buzzer sounded. The seriousness of the injury to Deron’s left elbow was not immediately made known.
Carmelo Anthony actually chased down DWill to congratulate him and wish him luck in the next round. That’s good sportsmanship right there. Hear that, Birdman, take a lesson! I liked him…until now. Now, he’s just another Thugget. If the Nuggets don’t like that nickname, their play in Game 6 will likely do very little to sway public opinion.
The Nuggets received 4 techincal fouls during this game. When Kenyon Martin fouled Deron Williams on a layup he, then, gave DWill and extra shove towards the baseline. At that moment, the implosion of the Nuggets began. The game was tied at 95-95 and the Jazz went on a 11-0 run to seal it.
In the beginning of the season, if you had told me that in an elimination game against the Nuggets Wesley Matthews would have been our leading scorer AND that we would have won that game, there’s no way I would have believed that.
Matthews got it done. Despite only going 4 of 12 from the floor, he was sent to the foul line 15 times and converted 13 of his free throws there. He finished with 23 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 block.
Carlos Boozer didn’t back down. With Nene out of the game, Boozer was able to dominate the inside tallying 22 points (on 11 of 14 from the field), 20 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Paul Millsap was fearless. He gets the least respect from the officials but he found his ways of tearing it up. He converted a number of 3-point plays down the stretch to arrive at 21 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks.
Between Millsap, Matthews, and Williams, they shot 35 free throws. During this game, 70 fouls were committed including 39 by the Nuggets which was a franchise high. To say it was a physical game would be like saying that skiing on a broken leg might be a bad idea.
What lies next for the Jazz is a familiar path: playing the Lakers shorthanded on the road in the playoffs. The Jazz were eliminated the last 2 seasons from the playoffs by the Lakers. But, we should at least get a day to revel in our victory against the Nuggets.
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- JazzHater said: Boo. I hope they lose at the buzzer tonight. Sin...
- admin said: lol, well since you made fun of yourself there you...
- JazzHater said: No life, I guess...just like a Jazz fan....
- admin said: For someone who seems to hate the Jazz so much you...
- JazzHater said: I love it! What a great post. Sure shows the ugly ...
- JazzHater said: Awful. That's better....