Michael Brandy, MichaelBrandy/Deseret Morning N
No thanks to NBC's LOUSY tape-delayed telecasts of the 2010 Vancouver Games, I've got Olympic fever. Go ahead, call me Jacques Rogge, the IOC's Head Dude (yes, that's his official title), because I'm awarding five medals to the Jazz:
Gold medal: In honor of Larry H. Miller
The following is my favorite post Jazz CEO Greg Miller has made since entering the Twitter world: "I miss you Dad. I rode my bike 64 miles in your memory today. Thanks for everything. RIP." The emotional ride and touching tribute happened Saturday — a year to the date (Feb. 20) after the elder Miller passed away at age 64 due to complications from diabetes. Miller is missed by many.
Gold medal: To the newest Jazz member
Mehmet Okur started the week off with a great game at Houston: 21 points, eight rebounds and four blocks in a win. But his best statistics came at the end of the week: a healthy 8-pound, 2-ounce and 21-inch-long baby boy. Officially, the son of Memo and Yeliz will be called Yigit. Daddy Okur, however, proudly told me a couple of weeks ago that his son will be nicknamed "Junior Money."
Silver medal: To reemerged road warriors
Even before traveling to Portland with a 13-12 road mark, the Jazz continued to re-establish themselves away from home (especially with strong finishes in Houston and New Orleans). The last time Utah finished near .500 was in 2006-07, when it went 20-21, won the division and made the conference finals. The Jazz were considered championship contenders when they had winning road records for seven straight seasons from 1994-2001. Now, if they exceed the 1994-95 record road record of 27-14, we'll see about giving their silver a gold lining.
Bronze medal: For the unpopular trade
Who knows what'll come of Memphis' future protected pick? But it didn't look like the Jazz-Ronnie Brewer relationship would last past spring even though both benefited from it. As such, it seemed logical for Utah to acquire an "asset," as GM Kevin O'Connor called it. Brewer excels at slashing and stealing and is a great guy, but remember when Kobe would go order nachos or help teammates play D and concede open shots to Utah's starting shooting guard in the playoffs? If you ask me (and I did) this move shows how highly the Jazz think of Wesley Matthews more than anything. They're also gambling on Kyle Korver and C.J. Miles seizing extra PT. O'Connor: "I think it had to do with everyone else's development. ... This, I think, subtracts a little bit from the team but gives other guys an opportunity for more minutes." An All-Star didn't like it, but the move could help Utah a little in the long run.
Bronze medal: For not just giving Boozer away
Wow. After all the venom and vitriol that's been spewed for a year, the biggest complaints about Jazz management revolved around trading Brewer and not over the fact Utah kept Carlos Boozer? That is an interesting twist. Love or loathe those moves, it seems Jazz brass are trying to keep the best product on the floor for a potentially interesting playoff run even though million$ could've been saved by trading Boozer for luxury-tax relief. Maybe a green medal would be more fitting.
Who's hot: Carlos Boozer
Had his third 30-point game in a month in blowout of Golden State
Who's not: Kosta Koufos
Played only 1 minute in February before Sunday. But he was error-free.
The big stat
32: That's how far the Jazz fell behind the Hawks in Atlanta in December. The 74-42 deficit is the biggest hole Utah has been in this year. The Jazz rallied to only lose by 13. Utah's biggest lead, FYI, was 37 vs. (who else?) the Nets. N.J. did rally to only lose by 33.
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