Welcome to Locke's Lounge. Pull up a chair and launch your thoughts. If it is your first time here, please relax and enjoy. Locke's Lounge is a simple place where sports fans come together and contemplate the world of sports. There are no rules, no regulations, just straightforward comments.

Sit back and enjoy. To the Lounge we go . . .- How come whenever Chris Morris plays well everyone's response is "See what Jerry Sloan is preventing him from doing?" rather than the more accurate "See what Chris can do if he plays in the system that has won more than 50 games for eight of the last nineyears."

Nobody has ever doubted Morris has talent, but why should the Jazz change a system based on two Hall of Famers for a guy who has never been the man on any professional team he has ever played on?

Answer the following multiple-choice question: I want the Jazz getting their shots from . . .

a) Karl Malone

b) John Stockton

c) Jeff Hornacek

d) Chris Morris.

- If the playoffs started today, the Seattle SuperSonics would have the No. 1 seed in the West, and that reward would be to play Houston and Hakeem Olajuwon in the first round and the winner of the Spurs and the Suns in the second round. I bet that has Sonics coach George Karl excited.

On the other hand, the Jazz would open against Minnesota without Gugliotta. Maybe going on the road for the conference championship isn't such a bad idea.

- You want the biggest difference between this year's Jazz team and last year's? It's March, and the Jazz still haven't won a game they trailed entering the fourth quarter.

Another major difference is that Antoine Carr's back-to-the-basket game disappeared somewhere. He's still effective with the 15-foot jumper off the pick-and-roll, but where oh where has his low-post game gone?

- Huge win for the Jazz in Houston to start this road trip. Particularly when they trailed by 14 points in the third quarter. This road trip could be the defining moment of this season, no different than last year when they established themselves as the best in the West on this trip.

- Great teams are defined by their superstars, but the success of this trip will fall on Carr, Bryon Russell and Howard Eisley. If two of the three play well the Jazz will win, but if they don't show up the road trip will be a mess.

- How bad is the point-guard situation in Houston? Matt Maloney is so bad. How bad is he? Not only does he get schooled by all of the Western Conference starters, but the back-ups in Utah (Eisley), Los Angeles (Derek Fisher, Lakers), Seattle (Greg Anthony), Phoenix (Steve Nash), and Minnesota (Terry Porter) are all better than Maloney.

- Everyone is searching for the next John Stockton and he's playing in Phoenix - Jason Kidd.

Stockton is a much better shooter, but Kidd is a vastly superior rebounder. The common denominator is that they both have that unequaled desire and knack for finding the ball and the big play. Meanwhile, the next Isiah Thomas may be in Minnesota in Stephon Marbury.

- Time for a new stat: 3-point shooting in the fourth quarter. I want to know what these bombers shoot when they're tired and the game is on the line. I still believe you live by the three for three quarters and die by the three in the fourth.

- Is it true that Holiday Inn is looking to sponsor the US Olympic Hockey team for their next run of hotel renovation ads?

- Speaking of hockey, did anybody notice that the NHL went on a three-week sabbatical? For that matter, how many times did you watch Sportscenter over the past three weeks and say "What a bummer; no hockey highlights tonight."

- Pat Summit, the women's head coach at Tennessee, is on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week. Is there any reason for that, other than that a bunch of sexist men would not listen to her that she couldn't coach in the NBA? She is the most dominating coach in college basketball. I bet she would be better than P.J. Carlesimo.

- Everybody is talking North Carolina and Duke, but the University of Arizona was better than everyone last year and they still are. They have arguably the three best guards in college basketball in Mike Bibby, Mike Dickerson and Miles Simon. Plus, this year they have a post game they didn't have last year. They may simply roll through the NCAA tourney the way UNLV did in their glory.

- Does it worry any Ute fans that Arizona State's No. 1 recruit, Kenny Crandell, was also recruited by Utah and decided to go to a much-less good basketball school in ASU? According to the Arizona Republic, Crandell is also Mormon. Can you explain this one? Could it be that everybody who was recruiting him came out a winner if he went to ASU?

- Only 48 days until the NBA exhibition season ends and only 52 days until the real season starts.

- Take notice of the last three Jazz road games, all wins - Seattle, San Antonio and Houston.

Thanks for coming, hope you enjoyed it and we look forward to having you with us again soon.