Preseason Off-Day Odds and Ends, Part 2
One. “Tonight I just bent [my finger] all the way back, and it was just fast. I can play with it regardless, but it’s never gonna heal. It’s something I’m gonna have to just suck up and deal with.” — Big Al (desnews)
There is a new REGARDLESS in town.
Ah, who am I kidding. Boozer’s “regardless” is seared into our minds for all eternity and can never be replaced.
Two. During David Locke’s Monday conversation (mp3)* with Kevin O’Connor, Locke asked KOC for his top 3 “pleasing” things about the team so far. KOC’s answers:
1) AK came back in terrific shape; he’s a key for team. The Jazz need him to play well, and he’s done that in the pre-season whether at the 3 or at the 4;
2) Al Jefferson’s willingness to work;
3) The rookies and their understanding of the game have been pleasant surprises.
*Watch out for the very trippy hotel lobby music in the background.
Three. During the interview, KOC also mentioned that Memo’s been out to Santa Barbara and “worked with those people.” Locke asks KOC for more details on “Santa Barbara” and whether the Jazz have an exclusive contract with them, but KOC doesn’t want to share. Jazz fans with minds that unconsciously absorb random, useless Jazz information (like me) probably know that “Santa Barbara” = “P3″, or “Peak Performance Project.” Siler did a piece about P3 a couple of years back.
I’m guessing that the Jazz do indeed have an exclusive contract with them, because the list of 20 names under “Basketball” clients on P3′s website goes a lil something like this:
Current Jazz players: 6
Ex-/Retired Jazz players: 8
Twin of ex-Jazz player: 1
Non-NBA foreign players: 5
There are also testimonials on the site from Sap and [Jazz Assistant Coach of Player Development] Mark McKown, who talks about what P3 did for AK, and pictures of AK and Araujo.
Four. Roster cuts are coming tomorrow. According to @tribjazz, Jerry thinks that the Jazz will only keep 13 players, including Memo.
Jerry also said that barring injury, he prefers to use an 8-man rotation during the season.
By my count, The Eight would be (until Memo returns) Deron, AK, Al Jefferson, Millsap, Bell, CJ, Watson or Price, and probably Fes. Memo makes nine. Third point guard (Watson or Price) makes ten. Elson and his guaranteed contract makes eleven. You have to consider Hayward and Evans locks, so they are twelve and thirteen.
That leaves Yatta, OJ, Thompson, and Nichols as the odd men out. According to “sources,” the Jazz will keep OJ if they elect to go with 14 instead of 13. Of course, nothing is for certain, except for at the end of cuts, the rookies won’t have to sit on the floor anymore:
Five. Francisco Elson quote: “I think you got to punch somebody first before you get punched.” (sltrib)