In case it’s not clear how I feel about Boozer…
Something (else) I’ve been thinking about: why the Jazz doesn’t make Boozer attend Karl Malone summer camp.
The Jazz organization is rife with examples of past-generation players working with current-generation players. DWill worked with Stock a couple of summers ago; the Jazz hired Horny as AK’s shooting coach; Memo worked with Ty Corbin on post moves (and that perhaps was the most obvious improvement right there among all examples). Boozer needs serious mental/character adjustments to overcome his deficiencies (Step 1: admit you have a problem) and who better to kick his ass into shape than the Mailman?
So this has been on my mind (too much time on my hands, I suppose, with nothing going on besides the Olympics–the extent of my interest in which is directly correlated to how much PT DWill gets); then, today while checking ESPN, my heart stopped (seriously) when I saw this:
Being an Insider article, I couldn’t access it and so googled “Karl Malone” on Google News. I’m fairly certain the link was a reference to this column. Basically the columnist’s premise is that Karl has moved on and would not be interested in taking on a role within the Jazz org. But I don’t see any reason why they can’t just ship FB’s soft ass over to Arkansas and put him to work on Karl’s ranch, right? After breaking him, Karl can start working him out and beating the concept of defense into him.
Seriously, I cannot take another year of Boozer in a Jazz uniform. I’m so distracted yelling at his ass to play D whenever he is on the court that I lose track of what’s actually happening in the game. Who cares if he averages 20-10 in the regular season (besides fantasy basketball guys) if he pulls a Houdini in the Playoffs again? The Playoffs are where men come to play.
(Um…not to mention that Boozer didn’t wait until the Playoffs to disappear last season…he pretty much went byebye sometime in early ’08)
Finally, there are lots of people out there bitching about the size of AK’s contract. He and Booz basically make the same amount, give or take one or two million (in fact, FB has made more money in four years with the Jazz than AK in eight–roughly 45 million to 42 million). If you ask me, FB is the albatross around the Jazz’ neck. Sure he scores more points and pulls down more boards, but AK gets more assists and blocks in significantly less minutes, plays defense/commits fewer stupid fouls*, can do everything (although I admit he DOES need to take fewer long bombs**), and play more positions (including stints at PG if needed).
Yes, at the end of the game, whichever team has more points wins. However, how many times have we heard it said –“Defense wins games.” El Mata_or [given that I am now delving into the area of defense, it is appropriate for me to now refer to Boozer by his “D” name] may be the top scorer on the Jazz, but you have to take *away* points for his –what’s the opposite of contributions?– the collective stats/acts comprised of points given up, unnecessary/bad fouls that put the Jazz into the penalty, fouls leading to possessions/points for the other team that would not have been necessary had he not dogged the play on D seconds earlier, etc.
Boozer averaged 14/7 for the month of April and 16/12 (on 41.5 FG%) in the Playoffs playing around 35 MPG–(basically when the Jazz were fighting for HCA/their lives, i.e. when it counted). Is there anyone out there that thinks AK can’t do that with FB’s minutes? AK’s averaged 16/8 in the past too. Plus, I think if he were playing the 4, he’d take it to the hole as opposed to a lot more than Boozer.*
*stats to back up these “claims”–for those of you that think these are claims–forthcoming.
**If he played the 4, he would be playing a lot closer to the basket and would not be hanging out there on the perimeter so much of the time.
Final note–this is one of the best blog posts I’ve read in a long time.