Saturday, October 29, 2005

Whaley Making an Impression

When you’re a rookie just hoping to get a spot on an NBA team, what better way to ensure your position on the team than trying to punch an opposing player and getting suspended for 2 games, that is if you make the team. Well that’s exactly what second round draft pick Robert Whaley did in the fourth quarter of the exhibition game against the Los Angeles Lakers. I understand about being in the game and having your emotions run free, but Whaley needed to realize that he’s living day to day in this league and doing something like that just shows the team that they can’t count on him. Hopefully this won’t be it for young Whaley, but if I may offer a piece of advice, keep your emotions in check.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Jazz are Tuning Up

Well the preseason has officially begun, and the Jazz have come out 1-1. They won their first game against the Toronto Raptors in overtime, 102-101, but then lost to the Indiana Pacers, 99-92, in Ron Artest’s first game in Indiana since his season long suspension in November of last season. Rookie C.J. Miles looked really good against the Raptors with a team high 14 points, including the 3 pointer with 2.4 seconds left sending the game into overtime. There’s still a lot of sorting out to do, and a lot of players needing to get back into game shape, but the Jazz look like they can make a stir in the Northwest division.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

From Russia With Love

As a Jazz fan it’s been hard to find stuff to be really happy about and look forward to. But the steady improvement of Andrei Kirilenko has really gotten me excited about this upcoming season. He got a little off track last season due to injuries that didn’t allow him to play up to his caliber. But look for Kirilenko this season to make a definite impact, not only on his team but also across the league. This young player definitely has his best years in front of him which is making the upcoming season very exciting for me.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Taking a Page from MLB

The NBA has started up a new program with the NBA Development League. Players that are in their first or second season in the NBA can be sent down to the minors. There are some differences between the NBA and MLB (Major League Baseball) minor programs, in the NBA no more than 2 players affiliated with one team can be in the minors, and they can only be sent down three times. But in the case of rookie C.J. Miles, 18-year-old high school graduate picked by the Jazz, this could be a blessing in disguise. It was not seen that Miles would be getting much playing time this season with Devin Brown and Gordan Giricek ahead of him in the depth chart. So if Miles goes down to the minors he can get valuable playing time in, instead of sitting on the bench.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Adding Another Piece to the Puzzle

The Jazz have added the shooting guard that they have needed, and it really looks like they are going to have a promising upcoming season. Devin Brown was signed on Wednesday. Brown has spent the last two seasons playing for the Spurs, which will help bring a winning attitude to this rebuilding team. Adding a player that knows how hard to work to win will teach the other young players what they need to do to get back to the playoffs. This will be Brown’s chance to shine, he’s always been a bench player, but he’s been told that he has a chance to start this season for the Jazz. The Jazz are definitely a team to look at this season to see how these young players progress.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Around the Corner

The Utah Jazz has a lot of work cut out for them. The Jazz have five draft picks in this years NBA Draft, and believe me when I say that they will use every one to address needs.

After all, the Jazz were one of the bottom cellar dwellers this past season. So expect the players picked this year to be quality and not quantity.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Who is Better?

A new debate has aroused my thoughts, a debate that will probably continue for ages to come. The question being; who is better Shaquille O’Neal or Wilt Chamberlin? Now before anyone decides to answer this question, one should take time to think about it. To think about all the factors that comes into play. For one I am not a big fan of Shaq but the man is very good at what he does and will some day join Wilt in the Basketball Hall of Fame. But consider it was two different eras and two different styles. It is almost like comparing Joe Montana to Brett Favre, both great players but two different eras. So what do you all think?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Draft Time

Yesterday afternoon the draft lottery took place, and the Jazz were able to get as low as the number six pick over all. Not to bad considering they had an 11.9 percent chance of winning the number 1 spot. The Utah Jazz however collected 5 picks over all in the 2005 NBA draft which will take place the 28th of June.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Till Next Year

The Jazz gave fans a couple of very solid reasons to come back next year. First, they played a repeat performance of their Spurs upset with a 93-91 rehashing on April 13. Finally, they beat the playoff bound Kings on April 18. The Jazz finished the season with a 26-56 record.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Sloan is Staying

an excerpt from NBA.com
The Utah Jazz announced today the decision by Jerry Sloan to return as head coach next season for his 18th season at the helm of the Jazz. The team has also agreed to a contract extension through the 2007-2008 season.

