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Doug Robinson: Utah Jazz have come full circle — in a very bad way

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  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    April 28, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    Who didn't think this year was going to be a painful one? As dhsalum says, the best option was to let Al and Paul go, let the young guys play, take your lumps, and hope for an A+ draft. Frankly, I think this year went pretty well considering. The Jazz were bad but not embarassingly, historically bad. They'll still get one of the first picks in a (supposedly) great draft, plus another later in the first round.

    What some of you are missing is this: Al and Paul are not "bad" players. They are very good players, and would've been the best Jazz players this year. I'm sure Atlanta and Charlotte are happy to have them. But, they aren't viable options as first or second bananas on championship-calibre teams. If the goal is to build a contender, letting them walk was the only reasonable choice.

    Sometimes letting your best guy go is the best option. I'm in St. Louis. As great as Pujols was for a long time, very few people here regret that the Cardinals didn't outbid the Angels for his services.

  • Ezoangelofdeath South Ogden, UT
    April 26, 2014 4:36 a.m.

    I saw something I was excited about this year, and for some odd reason, few people see it with me, I saw the rising of a player that looks like if put in the role could be that "STAR PLAYER" or that "GO TO GUY" I saw a man named Alec Burks strap it on, and go on a frenzy, never btchng about not starting, never complaining about anything, doing what he was asked to do, while being looked over the entire time, I saw nothing!!! special about Gordon Heyward, when put up to the amount of hype the SLC media seems to love to give him, and I also saw a monster, who could actually run, but really only needs to stand there and stick his arms in the air, to sway the direction of a game,incredibly raw, and needed as much NBA time as he could get, to learn the speed of a game, and get a feel for it, experience in games that don't mean anything, well he had that chance, but the coach never gave it him, Why didn't we just keep Jefferson and Milsap?

  • COOL HAND LUKE Watching, UT
    April 25, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    @Jim1027,
    Seriously? C'mon man, you sound as if we were the Celtics/Lakers of the 70-80-90's winning championships. The Jazz are the only game in town, and I've watched every game, good bad or ugly, for the last 30 years. This change / rebuild takes time, sometimes you get lucky with a few gems, sometimes not. We got lucky with John and Karl for 20 years, and almost got it done, but ran into Jordan's Bulls, and that was that. What with the new CBA and raised luxury tax ceiling, it will make it harder for small market teams to compete. Thus the draft, best way to grab a potential star.... the hard part in Utah is holding on to them. There are a lot of moving parts that are difficult to fit together for the Jazz to be a playoff bound team-Championship team. Patience is needed in great quantity.

  • Cap'n Parrotdead Onalaska, WA
    April 24, 2014 3:50 p.m.

    Funny how I see so many negative fan comments but as soon as a writer says what fans have been saying, those same fans flip out.

    I think Doug is mostly right but I also think that with the right coaching, these young guys will blossom. I love Corbin and I hate to see him go but it was time. If we'd finished as strong as we played mid-season and we'd seen some real growth out of the young core, Corbin would still be here.

  • AltaHawkFan Sandy, UT
    April 23, 2014 11:38 p.m.

    @Rational

    You're not being very .. well, rational. Dennis Lindsey stated before the season started that this year was about Development, Defense, and Discipline. Corbin knew what the objectives were.

    He didn't develop the young guys by playing a 33 year old Richard Jefferson (who won't be back with the team) over 2000 min. He obviously failed at developing a strong defensive team if we finished ranked 30th out of 30 teams. It's frankly shocking that the Jazz would slip to 30th after being 21st in defense last year with supposedly poor defensive players on the team.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2014 8:58 p.m.

    @AltaHawkFan

    If Corbin wasn't following their directions, the Jazz could've fired him at any time. First game, 81st game. Even so, you can't tell people to do something and not reward them for it. If they wanted him to follow directions -- and I reject the premise that he didn't -- then they should've given him another year on his contract. Swallowing an extra year would've been smarter than this Satyr of a season, in for which management is making Corbin the goat.

  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    April 23, 2014 7:05 p.m.

    "It's the end of the Jazz as we know them, I feel fine."

  • nhatch82 Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 23, 2014 5:34 p.m.

    WHAT WAS THAT?

    exactly what teh front office was trying to do except they won 2 or 3 more games than they were hoping. hopefully we move up in the lottery so we could land a Wiggins or Jabari. This was the goal from the beginning. Why even write this article Doug? Were you thinking they going to be better? they were picked as the bottom 3-4 teams from the beginning. We got what we thought we would. I would take the #4 pick in the draft over the #14 pick any day. we lived through a tough six months and now hopefully this bad year pays off.

