Jazz eager to win on road

Utah gets chance tonight in Minnesota

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  • Boozer...
    Feb. 25, 2009 6:55 p.m.

    I'd give anything to trade Boozer for a Delambert, or similar player...I'm not the biggest fan of Kirilenko either. I don't think he's a bad player, but he's overpaid, and although I like the idea of help defense, I've seen him go for the block countless times to get his blocks while he leaves the other team's best 3-point shooter wide open.

    The Jazz are looking better though, we'll see if we can pull it together for the final part of the season.

  • Plus minus
    Feb. 25, 2009 6:25 p.m.

    Here are the plus minus rankings for the Jazz so far.
    15th AK @ 11.0, 29th Millsap @ 8.3, 92nd Korver @ 2.0, 108th Williams @ .6, 124th Okur @ -.3, 170th Miles @ -4.8 and 184th Brewer @ -.6.4.

    I am sure that Williams is playing much better defense now than he was earlier. Korver is a better defender than most people give him credit. I am not sure what is with Brewer but this year is much worse than last year.

    I think the injuries to both DWill and Boozer have altered the sets and the performance at other positions.

  • I think Okur
    Feb. 25, 2009 6:13 p.m.

    may be better this year than last year but I have not found the stats. He and Boozer are a team. They compliment each other. Boozer makes is easier for Okur and vice versa. Okur had to try to carry the team with Boozer out. That is asking a lot of Okur. He has picked up his scoring and he has adapted and added moves with Boozer out. He had no real back up and some nights paced himself, especially if he got 2 quick fouls.

    I think Okur did what he could. Maybe we should be grateful. He was a back up at Detroit. He has done very well for himself at Utah.

    Beyond DWill and Booz the rest of the players are role players (AK is a generalist and maybe an exception). Many of them are very good role players but you are asking a lot if you ask for more than their normal role. In the first half the Jazz asked an awful lot of Okur.

  • Jazz Cop
    Feb. 25, 2009 5:06 p.m.

    Nobody wants to comment on the article?
    There's way more distraction on the road, referees tend to call things the home team way, more often than not, all the noise-I think the biggest distraction on the road is probably all the noise.
    To thine own self be true.
    The noise and everything shouldn't be a distraction, unless it's let made to be one.
    Okur 87 in the league, good thing he shoots lights out, or else he wouldn't even crack the top 200. He's key to the jazz success, when okur puts in a good effort, the whole team feels it. By the way, it's easy to see when he has a good effort or not. He's not a very good defensive player, and when his effort isn't there, because his effort is inconsistent, the jazz really get abused. Most of the other players are pretty consistent with their effort level, they have little ups and downs. CJ would probably be the second most inconsistent, but he's so young, however, what it looks like is he's putting effort into one part and not his whole game.
    Okur, no exuse

  • I think Utah
    Feb. 25, 2009 4:58 p.m.

    will end up a 4th or 5th seed. I think they can beat any team in a 7 game series with the exception of San Antonio or LA. Utah is still missing a piece to put them over the top and it looks like after this season, they will end up missing 2 pieces (when Boozer leaves).

  • magnus
    Feb. 25, 2009 4:19 p.m.

    @ Defensive Performance

    Statistical measures of defense are tricky. For measurements of individual players (or combinations of players) defense I definately think the +/- has alot of merit and prefer that over box score efficiency methods. For team defense though, I think the efficiency methods based on total shooting percentage, pace, turnovers, etc. are a better indicator of where a team as a whole stands relative to other teams.

    A good shot blocker would absolutely help the Jazz defensively, and I would love it if the Jazz had a guy who could do that for them, but if the team defense is good enough, and the offense is unstoppable, then I think they can get it done without one.

  • Defensive performance
    Feb. 25, 2009 3:56 p.m.

    One measure of defensive performance is the net number of points produced by each player minus the net number produced by the player they are guarding while in the game.

    AK ranks 9th in the NBA in net points at 11.5, DWill is 27th at 6.6, Millsap is 40th at 5.1, and Brewer is 56th at 3.5. Okur is 87th at 1.5, Miles is 180th at -4.4 and Korver is 184th at -5.0. This is thru current games for this year.