Sloan has been Utah’s head coach since assuming the reigns from former head coach Frank Layden on December 9, 1988. Sloan is the franchise’s winningest coach (943-617) and has the longest active tenure with one team in professional sports as head coach.

The coaching achievements for the 63-year-old native of McLeansboro, Illinois, speak for themselves with the eighth best winning percentage (.620%), sixth most wins all time (943-617), two NBA Finals appearances (1997 & 1998), and five Midwest Division titles. He also guided the club to 15 consecutive winning seasons, 15 straight trips to the NBA Playoffs (1989-2003) and ten 50-win seasons.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Stockton Takes Permanent Position

from the official site of the Utah Jazz
In the first 12 years of Jazz basketball at the Delta Center, John Stockton led the team on the court nearly every night, missing only twelve games (at the Delta Center). Jazz fans knew when they got a ticket they were going to not only see him on the floor, they were going to see him play his tail off, as if he wanted to give everyone their money’s worth.

Which is why it seemed perfectly fitting to erect a statue of the man to be displayed permanently on the south side of the Delta Center plaza. Jazz owner Larry H. Miller commissioned sculptor Brian Challis for the project in 2003. Nearly two years later, the 8 foot, 800 pound monument took its’ place in a ceremony with Stockton, his friends, family and still loyal fans.

As a wall of balloons were cut off by Stockton and his family, the large bronze statue was revealed to be the point guard looking as if he is working off a pick-and-roll, looking for Karl Malone heading toward the hoop. He wears the classic Jazz jersey; complete with the short shorts he kept fashionable well into the 90s.

A crowd of over 300 people was there for the ceremony, including Stockton’s wife Nada, his children and even his parents. Also present were Jazz owner Larry H. Miller and sculptor Brian Challis.

“It is an unbelievable honor,” the point guard said after the unveiling. But one thing felt very wrong to him: the absence of his longtime teammate Karl Malone, who is set to join Stockton next year with a Challis statue of his own.

“I think about when Karl Malone and I, one of us would be in the weight room early in the morning and the other one wasn’t there. And the first comment to the other person would be “Mighty lonely in here today.” That’s really my first impression; its mighty lonely up here and it’ll be nice to see the big fella up here in short order.”

Challis, when speaking of his inspiration for the statue said “I’ve worked on this project almost a year and a half, throughout it has been my goal to imbue this sculpture with not only the likeness, but with something of the spirit of John Stockton. When those in the future look into his eyes I hope they see the focus and determination that we saw each time he stepped on the court. When they bend to compare their hand to the size of his hand, I hope they sense the greatness of his heart. I truly hope that the spirit of this site will stir within future hearts a sense of profound love and respect for those who erected this monument, and for the very real man it honors.”

With the team struggling so bad this year, Miller summed up a lot of Jazz fans sentiments when he wished there were another Stockton, or at least that the original would still play. “I’m pretty sure there’s only one of you, I wish we could get you back,” he said.

Miller continued with a revealing story about Stock. “I just want to give you a little glimpse of what John’s about. I had a conversation with him about six or eight months ago… I said, “well what do you do to occupy your time all these days?” I think I’m speaking accurately although Nada may correct me, he said, “Well, I’m coaching five or six teams.” And I said “wow. Whose?” He said “my kids.””

I said, “What do you coach?” He said “football, basketball, baseball and soccer.” I said, “What do you know about soccer?” And he said something that I felt was very revealing. He said, “I don’t know … I don’t know hardly anything about soccer, but if I can teach them how to compete, then I’ve taught them something worthwhile.” And I think that simple statement speaks volumes about that man and what was his greatness.”

It is only fitting that the man who may have done as much as anyone to build the Delta Center and the Utah Jazz will now forever greet the fans who come to see future versions of the team play.

And those short shorts?

“They’ll come back around,” he said. “Everything comes back around.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

jazzing you

The 2004-05 version of the Utah Jazz could probably best be summed up as “Team Jekyll and Team Hyde.” At the end of it all,utahjazz.com takes a look back at the ups and downs of the 2004-05 campaign – and why fans are already excited about next year.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Okur's putback with 2.4 left lifts Utah

by (AP), from ESPN.com
A healthy Tim Duncan is worth more to San Antonio than home-court advantage in the playoffs.

