This is a wasted year, and a wasted playoffs. What can you learn from the
bench? NOTHING.Too little PT for Favors, Kanter, Burkes. "We
played the veterans to make the playoffs" you say? What's to say the
Jazz wouldn't have made it while playing the young guys more?What we DO know for sure is this: No team will EVER win a championship with
Jefferson and Harris as their best players, and no team will ever win a
championship with Millsap as one of its two best players, probably not even with
him as their third best. Millsap is a very fine player, but if he were on the
Celtics it wouldn't be "the big Four," if he were on the Lakers
he'd be fourth best at best, same with the Heat. If he were in Chicago or
OKC, he wouldn't be the third best.So if the Jazz ever want to
win it all, they HAVE to have better top-two or top-three players, and that will
only come one of two ways: trade for better players, or actually DEVELOP the
players they draft.
One of the lessons the Jazz might have learned is that the team's overall
defensive philosophy of taking away the close-in baskets by clogging the paint
is a good one. Not that they have done it -- but they have watched San Antonio
do it. The Spurs have showed how to defend in the paint, push guys off their
spots, clog the passing lanes, etc. This is what the Jazz say they want to do.
And how has that gone? But now they've seen up close and personal how well
it works when it's done right . . . .
One more game and then the Jazz have some evaluating to do. The evaluation will
center around Jefferson and Harris. One game does not set the tone for next
season. Favors is an up and coming star. The clock is already ticking on him.
This is year two of five. For Jefferson and Harris, this will be the final year
on their contracts as with Millsap. Again, there should be some soul searching
on the direction of this team. It is obvious that the way things are is not good
enough. Is Jefferson worth his 14 million and is Harris worth his 9.4? Those
are key questions which probably will be allowed to fester till the end of next
year when it won't matter.