22 April 2009

Jazz-Lakers, Game 2

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

I was playing pickup basketball for most of the game last night, but managed to catch the last five minutes or so after I got home.

I think this sums up my experience with the Jazz this season: with Utah down 3 points with 3:16 to go, I had zero confidence that the Jazz would win this winnable game. Zero.

With that said, here are the reactions of some bloggers and sportswriters, compiled by Ball Don't Lie.

Talk Hoops: "Somewhere, I like to think that John Stockton, Karl Malone, Jeff Foster, Greg Ostertag, and Adam Keefe are sitting in a bar somewhere in Park City, Utah and I can imagine them all knee-deep in a pitcher of Harp beer with nothing but silence and a single tear running down each man's face. Because this defensive effort by the Utah Jazz has just been atrocious. It's been really bad all season long but in the first two games of the playoffs, it's bad enough to make Alex English think to himself, "Jesus Christ guys! Let's try moving our feet a little bit out there." The only time that the Utah Jazz looked semi-competent on defense was when the Lakers got sloppy with their outlet passes and seemed to not be very sure where the double team was coming from. Other than that, it was the Harlem Globetrotters played by the Lakers and the Washington Generals on quailudes played by the Jazz."

Lakers Blog: "Say what you want about the Jazz not being as good as the Lakers (and they're not), but Jerry Sloan teams are as likely to lay down in surrender as a Monty Python knight. A continual fight is guaranteed, especially in the playoffs. But nothing witnessed convinced me that Utah has the slightest prayer of taking this series. I'm not even convinced they can play much better, and they never truly threatened to snatch victory from the Lakers' mitts. I imagine balling in Salt Lake will recharge the Jazz's batteries, and probably enough to help avoid a sweep. But that's about the extent of the success, because save a total Laker collapse, they're just not good enough. End of story."

Tim Buckley, Deseret News: 'They shot lights out,' [Deron] Williams said. 'This is a team that tries to blow you away early.' And often does. The Lakers opened 15-of-17 from the field, and finished those first 12 minutes 18-for-21 with just three turnovers. Denver once scored 43 against Utah in the first quarter of a 1985 postseason game. But that 85.7 shooting percentage is the highest ever in a quarter by a Jazz opponent in the playoffs, eclipsing 82.4 percent that Seattle once shot back in 1993."

True Blue Jazz: "I think we can officially declare that the Jazz suck at defense. 86% for the 1st quarter? 60% for the game? I mean, there's no way you win playing like that. I don't know if it is Sloan's system ('hack away and give up the trey') or just the fact that the players aren't buying whatever he's selling, but something needs to change. It cannot be that easy for the Lakers, I don't care if their bigs are going up against guys that have no advantage at all against them. Either change the system or (in the off-season) change the players. Sloan needs to get it too ... if guys aren't buying in, play guys that will (or at least might ... we don't know because they haven't played in forever). And if it's just that this team doesn't fit the system ... change the system. Anything. I don't know how, but change it. This past month has shown us some horrible defense by the Jazz ... and while the team might've 'flipped the switch' offensively, it certainly hasn't flipped on the defensive end."

Yep. If the Jazz management doesn't blow this team up over the summer, I'm done investing my time and energy in them. There are some major flaws that need to be addressed. Keep Deron, Millsap, maybe Brewer, get rid of the rest.

Something has to be done.

2 comments:

LaPaube said...

I still think a Boozer purge and the addition of a decent, defensive-minded center would make this a very good team. If you're bent on seeing them make the Finals, you just have to wait two or three years for the Lakers to go away. Nobody's going to compete with them until 2011 or so. But the Jazz can still be a very good team. I don't see a need to "blow it up."

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