  • Vishai West VAlley City, UT
    April 23, 2014 5:06 p.m.

    Tyrone Corbin was not fired. He didn't get another contract. The two things are not synonymous.

    Management indicated he'd be judged based on defense, and so it was. Last place in any circumstance should net coaching change. Especially when that is the one thing that ought to have been his priority based what he was told preseason.

    Corbin should have been made the interim coach when Sloan & Jackson quit mid-season, There is a reason every other organization does just that. The interim status would have allowed us to interview him, along with myriad other coaches. Found their guy, instead they gave Corbin a contract, and they honored it.

    Corbin made some of the oddest coaching decisions ever. He keyed on vets too much, too often given the vets we had at the time. The offense consisted solely of dropping the ball down to Jefferson and waiting on him finally shoot. It was boring, it was unbalanced. He is not a good coach, or at least he is not a good development coach. That is what we need. With the draft pick we need that more than last year! Solid non extend! Good work!

  • TerryHaimes Sturgis, MS
    April 23, 2014 4:46 p.m.

    I like the article. I still say this team can win. all they need is a coach

  • AltaHawkFan Sandy, UT
    April 23, 2014 3:49 p.m.

    @Rational

    You're not correct. Jazz management did give Corbin those goals, and Corbin chose not to follow their direction. That is why Corbin is now looking for a job.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2014 3:15 p.m.

    I misspoke. Losing the last game the Jazz would still have picked 4th, but would've had more lottery balls.

    The thing is, the season was WASTED -- as have been the last 3 under Corbin;

    1- He didn't play the youngsters until he absolutely had to (this year, when he should've been playing them the last 3), and then still didn't play several of them.

    2- The team didn't develop defensively, individual or collectively.

    3- The team didn't even lose well enough to win a better spot in the lottery -- as they might have if they'd done 1.

    1 and 3 are on mamagemt. If they would've given Ty clear goals (1 and 2), and some job security, then maybe he would've accomplished all 3. Otherwise, he wasn't coaching for the Jazz, he was in it for himself and auditioning for his next job and trying to win games. Can't blame a competitor for that, when Managememt didn't give him any other direction.

  • dhsalum Saint George, UT
    April 23, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    And guys like Kobe(13th) Dirk(10th) and Pierce(9th) are the exception, not the rule. And those teams did not contend for a long until other stars were added as free agents or trades that the player specifically approved (Gasol, Garnett and Ray Allen). Even if you like Corbin and don't like Favors and Hayward, etc. keeping Millsap and Big Al to float in meciocrity was not the answer. The Jazz tried that and it didn't work.

  • SpokaneUte Spokane Valley, WA
    April 23, 2014 2:57 p.m.

    I would add that coaching and the system a coach brings is everything. How many Jazz players struggled with Jerry Sloan and went elsewhere and flourished. Deron Williams himself has said he did much better in Sloan's system than what he does now. I hope the Jazz can find someone who can utilize the strengths of the players they have - a coach can, and should unify be able to a team, as another commenter noted.

  • Jim1027 St. George, UT
    April 23, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    The team was virtually un-watchable, even on tv. Perhaps the Millers can work out a deal where tv viewers would get a credit on their cable bill every time they watched?

  • dhsalum Saint George, UT
    April 23, 2014 2:54 p.m.

    @Jazz Source

    I've given up on Brahmabull et al who don't understand that paying Millsap and Big Al $25 million per year to almost make the playoffs is the worst option as an NBA fan (maybe second worst behind the team being sold and moved).

    Small market teams (and especially the Jazz) HAVE TO build through the draft. And you can't build a contender picking in the 12-16 range even if you pick the best option at that spot every single year. Not every draft has superstars and some really good players are selected outside the lottery. But, in general, there are very few stars outside the top 3-4 picks. Look at the serious contenders of the last couple years--Obviously the Heat with LeBron and Spurs with Duncan both 1st overall. Thunder were built completely on top 5 picks. Durant(2nd), Westbrook(4th) and everything they got in return for Harden(3rd) and Jeff Green(5th). They key is getting the one or two stars then adding Parker, Splitter and Leonard or Ibaka (picked earlier I know but took 4-5 years to develop), Reggie Jackson and Steven Adams.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    April 23, 2014 2:50 p.m.

