Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The emergence of Wes Matthews and Eric Maynor

Nobody could have expected Wes Matthews and Eric Maynor to contribute like they have so far this season. Here are a few reasons why:

-We all know Sloan has a tendency to not play rookies. He will sometimes, but it is extremely rare.

-Matthews was undrafted, and doesn't have a guaranteed contract.

-Maynor was going to be the 3rd string point guard. 3rd string point guard on a team with D-Will as the starter = garbage time only.

-Matthews was behind Kirilenko, Brewer, Miles, and Korver on the depth chart.

-Maynor seemed too small and scrawny to play in the NBA.

But here they are, being huge contributors to the Jazz this season. Matthews is rated as the Jazz #1 defender, and Maynor is playing like the best backup point guard we've had in a while.

CJ Miles will return this Friday, and Kyle Korver should be back soon as well. The team should be at full strength in a week or two.

So all of a sudden the Jazz have a ton of guys who can flat out play. You've got a starting 5 of Okur/Boozer/Brewer/Matthews/Williams with backups being Millsap/Kirilenko/Korver/Miles/Maynor/Fesenko/Price. That is a deep team, and it's going to be tough to keep everyone satisfied with the minutes they are getting.

Thanks to the added depth that the two new rookies give, if the Jazz were to make a trade, they have a few chips to deal with. The expiring contract of Matt Harpring's corpse is an attractive piece. Korver's contract is coming off the books.

Even if they don't make a trade, these two guys have probably altered what the Jazz will do next offseason. If Matthews keeps it up, he's made some of the Jazz wing players expendable. With a young, cheap, talented, solid all-around player like Matthews around, perhaps the Jazz won't be as inclined to re-sign Brewer or Korver this offseason.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Jazz win in San Antonio!

The Jazz beat the Spurs on the road for the first time since 1999!

And it's all Carlos Boozer's fault. I really wonder how many Jazz fans still want to trade Boozer asap...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A successful road trip

One might look at the road trip the Jazz just wrapped up and see the 2-2 record and the blowout loss to the Celtics and think it wasn't a very good trip. I would disagree strongly. Here are some reasons why:

-Jazz finally win in Madison Square Garden. The victory over the Knicks was +2 for us because it kept the Knicks in the bottom 3 teams in the NBA. I'm really liking our lottery chances with the Knicks pick this year.

-Jazz win in Philadelphia was the best overall game of the season so far. The team really played well together, even without Deron Williams. There was no selfishness.

-Jazz almost come back and beat the Cavs. If AK hadn't shot a boneheaded 3 pointer, they might have pulled it off.

-The last two games showed us that Eric Maynor and Wes Matthews are for real and belong in the Jazz rotation.

-Eric Maynor was just fantastic, I can't get over how good he was. LeBron even came up and game him some compliments after the game was over.

-Boozer seems to have regained his old form. He's making fans wonder why they wanted to get rid of him.

-When Korver and Miles come back, the Jazz bench will be very deep with Millsap, Korver, Kirilenko, Maynor, Matthews, Price, and Fesenko. The Jazz will have 12 guys who can contribute, and I'm sure Koufos will be a solid center as he matures.

Overall the Jazz regained a lot of confidence and learned new things about themselves this trip. Boston's dominant victory over the Jazz caused the players to want to play more like the Celtics do - as a team, with nobody caring who gets all the credit. With the Jazz poor record on the road as of late, we can't complain too much about a .500 trip. They have restored my faith that they will have a successful season. They just need to finish ironing out the bumps. They don't need to make a trade, they will be fine especially when Korver and Miles return.

Friday, October 30, 2009

No contract extension for Brewer

-Brewer didn't sign an extension so he will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. I'm sure the Jazz want him back, but I'm also sure they are thinking of getting a big star in the next draft with the Knicks pick. While they should take the best player available, I think there is a good chance that player will play at Brewer's position. It doesn't make sense to sign Brewer to a semi-large contract only to block a superstar. I hope Brewer comes back, but I can't blame the Jazz for playing the waiting game. That's my take on it at least.

