It was like that part in Hoosiers when Coach Norman Dale discretely asked the ref to kick him out of the game so that Shooter the Drunk could take over with a chance at redemption. Last night against the Lakers, there was no drunk, the Jazz just had their final run squashed, and Jerry Sloan asked the ref to kick him out by calling him a mutherfucker. Could Sloan’s coaching career be over? Not like Hoosiers at all.
Posts for category ‘Utah Jazz’
7:14: Andray Blatche gets blocked by Mehmet Okur…..a very sad scene to witness. Okur barely jumped, if at all, and Andray took it to the hoop like a four-year old girl chasing after a puppy.
4th Minute: JaVale McGee has got a couple nice offensive boards, but doesn’t use his body/leverage to his advantage. He’s trying to be all arms and hops. So on one, he missed a forced hook and on the second, he got blocked byOkur (who the hell is this guy, Mutombo?).
In the first…..Utah’s passing looks good (6 assists on 9 made FGs = Swiss Cheese Wiz D)….but Deron Williams has four turnovers (two on the first two possessions of the game) to only one assist.
A lot of people are drooling over JaVale McGee today (myself included….and justifiably so). The poll on the Wiz-Jazz game blog at Bullets Forever even indicates that McGee should be last night’s player of the game. I will politely disagree. Yes, the Wizards would not have won with game without the young Choppa, but my game MVP is none other than Antawn Jamison.
The Gentleman Jamison spoke words about the attitude in the locker room and backed them up. Statistically, it wasn’t one of his better games….AJ’s stat line actually teeters on mundane (for his standard). But he made his presence felt…..Jamison was all over the court, getting his hands on loose balls, hitting a huge trey, and overall, TCOB.
The Most Important Stat: Sure, the Wizards out-rebounded, out-stole, and out-blocked the Jazz, but getting to the free-throw line was crucial. I noticed that for about 95% of the night, the Wizards refused to settle and were persistent in getting into the paint….which led to the Wiz shooting 40 free-throws. But the key part, unlike in the Milwaukee game, was that Washington took advantage of getting to the line and made their free-throws, sinking 32 to shoot 80%.
A game to build upon? We can only wait and see. (oh yea, this also happened)
In case you didn’t hear (or see), Caron Butler’s eye was leaking Tuff Juice in Orlando. As Wu-Tang would say…..“What he did?…..they said he cut his eye.” The most sensible action would be to wear some goggles to prevent this from happening again. But that’s not Tuff Juice’s style.
Last night against the Utah Jazz, the Goggle Experiment lasted about two minutes. Butler didn’t start the game sporting the eye protection/juice retainer, but came out wearing them after a timeout at the 8:47 mark in the 1st quarter. Not 120 seconds later, after making a spinning runner in the lane, Butler threw his new custom-fit Oakley’s to the sidelines…..to wear them again, nevermore.
So, enjoy the one glimpse of Caron Butler’s tribute to James Worthy that we will probably never see again.
The Washington Wizards faced the Utah Jazz twice last season and lost both times….here’s what happened:
Game 45: Utah Jazz at Washington Wizards – Feb. 1, 2008
Washington entered a Friday night matchup against visiting Utah with 24 wins on the season. The Wizards started out fast and furious, fueled by a playoff-like atmosphere in the Verizon, and the fact that the game was televised nationally on ESPN. The Wiz led 21-11 at the end of the first, Antawn Jamison outscoring the Jazz himself with 13 points. For the first half, the Wizards held the Jazz to a paltry 36.6% from the floor, but Utah used a 12-0 run in the latter part of the 2nd quarter to keep the Wizards lead to one at intermission.
In the 2nd half, Andray Blatche started off hot….so much that I said I wouldn’t trade him for Pau Gasol….ahh, those were the days. Even though neither team was shooting particularly well, Utah’s offense was efficient, getting assists on 23 out of 26 field goals at one point. Early in the 4th quarter, ESPN reported that the attention craving Gilbert Arenas announced he would return to the court against the New Orleans Hornets on March 2nd…..things went downhill from there. Hubie Brown commented that the Jazz were playing normal basketball while the Wizards had to fight and scrap for everything. Game, Set, Match. Utah Jazz 96 – Washington Wizards 87.