    Jazz Source

    No, you are wrong. Millsap has excelled despite the hawks being without Al Horford. The bobcats went from cellar dwellers to playoff team. It isn't coincidence. Al Jefferson isn't the best defender, but do you think Faviors and Kanter are? Exactly. Al Jefferson at least had something to offer on offense. They are good players, and had they had a decent supporting cast they would have been very good - but they didn't.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    April 23, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    Everyone, including the author of this article as I recall, wanted the Jazz to "play the young players." Good news is that the young players got a lot better with those extended minutes. Bad news is that they lost a lot of games doing it. The consolation prize is the Jazz are in a position to get a potential franchise player through the draft, and they still have other assets to acquire the veterans needed to make a contending team.

    Ty will make a great Head Coach one day, but this just wasn't his time. Putting the third ranking coach in charge of the team less than 24 hours after the top two coaches quit was ill-advised and it showed. If Ty can learn to create a defensive culture, he'll be great. That is the biggest thing that has been lacking and getting worse during his tenure. Ultimately that is why the team underperformed not just this year, but throughout Ty's time as the Head Coach.

    I think Dennis is making the right moves and has the confidence of Jazz ownership.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    Wait. The whole starting five are high draft picks and the reason to lose was another high draft pick? Something is wrong here. There is still a story to be told. Hayward doesn't sign an extension was the first clue. Another season like the last one and they will have to reduce ticket prices even further. SOMEONE has to step up or they need to shuffle the deck. Did anyone doubt that Hornacek would be a head coach in the NBA? This group has always been slow to pull the trigger. In some cases that trait worked out but lately it has been just the opposite.

  • dhsalum Saint George, UT
    April 23, 2014 2:19 p.m.

    @ttysn The Jazz didn't pass on Lillard. He was picked 5th and the Jazz picked.... 47th. Their first rounder went to Minny for Al Jefferson and the Warriors tanked the last two months to keep their pick. They had no chance to take Lillard.

  • Jazz Source Alpine, UT
    April 23, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    @BrahmaBull and Bossk

    I'm sorry but if you guys can't see the obvious...I don't know what else to say other than you are wrong.

    Millsap? His new team finishes the season 6 games under .500... a losing record and that is with the supposed best 3 point shooter in the league on his team. You know what they say about players putting up stats on LOSING teams. Its irrelevant.

    Jefferson? Career defensive doormat. Also a very weak team that barely scraped at .500.

    Both exactly what they delivered here last season except they missed the playoffs.

    Mo Williams? He is not even talented enough to start ahead of a 2nd year player.

    These guys are role players and NOT stars. Sure you put role players on bad teams and they suddenly look better. Atlanta w losing record in a very weak E conference proves that.

    Very myopic analysis.

    Those supporting Ty? Seriously? The worst defense in the league and showed no improvement. Forget W/L just show some progress through season but his team didn't.

    Lindsey is making the proper moves so far. I am tired of the previous mediocrity.

  • AltaHawkFan Sandy, UT
    April 23, 2014 1:34 p.m.

    re: Andy You don't look very smart making that argument. Jefferson and Millsap were not the problem. The Jazz guards were among the worst in the league last year.

    It was the right move to let Corbin go. While he was given a young, inexperienced team, there were no expectations set on how much he had to win. His job this year was just to develop the young players and to establish a good defensive team. He failed on both counts. The Jazz finished 30th out of 30 teams on defense. (The Jazz were 21st last year.) That is why he was let go.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    The Jazz will pick 4th -- or worse. Lose the last game and they'd have picked as high as 3rd, and landed a sure difference maker. They couldn't even lose right.

  • ttysn Layton, UT
    April 23, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    It doesn't matter who the coach is, the Jazz can and will only be so good with the players they have and continue to bring in. I think something that Utah-in all of its ignorance, needs to understand that the Utah Jazz is a marginal basketball team. The ONLY way to build a legitimate contender is to have elite players. Unfortunately, no star player wants to play here. The one that I know for sure would have loved to play here (Lillard), they passed on. The ones they've had, they let go of. So, if that's how the organization is going to operate, then they (and fans) shouldn't have goals and expectations they can't meet. A realistic goal would be making the playoffs. Even that requires above average players. I guess my point is it that coaches are too often the scapegoat. The issue is the players and the people who sign them.

  • write4u2 Altamonte Springs, FL
    April 23, 2014 12:50 p.m.

    Doug is right that Corbin had a tough row to hoe, but he is dead wrong in that Corbin hoed it with any competence. His tenure has been fraught with one mistake after another: poor rotations, misuse of players, lack of in-game development for the young guys, and inability to motivate or provide leadership. C'mon, Doug, were you watching the same team I was?