-The biggest thing I noticed from the opening night loss was that it was exactly the same as most of our road losses from the year before. We play good, even lead after 3 quarters, then Deron sits at the start of the 4th quarter and the other team goes on a huge run and never looks back. Clearly this is part of opposing team's strategies. I think Sloan should rest Deron more in the 1st half and let Deron play the whole 4th quarter. Or at least change something up in his strict rotations.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Beatles play some Jazz

Deron Williams - It Won't Be Long. Until Williams is an all-star.
Carlos Boozer - The End. Will Boozer's play this season change people's feelings about him leaving?
Memo Okur - Money. The Money man is back.
Andrei Kirilenko - Here, There, and Everywhere. what Jazz opponents will be thinking about Kirilenko's play.
Ronnie Brewer - You Never Give Me Your Money. Will the Jazz extend Brewer's contract or let him become a restricted free agent?
Paul Millsap - Don't Let Me Down. what Jazz management is thinking after making Millsap the PF of the future.
Kyle Korver - Doctor Robert. Korver can't be happy with his doctor after waiting so long to get surgery.
CJ Miles - I'm Down. Miles can't be feeling to happy, he seemed poised to have a breakout season and then comes the injury.
Eric Maynor - We Can Work It Out. What Deron will be saying to Maynor to build some muscle on the skinny man.
Wes Matthews - Not A Second Time. Will Wes be good enough to last till next season?
Matt Harpring - Nowhere Man. Won't be seeing much of Harpring this year.
Ronnie Price - Don't Pass Me By. is what Price is thinking about Maynor in regards to the PG depth chart.
Kosta Koufos - Boys. The youngest Jazz player.
Kyrylo Fesenko - Getting Better. will people finally be able to say this about Fesenko?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2009 NBA predictions

Final Standings

Eastern Conference
Boston Celtics
Philadelphia Sixers
New Jersey Nets
Toronto Raptors
New York Knicks

Cleveland Cavs
Chicago Bulls
Detroit Pistons
Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers

Orlando Magic
Atlanta Hawks
Washington Wizards
Miami Heat
Charlotte Bobcats

Western Conference
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Clippers
Phoenix Suns
Golden State Warriors
Sacramento Kings

San Antonio Spurs
Dallas Mavericks
New Orleans Hornets
Houston Rockets
Memphis Grizzlies

Utah Jazz
Denver Nuggets
Portland Trail Blazers
Oklahoma City Thunder
Minnesota Timberwolves

West Playoffs
(1)Lakers over (8)Clippers
(4)Nuggets over (5)Mavs
(6)Blazers over (3) Spurs
(2)Jazz over (7)Hornets

Lakers over Nuggets
Jazz over Blazers
Western Finals
Jazz over Lakers
NBA Finals
Jazz over Cavs

MVP: LeBron James
Coach of the Year: Jerry Sloan
PPG: Kevin Durant
APG: Deron Williams
ROY: Johnny Flynn
Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard
Most Declined: Kevin Garnett
Most Improved Team: Washington Wizards

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Why Boozer hasn't been traded yet

Some Jazz fans out there are getting confused as to why Boozer hasn't been traded yet. Let's look at four reasons as to why he is still around:

-Jazz management isn't going to let a player bully them into a deal. What happens if they give in to Boozer's demands and trade him for 30 cents on the dollar? It just leaves the door wide open for another Jazz player in the future who is disgruntled to do the same thing Boozer is doing right now. Utah isn't the most attractive location for an NBA player. SLC is a predominantly white and LDS population, something that the NBA is most definitely not. It can be tough for players here. Matters would be much worse if players and GM's around the league feel like they can shove the franchise around.

-Boozer isn't helping his trade value any by going out and saying he wants to be gone. You lose the upper hand when people think or know you are desperate to get rid of someone, or that someone is desperate to leave.

-None of the rumored potential trades have been ones that the Jazz would accept. The only reason why they would trade Boozer is for an all-star caliber player, or extra salary relief this year. Which leads us to the final and biggest reason.

-It is hard for the Jazz to make a trade that betters the situation that they are already in. It is unlikely they'd get the combo they are getting with Boozer this season: someone who frees up a lot of money at the end of the season, who also happens to give you top 20 production this season. Face it, Boozer has never been so motivated to stay healthy and show his worth. If he's injured again, his value is shot, but if he stays healthy and plays to the level he is capable, then he's likely going to have his best year yet. If Boozer is still a member of the Jazz come training camp, I'm sure he will shut his mouth and go to work so he can get an enormous contract in the offseason, even if it means one more season with the Jazz.