    Overall the Jazz by this measure have some decent defensive players and a couple of weak spots mainly C and the 3 position when AK is not playing.

    I only found data for the first 200 players so I do not know about the rest of the team. I think Korver really tries to play defense. Miles does sometimes. I think Miles has more ability but usually does not apply it yet.

    Okur will probably never be a great defender. However, his offense on the low block has improved. So maybe his defense will also improve. I will try to find last years numbers to compare.

  • Sloan indicated
    Feb. 25, 2009 3:29 p.m.

    that the Jazz have to play team (help)defense. He did not come right out and say it but the Jazz really do need a big shot blocker.

    They have one in Fez but he is not ready. He fouls a lot, does not have the offensive moves and probably does not know all of the plays. However, he can rebound and sometimes block. K2 at times has done some blocking.

    Sloan could use them but on balance they may not be better options than a good active team defense. Boozer actually is better on defense than many people give him credit for. Korver ranks very high in 3 point defense, which I found very surprising.

  • magnus
    Feb. 25, 2009 2:08 p.m.

    @ Todd

    After a quick look I would say it is going to be a tough task catching Denver unless they continue to slide. 14 of Denvers last 25 games are home games, the Jazz only play 10 of their last 25 games at home. Only 11 of Denvers last 25 opponents are over .500 as opposed to 13 of the last 25 for Utah.

    Even if Utah wins both of the head-to-heads they would still need to make up another game over the rest of the schedule and on the surface that would appear to ba a tall task.

    All of the other teams the Jazz will be fighting for playoff position (Houston/Portland/Phoenix/Dallas/NO) have a similar schedule to the Jazz in terms of difficulty of opponents but none of those teams plays as many road games or back-to-backs as the Jazz.

    @ JJ

    Totally agree. If you use efficincy stats for the offensive and defensive rankings the Jazz have been in the top 10 in both Offense and Defense for most of this season, and are currently ranked between 5-10 for offense and 10-15 for Defense depending on the system.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 25, 2009 2:03 p.m.

    Todd and Magnus sitting in tree.......Lot of love between the two of you.

  • JJ
    Feb. 25, 2009 1:18 p.m.

    Have any of you ever played pick-up ball or intramurals with a big shot blocker on your team? Having someone like that cleans up a lot of mistakes by the other players. You can play more aggressively on D because you have that safety net filling the lane. The Jazz are missing that with their current roster. They may be a decent defensive team if they play with effort every night, but they will never be great with their current personnel.

    On the other hand, they can be great offensively with their personnel. If they are top 5 offensively and even top 15 defensively, they should be able to go far.

  • todd from santa ana
    Feb. 25, 2009 1:07 p.m.

    toddmintz@ymail.com-magnus email me, i need to know where you find all this stuff gee whiz, i was wrong Jefferson is out for the year i have not paid attention to the Wolves, this is huge because he has hurt us. THis should make Carlos life easier and everyone needs to give this guy 4-5 games to get back on track, yeah i have newfound enthusiasm the way this team has played-i would agree depending how far and how high the Jazz finish, depending, i would consider Sloan coach of the year. The key is avoid the Lakers long as possible to do this we need to win this division that would answer all of these scenarios? Go HAwks tonight! Can we make up 3 games on Denver? Magnus or someone maybe you can review Denvers schedule, is it doable? i know we play them twice right? I know we have not gone into the "big easy yet"

  • @Magnus
    Feb. 25, 2009 12:52 p.m.

    I would agree that there are a lot of questions on whether the Jazz will rise to their potential. They are going to have to win on the road. Further, their late March and April schedule is harder than most of the teams in the west.

    SA has injuries. POR is young. I am not sure the PGs at HOU can handle a lot of pressure. DEN has problems at the moment. The west is very volatile. Who gets what seeds depends mainly on injuries. If the Jazz start playing hard defense on the road they might get the number 2 seed. If they don't they might barely make the playoffs.

    It is pretty much up to the Jazz but they now have the depth and versatility to win most games if healthy and even most games if minor players are hurt.

    Sloan can sit players if they do not defend. However, I am not sure that he will.

    Who knows how long it will take for Boozer to get good. At least he rebounds and tries to play defense (steals).

  • magnus
    Feb. 25, 2009 11:52 a.m.

