Kirilenko plays best game of the season

Hornacek credited for big improvement in shooting prowess

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  • James
    Jan. 27, 2008 11:07 a.m.

    Keeping AK is going to be one of the best O'Conner moves (or non moves) that will lead to a great WCF, maybe Finals Jazz team.

    AK brings a array of talents that cannnot be duplicated. His defense, especially help defense, his passing and his team play can be replaced. If he continues to shoot, the Jazz can exceed last yr's record, even after their slump.

    AK's biggest problem last yr, is taking a back seat to DWill and Booze, which has to hurt after he was the main player, post Stock/Malone. Anyone who saw the games last yr, could see DWill (for whatever reason) overlook him on offense many, many times.

    I am sure writers will harp at his 2006-20074 shooting, but a player needs to get touches to be a factor with passing or shooting. And DWill was not utilizing AK.

    If Sloan is to be criticized (or praised) for dealing with Andrei, He should also be commended for convincing DWill to include him more in the offense.

  • Moto X
    Jan. 27, 2008 8:48 a.m.

    Remember AK was the ONLY one that Sloan had to adjust his behavior for. All the other players were not pouting. Sloan made the adjustment and it worked. I am not saying all credit goes to Sloan but he nonetheless made the change.

  • Ing
    Jan. 27, 2008 12:20 a.m.

    All you Sloan haters are way off track.
    Look at Sloan's record. Look where he's been--the finals twice, 18 straight years in the playoffs, and back into the playoffs again last year. Look at where he took the team in the playoffs last year, when none of the experts expected them to beat Houston, much less Golden State.

    As others here have said, if the team does what he asks and just plays his system, they'll win. Doesn't matter if you don't think it's exciting enough. It's perfect for his players...assuming they bother to play it.

    If the Jazz are doing well right now, it's because the players finally got over themselves and started doing what he's asking them to do. You don't have to be smart to play basketball--plenty of players have proven that idiots can thrive on the court--but not just anybody can coach.

    A championship isn't out of reach for this group--if only they play right.

    Sloan-haters, please find something else to talk about. Sloan isn't perfect, sure...but he's still one of the best there's ever been. If you think the Jazz can just eenie-meenie-miney-mo their way into someone better, you're up in the night.

  • sam
    Jan. 26, 2008 10:54 p.m.

    Thanks Larry for telling Sloan that he must
    try to get along with the best player on the Utah
    Jazz team. Sloan is such an arrogant man, I cant
    wait until we as Jazz fans get a new positive and
    younger coach. Its time, I used to go to a lot of Jazz games now I do not attend as many. I am sick
    of Jerrys bad choice of words and his demeanor.Go Ak
    I love to watch you play.Hornacek would be a good fit
    but does he have any coaching background?

  • Derek
    Jan. 26, 2008 3:58 p.m.

    Sloan is an all-around, great coach. Yeah, he does certain "things" innefectively, but when the guys are following his overall tactics, the Jazz are unbeatable. Hire Hornacek as a full-time coach, and we will be NBA champs, right? Maybe.

  • Ol'pro
    Jan. 26, 2008 2:26 p.m.

    That's well said ; @RE: Moto X ,@ ID Jazz & asdf !

  • asdf
    Jan. 26, 2008 2:10 p.m.

    Moto X, what are you smoking?

    If anything, Sloan should be ridiculed more for poor job he did with AK last season. The AK slump last year was totally unnecessary. If Sloan was any smarter and utilized AK properly, Spurs series might not have ended up 4-1.

  • ID Jazz
    Jan. 26, 2008 1:55 p.m.

    RE:Moto X @ 12:31
    You beat me to the punch but to add to what you said. Is it not also silly that you have a head coach and how many assistant coaches that were, and are not capable of doing what Hornacek has done for AK? Makes you wonder if Hornacek was part of the coaching staff full time what confidence he could instill on the whole team. Don't get me wrong here I think Sloan is a great coach but he is just unwilling to self evaluate what works and what does not work and try to change what is not working. Just once I would like to see him adapt to what is happening with players and game situations instead of sticking to the same things he has done since he became a coach.

  • Naha Yazzie
    Jan. 26, 2008 1:30 p.m.

    I salute you Mr Sloan as one who is showing an ability to adapt and help a player achieve closer to his potential. This is a part of what coaching is about; working with the players brings team success. An outstanding coach has outstanding "people skills" that empowers,lifts, and enables the players. While you don't do the work on the floor, you certainly have major impact on what the players do while performing on the court. Again I salute you. Your 'old school' style is taking on some freshness; maybe things will keep improving. Twenty years is a long time. To me, you are earning additional time, day by day. Just don't relax and stay in your old school set.

