Off-Day Odds and Ends
1. I’ve been complaining about the Jazz’s penchant for slow starts for the past few weeks, and there was even a little discussion on the subject after I posted the recap for Saturday’s game against the Bullets.
On the same day or the day after, I came across SI‘s “3 Topics with Jerry Sloan” in which Jerry talked about how he doesn’t like fast starts:
On fast starts. “I’m never comfortable if we have a big half. We had a Houston game where we scored 70 points in the first half and I thought, ‘Oh gees, that usually comes back to average out.'” That night last month, the Jazz went on to beat the visiting Rockets 133-110, which goes to show that a coach never stops worrying, not even after 22 years.
I still don’t like slow starts, but our last game (against the Knicks) proved Jerry’s point rather well.
2. Looks like AK is going to shut it down for awhile:
When he gets a green light to work out with the team, though, Kirilenko said he might take an additional three or four days “to practice with it” before testing it in a game. Wednesday will be the sixth day following his latest injury.
“When it’s ready,” he said, “(I want to) kind of give it more time to get strong.” (desnews)
AK had previously said that he wanted to get back into games as soon as he physically could in order to stay in game shape (and I see the logic in that, seeing as how he’d also previously said that it’s not unusual for him to lose 5-10 lbs. after a single practice). Guess the frustration of the second injury has changed his mentality.
DWill likely approves, as he said three days ago, “I kind of wish A.K. would just sit down for a couple and wait till it’s completely healed instead of playing a couple games and then trying it again and getting hurt…We just need him to get healthy for the playoffs is the main thing.” (sltrib)
3. I’m not one for statistics and projections and that kind of thing (I really don’t have the mind for them), but–as of now–Hollinger’s projections show us as the only team besides LAL with a chance of getting the No. 1 seed (99.8% to .1%). It also projects us as having a higher chance than the Lickers or anyone else in the West to reach the Finals and win the championship.
4. Boozer was quoted in the New York Daily News as saying (as he has largely remained quiet this season, I am trying to be objective, and therefore am using “as saying” rather than “professing his love for D’Antoni”):
“Love’em,” Boozer, wearing a Yankees cap, said of the Knicks. “D’Antoni is dope. Having spent time with him at the Olympics…his offensive mind-set is unbelievable. He’s got the best plays I’ve ever been around…
“D’Antoni’s a great coach. I know they have an incredible organization. They’ve got a lot of talent.”
I know Boozer was probably responding to a leading question when he said all this and likely did not volunteer all that out of nowhere. I also agree with those that might say the comments are harmless, and that if it had been any other Jazz player that had said it, no one would give it a second thought.
HOWEVER, someone with Boozer’s history of foot-in-mouth shouldn’t be talking, and should have learned not to talk. He has to know that any time he says anything like this, everything he’s said in the past gets dragged up again. We have enough trouble focusing during games, and really don’t need any extraneous distractions.
On multiple occasions over the past nine months, Boozer has blamed the media for his summertime comments, a la “You guys wrote about it, that’s why it became a big deal.” At some point, he needs to start taking responsibility for his own actions. If you keep your mouth shut, no one has anything to write about. Rocket science, it ain’t.
5. Finally, a great Jerry anecdote from Monson:
Sloan, wearing a cap, was driving his van around town when a woman saw him pull up in front of her. Mistaking him for an airport shuttle driver, she asked if he wouldn’t mind taking her to Salt Lake International. He responded: “Well, I wasn’t headed that way, but if you really need a ride …”
It should be noted, I suppose, that the other anecdote/quote Monson mentions is one of my all-time favorite quotes on anything:
“Nobody fights with Jerry because you know the price would be too high. You might come out the winner, at his age, you might even lick him, but you’d lose an eye, an arm, your testicles in the process. Everything would be gone.” –Frank Layden