    Y'all should check out that Fuego Caliente, fine sports reporting, and the hottest latina bloggers you have ever seen.

    I say the jurry is out on being a title contender. It will depend on a few things...
    Can they stay healthy?
    Can they win on the road (at a minimum win over half of their remaining road games)?
    Can they play decent team defense with Boozer in the lineup (before Ak went down they were top 10 in efficiency and allowed under 98pts a game)?

    If the answers are all yes then I think you have to include them in the conversation.

    Boston, LA, and Cleveland are no question contenders. Orlando and San Antonio are second tier contenders right now, they are good, but good enough to beat one of the other 3? Maybe.

    Then you have a group of teams that could join SA and Orlando in tier 2 because they have the pieces and talent to be a contender but haven't performed or aren't performing now at that level. I'd put Utah, New Orleans, Houston, Portland, Denver, and maybe Atlanta in that category.

    The 5 game trip in march will show alot.

  • Sokol
    Feb. 25, 2009 10:31 a.m.

    I have part of my stimulus check left over, not doing much...Can I send Millsap my extra 50 bucks
    to keep him in the chips, so he is happy? What is
    the Jazz mailing address?

  • Jazz Fan BOI
    Feb. 25, 2009 9:55 a.m.

    So I was just looking on espn at how much each player makes. It makes me sick the Millsap is the lowest paid player on the Jazz. Lets get him so Money or we'll loose him. It seems Boozer should have some extra money he should be dishing out.

  • Sets up for .500 expectations
    Feb. 25, 2009 9:54 a.m.

    Anything better than that will be a bonus.

  • Malone
    Feb. 25, 2009 9:15 a.m.

    had no heart

  • John Wicks
    Feb. 25, 2009 9:12 a.m.

    All you Sloan haters don't know anything about the game. Had he had any sort of center over the years he would have won at least 3 championships!!

  • Miles
    Feb. 25, 2009 9:07 a.m.

    I think Sloan should spread the minutes more when we have back-to-back sets. We are a deep enough team that he should not play any one player more than 30 minutes the night before another game. I think he could manage the team better knowing he has a game the next night. I know his opinion is they are professionals. I am a realist. Professionals get tired too. Less minutes the first game would equate to more wins the second night.

  • Re: Magnus
    Feb. 25, 2009 9:06 a.m.

    I'm also a Jazz fan but choose to be realistic. They will likely qualify for the playoffs but will once again get eliminated somewhere along the way and it will be try again next year. It's a decent team, above average but they are not championship level. Perhaps in a couple years they might get there if they keep the nucleus of the team together. If Malone would have had half the moxey in him that Stockton had, those guys likely would have won a championship or two. Malone never played well under pressure.

  • SJ
    Feb. 25, 2009 8:47 a.m.

    I see comma man and Houdini haven't jumped on the Jazz bandwagon yet. Hey guys, you had better jump on soon because it's filling up fast if it's not already full.

  • @ Houdini, comma man
    Feb. 25, 2009 8:33 a.m.

    I didn't know they allowed internet access inside padded rooms.

  • Magnus
    Feb. 25, 2009 8:18 a.m.

    According to Fuego Caliente Hoops--The Jazz will climb the ladder into the 5th seed. Boozer will show his allstar form with 20 double doubles down the stretch.

    Rockstar Basketball website has the Jazz winning their division and starting the playoffs at home.

    I love this team.

  • comma man
    Feb. 25, 2009 8:03 a.m.

    miles to the dleague,korver allstar,harpring retirement,

  • Houdini
    Feb. 25, 2009 8:02 a.m.

    trade miles,start korver,fire sloan,sign the ball boy

  • odogtriever
    Feb. 25, 2009 7:02 a.m.

    One game at a time was Stockton and Malones mantra. You do not heat that out of Williams or Boozer at all. They are always concerned about the past and future. Just one game at a time and lets see where the chips fall at the end of the season.

  • todd from santa ana
    Feb. 25, 2009 1:19 a.m.

    I would be elated if they finish 8-7 away. If we can finish 52-30 only 2 games worse than last season, it would be at worst 50-50 change of getting crucial home court although to avoid Lakers, we either have to win this division or finish 6th which I feel is a more realistic goal-6th