1. I've been saying it for a long time now: Max Hall is a good quarterback. I'm glad he's our quarterback. I think he's better than Riley Nelson. But Max is not a great quarterback. A lot of people look at his mediocre performance Saturday and blame his offensive line for not giving him enough time to throw. However, I look back at the 2006 TCU game and John Beck was taking three-step drops and firing. He went through his reads very, very quickly and delivered the ball exactly where it needed to go, again and again and again. Max cannot do this. Cover his first option and he panics. Are our receivers this year or last year worse than they were in 2006? I doubt it.
2. Our defense is horrible. Not much to say here. Defensive line can't get a push on anyone, linebackers are slow, secondary gets lost.
3. I do not enjoy this trend of getting blown out in losses.
Moving on to other mediocre pastures: the 2009-2010 Utah Jazz!
Yahoo's Ball Don't Lie blog did a preview for every NBA team, and I found their assessment of the Jazz to be spot on.
I don't think I'm reading too much into things when I point out that injuries to Boozer and a nagging ankle issue that dogged Deron Williams sort of allowed for this mindset to sustain. Wait until 2009-10 comes, when everything will be all right.
Except, Carlos Boozer's still here. Whoops.
Boozer didn't opt out of his contract, and the last memory most of us have of the Jazz is the picture of a team that barely looked the part of a playoff participant late last season. Utah absolutely packed it in. The Jazz weren't dispassionate, they just didn't execute and continually lost track of their opponents while on defense. This was a bad team just waiting for the season to end.
And now, a few months later, and the team is back? Same team? Why am I getting excited about this?
Eric Maynor has looked pretty good in preseason games, and it's nice to not worry about the backup point guard slot, but the glaring, obvious weakness of this team is and has been interior defense. Until Utah gets someone who is interested and capable of routinely blocking and altering shots at the rim, the Jazz will not go anywhere.
I'll enjoying watching Deron and Millsap play. Will Koufos develop into a good player? Will Jerry Sloan ever win Coach of the Year? Actually, I found some interesting information on that last point from Basketbawful:
Let's look at some recent CoY recipients:
1. Mike Brown (2008-09): Subsequently outcoached in the Eastern Conference Finals, marking one of the only times in league history a team had both the MVP and the Coach of the Year yet failed to reach the NBA Finals.
2. Sam Mitchell (2006-07): Subsequently fired by the Raptors only 17 games into the 2008-09 season after a 39-point loss to the Denver Nuggets.
3. Avery Johnson (2005-06): Subsequently fired following the 2007-08 season because the Mavs needed a fresh start. I'm sure those three consecutive humiliating playoff losses had nothing whatsoever to do with it.
4. Mike D'Antoni (2004-05): Subsequently "allowed to pursue employment opportunities elsewhere" by the Suns following the 2008-09 season and yet another painful playoff loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
4. Hubie Brown (2003-04): Subsequently retired 12 games into the 2004-05 season because, dear lord, the man is an ancient mummy creature! And why spend your twilight years coaching the Grizzlies, you know?
5. Rick Carlisle (2001-02): Subsequently fired after the 2002-03 season so the Pistons could hire Larry Brown...and win the 2004 NBA title.
6. Doc Rivers (1999-00): Subsequently fired during the 2003-04 season after his Magic squad started the year 1-10. Note that he continued to suck in Boston until Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen arrived to save him.
7. Mike Dunleavy (1998-99): And we come full circle! Subsequently fired after the 2000-01 season. From the actual press release: "Mike Dunleavy was dismissed as coach of the Portland Trail Blazers tonight, taking the fall for an underachieving team that failed to win a playoff game despite an NBA-record $89.7 million payroll."
Did I mention that Jerry Sloan still hasn't won a Coach of the Year award despite a 1137-751 (.602) record and 12 50-win seasons? Oh, and in 21 years of coaching in Utah, the Jazz have have a losing record exactly...once.
So, to sum up, the state of the NBA Coach of the Year award is an absolute joke.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
In better news, all of the Jazz's games will be on FSN, ESPN or TNT this year... no games on KJZZ, which means I can watch them all.
Trying to decide if that's really a bonus.
To sum up, both the BYU football team and the Jazz are good teams who can win (10 games and 50 games, respectively), but are seemingly incapable of breaking into the next level (BCS game, NBA Finals).
I hear the BYU basketball team should win an NCAA tourney game this season, so that's good.
It's all about progression.