  • RE:Moto X
    Jan. 26, 2008 12:31 p.m.

    Credit Sloan for AK late shooting success?
    Please, be advised that Sloan took a DIRECT ORDER from LHM to harmoniously work with AK.
    Sloan knew what he had in AK, and what did he do? he almost ruined AK career with his old dictatorial antics. It took LHM with KOC as witness, at the season begining to summon Sloan to adjust his old school antics and accommodate AK's talents. So if there is another person to credit, beside Hornacek, it's LHM and not Sloan.

  • JCH
    Jan. 26, 2008 11:14 a.m.

    The obligatory "fire Sloan" comment comes at 1:28am, barely three hours after the game has ended. Well done, Dean.

  • ijazzfan4
    Jan. 26, 2008 10:40 a.m.

    ditto- welcome back AK-47! keep it up!

  • Moto X
    Jan. 26, 2008 10:17 a.m.

    Sloan modified the offense for AK to give him more touches. He has also changed the way he communicates with AK. Of course he gets no credit for doing any of that. Yet these problems were the EXACT reasons AK HIMSELF listed as why he was playing/shooting poorly? Hmmm.

    So Sloan got the blame when things went bad and he changed those issues and yet when things get better Hornacek gets the credit? Did Hornacek change Sloans behavior? I don't think so.

    AK could shoot the ball two years ago I will remind you. Hornacek helped AK regain some of his confidence he used to have but Sloan is the one who has accommodated AK's wishes for touches and how he gets talked to--he deserves a fair amount of the credit.

    I am sure it will be excruciating for all you Sloan haters to acknowledge the obvious correlation.

  • Henry Drummond
    Jan. 26, 2008 9:38 a.m.

    I was going to suggest Jeff for Coach of the Year but it looks like "mc" beat me to it. AK certainly is shooting with more confidence. I think Carlos owes some of those points he got last night to AK.

    Andre isn't a guy that can be left unguarded on the perimeter or anywhere else anymore. He certainly shows he can shoot even when he is facing an aggressive defense. I noticed he had a bruise on his right eye, no doubt a memento from Ron Artest. He hit the free throws with confidence too. And he was great on defense as always.

    Great job AK!

  • Chizat
    Jan. 26, 2008 9:25 a.m.

    "Best Game of the Season"

    Nov. 30 vs L.A. was Andrei's best game of the season.

    Last night was a great game, no doubt, but not his best.

    Scoring isn't the most important thing for Andrei to do.

  • Odogtriever
    Jan. 26, 2008 8:56 a.m.

    Go Ak!! If he has games like that on the road, how can they lose. Lets just hope the scouting report continues to say let AK shoot the long ball and he will have an easy open shot every night.

  • Jazzaholic
    Jan. 26, 2008 8:14 a.m.

    The Amazing Andrei performs his magic act once again.

  • AK 47 (assult weapon)
    Jan. 26, 2008 8:04 a.m.

    Better not trade him now. He's the best passer on the team. He is a rare talent.

  • Yearly Exception
    Jan. 26, 2008 7:32 a.m.

    With his confidence up, and him looking like a superstar, lets hope he doesn't use his once a year exception given to him by Masha on the Jazz fans and secretly push for a trade before the trade deadline.

  • You go!
    Jan. 26, 2008 5:29 a.m.

    Hey AK-47, that was VERY mature of you to say that. You've got my respect back. I hope you still got game in you to keep going with the Jazz! GO ASK-47!!

  • Dean
    Jan. 26, 2008 1:28 a.m.

    Please Kevin Don't trade A.K., If someone has to go let it be Sloan but not A.K.

    He is the best passer and defender on our team, and since Hornaceck got a hold of him he has been one of the better shooters. A.K. has been very uselfish this season and has definitely done his part to make things right.

  • mc
    Jan. 26, 2008 1:25 a.m.

    Hornacek for Coach of the Year or at least Unofficial Coach of the year! What a turnaround in Andrei's shooting! I no longer cringe when he shoots. In fact, I encourage him to take those 3 pointers. I'd be interested to see his 3 point percentage for the last month. It's got to be pretty high.

  • Steve
    Jan. 26, 2008 12:55 a.m.

    "Thank you, Jeff Hornacek. I'll keep shooting," Kirilenko said about his part-time shooting coach.

    Oh, the wonders of having confidence in your shot. Go AK47, Goooo!!