Game 17 vs. MEM: Ridicarlosly confused
Memo and New Matty getting stepped on aside, there was no bad or ugly to this game. It was all the good and the pretty. This is the Jazz that I envisioned at the start of last (’08-’09) season–rolling over opponents, clicking, great chemistry, playing team ball. Last season, the Jazz train got derailed, and the way this season started, it looked like we were in for a heck of a train wreck. But–dare I say it? Think it? Hope for it?–something’s…changed? We’ve turned a corner? Gotten back on track? C’est possible?!
I’d love to end with that high note, but there’s “awkward” I must address.
I totally take pride in not being a (and look down my nose with disdain at) fairweather fan(s), and my body rejects the thought of being one. I’ve spent many an hour mercilessly mocking fairweather/bandwagon fans (aka the entire Laker fan base) and proudly touting myself as someone who has stuck with my team through thick and thin (in the Jazz’s case, “thin” being the two-year rebuilding era and the tidal wave of injuries last year).
I’ve also been ranting and raving and railing and raging against Boozer for what seems like an eternity. But something happened today. Around the end of the first or beginning of the second, Boozer threw a pass right into the hands of a Grizzly bear, and I thought, “oh darn.” A second later, I was completely floored by what had just happened. My eyes hadn’t rolled of their own volition, and vitriol, hatred, and disgust were not pouring through my veins as usual.
That’s a reflection of the fact that Boozer is playing out of his freaking mind, and has been shooting the ball into the ocean (70% over the last five games). The sight of him today did not instantly make me feel annoyed. And when Ronnie B scored at the end of the third, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir would have been proud of the way I shouted “And-1!” in perfect synchronicity with Boozer.
For the most part, Boozer has even kept his mouth shut this season (numerous references to Sap as a bench player while at the same time calling himself the starter aside).
And so, I don’t know what to do with myself now. I kind of even hate myself for not hating him and being so easily appeased. I couldn’t even give you a definitive answer at this moment if you asked me whether I remain adamant that a trade is absolutely crucial to the future of this franchise. And the remedy of reminding myself of all the times/games/weeks/months/seasons that he hasn’t played like this despite the figure on his paycheck and all the times he didn’t keep his mouth shut when he should’ve…well, I’m just not sure that it’d be all that effective. You feel what you feel, right?
Anyway, don’t get me wrong. All is not forgiven, though some may be forgotten. I’m not suddenly in love or trying to horn in on Locke’s affaire d’amour with Boozer (if that were the case, I’d know it’s time for a lobotomy. And/or, feel free to shoot me). It’s just a weird and awkward feeling, to suddenly not hate Boozer.