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Quotes and Tidbits

October 19, 2008
Between the new lights-out intros, Ronnie’s 20 lbs. of new muscle, DWill now the undisputed leader of the Jazz, Life Off/Game On, Jerry vowing to sit guys that don’t play D (bye bye Carlos), the return of the music note logo…I am so amped my hearts starts racing every time I think about the season starting.
Ronnie on playing D: “To me,” Brewer said, “it’s something you have to want to do in your heart.”

“You just don’t do it,” Ronnie Brewer said. “You have to want to do it, because it definitely doesn’t feel good having to play defense every possession, bending down, sliding, getting physical with the other team. “But if we just buy into the concept of being in help position, not being afraid to go and help and then have confidence that another teammate will help you if you go help somebody, I mean, that’s what the good teams did.”

Jerry on D: Before all the Williams stuff happened Saturday, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan talked a little bit pregame about defense. “You’ve got to create good habits for yourself defensively,” Sloan said. “You can get by on the offensive end sometimes, but on the defensive end you’ve got to have good habits. You can’t just turn it off and turn it on because you’re going to get beat.”
Talking the talk: An NBA source said the consensus among the league’s referees is that the player and coach who use the most choice words during games are Boston’s Kevin Garnett and Utah’s Jerry Sloan. The source also said the referees take into account that it’s just part of their intense makeup and they have learned not to take it personally.
One beneficiary of it all is Sloan, who paid Williams the highest compliment after dropping the names of retired Jazz All-Stars John Stockton and Karl Malone.

“It’s basically all in his hands as to how he wants his career to be — how he takes care of himself day-in and day-out,” the Jazz coach said. “Because I saw that with two other players, and he’s in the same category talent-wise as they are.”

Although he played only one season with the Jazz, Dee Brown wasn’t forgotten on this trip. Every room at the team hotel had a copy of a commemorative book – “Dee Brown: My Illini Years” – published by the local newspaper.

“Here I am thinking, ‘It’s a magazine in the hotel, Dee’s on the cover, OK, he’s the cover story,’ ” Jarron Collins said. “I start flipping through and I realize, ‘No, no it’s the actual Dee Brown book.’ I take it he’s a popular guy here.”

Most overrated (4 in the league): Carlos Boozer – I love Boozer. And he’s really good. But, seriously, he can’t play D at all. He’s terrible. His offense is good, and he’s strong, good left hand, but his D is horrible. I’m surprised Sloan hasn’t taken Boozer out behind the woodshed. And my money would be on Sloan.

Hollinger’s All Breakout Team: Deron Williams, Jazz
Does anyone else find it a little weird that he hasn’t made an All-Star team yet? Although he’s had a bit of a setback thanks to Saturday night’s ankle sprain, that oversight should be corrected this season — especially if the Jazz are as good as I think they’ll be. Williams has a good chance of passing Steve Nash and Chauncey Billups in the point guard hierarchy given his steady improvement; even last year, his numbers were much stronger after the break than before, including 12.0 assists per game in the second half. And while Carlos Boozer busies himself with the vagaries of the South Florida real estate market, Williams will spend a full year as Utah’s unquestioned go-to guy.


Just what was Miles thinking as he and Brewer carried Williams off the court Saturday at the United Center, where the Jazz’s max-money point guard sprained his left ankle in the opening quarter of an exhibition victory over the Bulls?

If I drop him, it might make it worse,” Miles said. “That’s what I was thinking.”

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