  • adelman provo, UT
    April 23, 2014 12:46 p.m.

    And for those that say Ty was set up to fail, you maybe have an argument for this year. But what about last year, when we had the amazing players Millsap, Jefferson and Mo Williams? That's right, he failed to make the playoffs. Corbin's fate was sealed before the season started, and the only reason they kept him was because they knew they were already going to be terrible and didn't want to have the reputation of firing a coach.

    BTW, Corbin was NOT fired, he just wasn't renewed. There is a distinction, and it's kind of a big one. Probably should have made that clear in the article.

  • adelman provo, UT
    April 23, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    I came on here expecting to see outrage at this article, and am frankly baffled by most of the responses so far. Have you guys not paid ANY attention to the Jazz the last couple of years? It was obvious that we weren't going to be good this year---and that's what we wanted. The season was hugely successful because we are in the position to grab a true difference maker. Let's not forget that OKC was terrible not too long ago, but they did the same thing the Jazz just did: got rid of everybody who wasn't a part of the future and suffered through some terrible seasons. It's the only way to be successful as a small market team in the NBA. You have to have a great player, and Jefferson and Millsap we're not great.

  • Greenhead Gunnison, UT
    April 23, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    Doug's glass is half empty. You can't look at the success that former Jazz players are having in the Eastern Conference. If the Jazz teams lead by Jefferson and Milsap were in the Eastern Conference, we would have been payoff regulars. But that isn't the case out west.

    I do agree with Doug that Ty was set up to fail. It is not his fault we had such a rough season. But that doesn't mean that he is the right guy to take us to the next level.

  • Bossk Sandy, UT
    April 23, 2014 12:16 p.m.

    Yes, I think the blame lies squarely on Lindsey's shoulders. He let go of two veteran big men (one hard worker and one who couldn't spell defense) who were never going to lead us beyond the first round. Terrible move! He let Mo Williams walk after an absolutely "stellar" season. Horrible move! He traded up in the draft for a point guard that most people rated as the best PG in the draft. What a shortsighted thing to do! And of course no one in the league had to deal with a tough coaching situation and still came out on top (other than, say, Jeff Hornacek).

    I am tired of all of these stories and comments that paint Ty Corbin as a sacrificial lamb. Yes, he had a tough job. But he's has a "tough job" every year for four years. Lack of unity? That falls squarely on the coach. Lack of defense? Coach. Nonsensical rotations so much of the time? Coach as well. And spending 4,000 minutes of precious development time on Jefferson and Williams and not starting the future four together until the 79th game? Coach's responsibility. Ty tried, but he failed.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    April 23, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    Andy

    Are you not aware that Jefferson has led the bobcats to the playoffs, and Millsap has done the same for the hawks, despite the injury to Horford. Those 2 guys are excellent players. It wasn't them that was the weak link for the jazz, it was their surrounding cast.

  • jamsenior SANTAQUIN, UT
    April 23, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    I think Doug hit a home run with his article! The blame for the Jazz season lies squarely on Dennis Lindsey! Every one knew last year that Ty was the sacrificial lamb but no one said it out loud. Ty didn't cause he's a loyal honorable man! Lindsey kept him around to satisfy the Miller family. You guys calling Ty incapable are the same guys or sons of the same guys who wanted Jerry fired for the first 10 years of his stay. That's why he lived out of a suitcase the first five years as coach. Show me a young coach who had to deal with the type of weird seasons and succeeded!!!

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    April 23, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    Hey Doug,
    The sky isn't falling. That full circle you are referring to includes a couple of trips to the finals and a lot of great seasons. The jazz brass are going about rebuilding the team. They said this before the year began. Slow news day?

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    April 23, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    I think the players have talent, but they don't play as a team; they are not unified. If these young players can forget about minutes and personal statistics (can I mention their paycheck?) and focus on being a team contributor, their success will become more evident. They've shown in a few games this year they can do it. But the consistency is missing. It's execution every possession on offense & defense the entire game. Everyone needs to be an active participant - just like the 1980 US Olympic Men's Hockey team. They were young and inexperienced, but they learned to be a team and they were disciplined.

  • Andy Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 23, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    Lame.

    This article is nothing. Particularly Jefferson or even Millsap are fool's gold. Neither could deliver in the Western Conference. Both made the playoffs in the east - with .500 or under records - on terrible teams. The Jazz were condemned to the same fate if they rode those horses. They had the guts to cut bait instead of keep fishing. Good for them.

    Of course Mr. Robinson knows this, but he has to write about something.