The Utah Jazz are in DC and fresh off a win in Philly last night. Deron Williams played in his first game of the season and dropped nine dimes en route to a 93-80 Jazz win…..”great”
Nevertheless, I was curious about the next “victim” of the Wizards, so I posed a couple questions to the guys at True Blue Jazz who were kind enough to respond.
1) AK-47 seems to be playing at the level he was at 3+ years ago. What is he doing differently? Do you think he’s truly back to form and out of Sloan’s doghouse….or are you skeptical?
TBJ: Confidence. I was worried about AK coming off the bench because of his attitude. He has totally proven me wrong. He is playing more minutes than he did when he was starting. The biggest thing is that he is playing the power forward spot more. This allows him to be effective around the basket, just like he was 3 years ago. I think AK will certainly rival Manu for 6th man of the year if he keeps this up. Jazz fans couldn’t be happier to see the old AK back to his stat sheet stuffing ways.
Jeff from CelticsBlog.com is doing the grunt work to put together a comprehensive NBA preview from bloggers ’round the ‘sphere. The Atlantic Division Preview was first, the Southwest Division was second, the Central Division was third, and now the Northwest Division is out. Here are the highlights from the participating bloggers for each team, click on the blog links to see the full team preview:
[Pickaxe and Roll]
I think there are different answers depending on whether you are talking about the goals of management or the goals of the players. Management has clearly been geared towards the future. The Camby trade revolved around future cap flexibility. They traded their first round pick for a future first round pick. Older players Camby and Najera have been sent packing in exchange for younger players. Management would never admit it, nor should they, but I do not think they expect anything other than another first round exit at best from this squad. Prediction: 47-35
[The Nugg Doctor]
The goal for this team is to not be content just making the playoffs, but to finally advance in the postseason. For five straight seasons the Nuggets have been one of only four teams in the league to make the playoffs in said consecutive years and are the only team to have not made it to the conference semis. Prediction: 44-38
I got home from the Washington Nationals opener just in time to catch the last 8 minutes (incl. OT) of the Wizards-Lakers game. I know, I know…..I gotta get a DVR – all the kids are doing it. Nonetheless, what I saw of the Nick Young show was highly entertaining. I was probably more into that game [meaning yelling loud enough to make my neighbors wonder] than I have been for any other this year. I could be labeled as a Laker-hater, but at least the Wizards covered the 9.
The Wizards-Jazz game? Read the live game blog if you dare. [Wizards Game #74 @ Utah Jazz] Surfing around the blogosphere, the obliteration seemed to be expected, especially with the absence of Caron Butler and Antonio Daniels due to injury (not to mention Gilbert and Etan). Yea, well maybe I expected it too. But it would’ve been nice to see the Wizards take some pride and get scrappy. Oh well. At least the Wiz are at…..home sweet home?
Dig of the Week
“This is where Abe Pollin’s insistence on not paying the luxury tax combined with the injury issues have really hurt this team……..From my seat, this team has needed a quick, defensive-minded point guard type coming off that bench all season and simply hasn’t had one. [Ivan Carter]
– Of course, criticism of Abe Pollin has been around the block and then some….including making several stops on my street.
Needless to say, without Caron Butler tonight, the cards are stacked high against the Wizards. Utah is a damn good team with some very diverse pieces. And you gotta have the utmost respect for Jerry Sloan. Just two years ago, people were calling him washed up. During trying times, he remained stoic, did not complain one bit, and took his lumps like a man. Twenty years as a head coach in the game will put some rings around your trunk. Good for him.
From Wizards Insider: Butler did some light shooting this morning, but is still questionable. I bet that he plays considering that both he and Jamison are All-Stars, motivation son. AD and his tweaked ankle also should start.
Jeezy….we can only hope that no more damage is done tonight, the trainer has been asking for a raise. I like the depth and bench of this Wizards team, just not when they are depended upon to produce wins. Because as Wages of Wins informs us, Nick Young is one of the 10 worst players in the NBA. Now, we all know this young guy has the potential to be special…just some rookie blues, maybe he can start using these slights like Gil.
Also, from 82games.com, it’s not surprising that Stevenson, Jamison and Butler are the Wizards ‘Big Three’ this year. Not to shabby that they’re the 9th best ‘Tres Grande’ in the NBA. Number 8 on the list is tonight’s opponent, the Jazzy Trio of AK-47, D-Will and the Booz.