Of all the potential playoff contenders in the Western conference, the Utah Jazz baffle me the most. Come to think of it, they baffle me more than any playoff team this year!
Going into the All-Star break this weekend, the Jazz are sittin’ pretty decent with a 30-24 record overall and a 7th seed if the playoffs sarted today. The numbers aren’t too shabby until you see the Jazz play. Their play -at times- is reminiscent of the stock market and they still somehow managed to pull off being 11th in the league in points scored at 98.3 per. What’s even more crazy is they allow per game (98.6), darn near just as many as they put up!! That’s adds up to a whole bunch of close games and a nice playoff seed, but a “don’t take your shoes off, cause you’re not stayin”- come tourney time.make no mistake, the Jazz will be first round casualties.
Al Jefferson (6-10/265), and Derrick Favors (6-10/246), bolster an interior that would serve the Jazz well during the playoffs, it’s the perimeter play that would eventually lead to their early first round exit. Favors will have to give better production; averaging 9 pts a game won’t cut it.
Mo Williams is the only viable threat fom the perimeter because of his ability to score in bunches, but he’s a sixth man off the bench who’s only appeared in 24 games this season. His 12.9 are sorely missed.
Randy Foye’s 11.8 don’t cause the opposition much fear, but shooting 80% fom the line will keep a defense honest; 42% from three means not enough mid-range to me.
Alec Burks is another case for the argument, “should college players stay an extra year?” He looks like a strong candidate for the promise outweighs the production award. An award the NBA should consider adding to all the other “dust collectors” they hand out.
Gordon Heyward seems to always be “questionable” since his arrival. Not to bash the whole group, I thought Butler players’ were supposed to be tough? He’s more bust than baller at this point. Can you say, Adam Morrison? I digress.
Enes Kanter’s jersey number is 0, and so too is his value and production. Jamaal Tinsley looks too old, and Earl Watson couldn’t hit a bull in the backside with a shovel if it were standin’ right in front of him!!!
Milsap has a nice game, but he’d be far more dangerous if he added a mid-range.
In the end, the Jazz just don’t have enough of everything to make a serious run in the playoffs this go round. Maybe next year will be different when Heyward (9th pick overall-2010), Kanter (3rd pick overall-2011), and Burks (12th pick overall-2011) figure it’s time to get down to the business of perfectin’ the craft of basketball.