Duncan returned after missing 12 games with a sprained ankle and scored 17 points, but played just 3 minutes of the fourth quarter in the Utah Jazz's 93-91 win over the Spurs on Wednesday night.

The loss dropped the Spurs 1½ games behind Phoenix for the top record in the Western Conference. Phoenix has four games remaining to San Antonio's three, but the Spurs will happily settle for the No. 2 seed if they know Duncan is healthy.

"I don't want to fall for fool's gold now and put him in a position where that ankle's too weak and have something happen to him," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "Sure we wanted to put him in, but I don't think that would have been wise."

The Spurs could have used Duncan in the final minute. Utah won it on Mehmet Okur's layup with 2.4 seconds remaining. San Antonio had a final chance, but Manu Ginobili missed a baseline jumper just before the horn.

Okur finished with 25 points and 16 rebounds and beat the Spurs for the second time this season. Okur also scored on an offensive rebound at the buzzer in January, snapping Utah's 18-game losing streak to San Antonio.

"That's my job. I try to grab every rebound," Okur said. "I was underneath. I just grabbed the ball and made the basket."

Duncan, who had seven rebounds, said the ankle felt "pretty good," but he was not on the court for the frenzied finish despite his best lobbying efforts.

"I was pushing for a little more time. Pop's the intelligent one and luckily he's the coach and I'm not," Duncan said. "I'm going to take my time and really get back into our rhythm and make sure that I'm not pushing it too hard and hurting myself."

Matt Harpring scored 17 points, including two critical free throws with 14 seconds left. Harpring put Utah up 91-88 and it looked like the Jazz had all but clinched it, until Ginobili went 1-for-2 from the line and Nazr Mohammed grabbed the rebound and dunked it to tie the game with 7.5 seconds to play.

Okur felt Mohammed knocked him down to get to the ball and remained on the floor for several moments, looking to the officials for a call he didn't get. He made sure it wouldn't matter at the other end.

Gordan Giricek, who scored 15 points, took the inbounds pass from Harpring and drove for a layup which was blocked by Robert Horry. Okur grabbed the loose ball and banked it in and Utah beat San Antonio for just the second time in 20 games.

"That was a fun game," Harpring said. "It's frustrating because you wonder why we can't play like this all the time."

Duncan played 20 minutes, 4 more than the Spurs wanted him to after his 3½-week layoff. But after San Antonio committed 10 fouls in the opening quarter and fell behind by 15 points early in the second, the Spurs needed the two-time MVP to help with the comeback.

"It was great just to get back on the floor and run up and down, even just for a little bit," Duncan said.

San Antonio got Utah's lead down to four twice before finally overtaking the Jazz early in the fourth quarter. Tony Parker, who had 17 points and five assists, converted a three-point play and Ginobili hit a 3-pointer just before the horn to get the Spurs to 68-65 at the end of the third.

Duncan made it a one-point game with a layup, then after Jarron Collins missed an open layup for Utah, Beno Udrih drove for a layup to give San Antonio its first lead since the opening quarter. Udrih quickly added another layup after a turnover, but Utah responded before San Antonio could pull away.

Okur converted a three-point play to tie it at 73 with 7:47 remaining, then spun under the basket for a reverse layup to regain the lead for Utah and get the small crowd back into the game. Howard Eisley added another layup and Giricek hit a short jumper to make it a 9-0 run.

Okur finally put Utah up for good at 89-88 with a 20-foot jumper with about a minute to play.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Lack Luster

Wednesday night the Utah Jazz dropped their eighth strait game on the road which blossoms (sarcasm) their road record for the season to a harmful 7–28. The loss was given by KG and the Timberwolves 111-86.

It is even more heartbreaking for head Coach Jerry Sloan. Sloan has three of his top scorers out, leaving him to turn to vet. Howard Eisley. Then some where along the lines in the first quarter Sloan thought it would be best to leave the game so he was ejected. (Sarcasm again)

The one bright spot for the Jazz was that Gordan Giricek and Matt Harpring both scored 14 points for the lack luster (23-51) Utah Jazz.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Rockets 99, Jazz 85

Doug Alden / Associated Press, from Foxsports.com
Utah tried just about everything to stop Houston's Tracy McGrady.

From switching defenders to changing defenses, nothing came even close to working in the Rockets' 99-85 win Monday night. McGrady scored 44 points, hitting shot after shot through the first three quarters and nearly buried the Jazz by himself.

Some of McGrady's shots were wide-open looks, but others he had to shoot over a hand in his face and the result was almost always the same.

"It just comes with being really confident. No matter what type of defense you throw, how many guys you put on me, if my jumper is falling, you know there's really nothing you can do," said McGrady, who also had five steals. "It was great defense on their part. But it was just better offense."

By the time McGrady started missing in the fourth quarter, Houston was already comfortably ahead with a 12-point lead. McGrady made 14 of his first 17 shots and finished 15-for-21.

Houston, which lost at San Antonio 83-70 the night before, improved to 2-1 on a four-game road trip and won for just the second time in the last 17 meetings at Utah.

"We're going for bigger things. Those guys are playing for pride. They know they're not making the playoffs. They're a well coached team. They do a great job of executing," McGrady said. "We're looking at the bigger picture."

Mike James scored 14 of his 16 in the second half, Yao Ming finished with 15 points and David Wesley scored 11 for Houston. The Rockets had to survive a couple of scares from the Jazz in the third quarter before running away with it.

"We take time and possessions off trying to take shortcuts," coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "Then we got back to trying to do what we needed to do to win."

Mehmet Okur scored 25, Matt Harpring had 18 points and nine rebounds and Keith McLeod finished with nine assists for Utah.

McGrady remained in until the end of the game, but couldn't reach his season-high of 48 points. He didn't need to.

Houston is 19-2 when McGrady scores 30 or more. He had that by halftime after scoring the last 11 points of first half. Houston led by 15 in the early quarter before having to hold off a couple of surges by the Jazz.

Utah got back into the game with an 8-0 run early in the third, capped by Okur's steal and short jumper that brought the Jazz within 66-58. McGrady hit a 19-footer, then Utah scored the next eight points again, including an odd sequence with 3:24 left.

Kirk Snyder, who scored 12 points, ended up with a loose ball that three other players couldn't hang on to. Instead of kicking it back out, Snyder dribbled around and spun his way through the defense for a layup while being fouled.

Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy was livid Snyder was awarded the basket. It didn't help when the Jazz rookie did a little taunting in front of the bench. Van Gundy got a technical, which led to a free throw by Okur.

Snyder hit his free throw to complete the three-point play that cut Houston's margin to 68-66. Utah coach Jerry Sloan immediately took Snyder out of the game and had a chat with him.

"He makes a terrific move then he goes and stands in front of their bench," Sloan said. "That's a no-no in this league. We're lucky that something crazy didn't happen because those are the kinds of things that can turn into something serious."

It seemed to revive the Rockets. Dikembe Mutombo and James each hit a free throw to start an 8-2 run that put Houston up 76-68 at the end of the third quarter. throws, was ejected late in the third quarter. He received a standing ovation and several high-fives on his way up the stairs. ... Sloan turned 63 Monday. ... Houston's road trip wraps up Wednesday in Portland.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Jazz Stopped in NO

from the official site of the Utah Jazz
Raja Bell was good for 19 points Friday, but the Jazz were handcuffed by a fiesty Hornet's defense, falling 92-85. Andrei Kirilenko chipped in 15 points for Utah, which will look to rebound when it travels to San Antonio on Sunday.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Mavs 101 - Jazz 83

Doug Alden / Associated Press
After blowing one big lead, the Dallas Mavericks made sure their next one was never in jeopardy.

The Mavericks overcame being called for 34 fouls with strong shooting and even stronger defense, winning their fifth straight 101-83 over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

Dallas scored the first eight points of the game and led by as much as 15 in the first quarter, but Utah gradually came back and took a few slim leads before the Mavericks finally shut down the Jazz in the second half.

"I thought in the first half they really kept in the game by getting to the foul line," said Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 16 of his 29 points in the second half to lead Dallas. "They really attacked the offensive glass and I thought in the second half we just took those things away. We tried to keep them in front of us in the penetration. We tried to keep them off the line. Don't do all those ticky-tack fouls. That really worked for us."

Josh Howard added 18 points and nine rebounds and Michael Finley scored 24 for the Mavericks, who outscored Utah 26-14 in the fourth quarter.

Dallas committed 13 more fouls than Utah in a chippy game that included four technical fouls, two flagrants and several others that could have been called for more than just a personal foul.

"We can be physical or we can back down," Dallas guard Jason Terry said. "We chose to be physical and get to the free-throw line."

Utah had its worst shooting night of the season, going 23-for-75 from the floor but stayed in it by making 36 of 39 free throws.

Raja Bell led Utah with 16 points and Howard Eisley and Andrei Kirilenko each scored 12.

The week off for the All-Star break didn't help the Jazz, who have lost five six.

"We got confused on what we were doing defensively a couple of times as we came down the stretch," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "We also got confused as to what we were trying to do offensively."

The Jazz had nothing left down the stretch and could not stop Nowitzki and the Mavericks, who had just four turnovers in the second half after committing 12 in the first.

Tempers flared several times in the game and although there were no fights, there were plenty of times it looked close to happening as the fouls kept getting harder.

The frustration seemed to effect the Jazz, who were without leading scorer and rebounder Carlos Boozer, who is out with a foot injury.

"Utah always plays physical," Finley said. "They play with that type of tenacity. That's what kind of player Coach Sloan was when he was in the league and it's carried over to this team."

Referee Steve Javie warned both coaches late in the third quarter to knock off the complaining after every call. Javie called Sloan for a technical a few minutes later, after Mehmet Okur knocked over Darrell Armstrong while running through a screen. Sloan felt Armstrong wasn't set and let official Michael Smith know it.

Finley made the technical free throw for Dallas' fifth straight point and Armstrong made both his free throws to give the Mavericks a 75-69 lead entering the final period.

Howard gave the Mavericks a 79-73 early in the fourth when he hit a wide-open baseline jumper, starting a 7-0 run that Finley capped with a 3-pointer and Dallas pulled away from there. basket and received a straight-arm to the chin. Nowitzki stayed on the floor for a few minutes, then got up and hit both free throws. ... The Jazz placed point guard Raul Lopez (knee) on the injured list Wednesday and replaced him with Keith McLeod, who started against the Mavericks but had just five points and two assists.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Knicks 102, Jazz 99, OT

"I am pretty happy for the guys. They just fight back and didn't drop their heads. Still, I don't think I did a good job at the end of the game."

I am sure Kirilenko wasn’t the only one on his team that felt like that.

The Utah Jazz actually took the lead 99-98 in overtime, but Marbury was just too much for Utah. The Jazz lost to the Knicks ends a pretty pathetic six game road trip, and leaves the Jazz with only one win out of there last five games.

A high note is the Raja Bell and Kirk Snyder combined for 29 points for our team.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Downward Spiral

This past Saturday the Jazz dropped another game, this time to the Nets. Of course the Nets have Carter and Kidd, who decided to play together for once.

The said thing about the whole game for the Jazz was that only one player made it into double digits and the man was Raja Bell, and I think Bell summed up perfectly what is wrong with the Jazz this year.
"It's not about making shots or missing shots or who's an All-Star and who's not an All-Star," Bell said. "It's just about fighting and we don't fight. It's frustrating because we have enough talent to do it and we just don't use it."

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Foul Trouble

Last night in Utah the Jazz fell to the LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The odd thing is that Utah did not trail once through the first three quarters. So your probably wondering what happened?

Well I am sure head coach Jerry Sloan can tell you...
"We ended up committing enough fouls for two or three games and they were basically soft fouls. If you're going to commit soft fouls and play soft, you're going to get more scared and put yourself in a tough situation."

The Jazz committed 33 fouls which lead to 27 points off free throws by Cleveland. I am sure Cleveland or LeBron didn't mind.

Game Notes:
Matt Harpring had 10 rebounds and nine points
Gordan Giricek had 12 points
Mehmet Okur also scored 12

Monday, January 03, 2005

Jazzed dropped by Houston

Apparently it took a season high 22 fast-break points by the Rockets; along side a 25 point effort by Tracy McGrady to stop the Jazz.
"That's the kind of basketball I like to play, to get out and run on transition and forget about plays," McGrady said. "We're a faster team now. We're not so much walking the ball up the floor. We're pushing the ball.

The final score was Houston 99, Jazz 80.