Off-Day Odds and Ends
One. AK and Masha got sworn in as American citizens today. Love that AK wore his Jazz sweats to the ceremony. (via Masha’s FB)
Two. Karl Malone’s daughter, Cheryl Ford is currently playing for the Czech team Frisco Sika Brno, and tearing up FIBA’s Euroleague Women. Although she’s only recently back from knee injuries that sidelined her for six months last year, she is leading the entire Euroleague in offensive and defensive rebounding. She’s also clearly a chip off the old block, as she’s ranked second in the league in free throw attempts and 3rd in double-doubles.
Three. A few of my favorite shots from the Rockets game two days ago, including Smiling Francisco and Breakdancing Raja. (My photog friend was kind enough to tear his attention away from the dancers to snap these for me):
Four. He also got this shot of Gordon, who’s now sporting Peak shoes (I had to look that up; I couldn’t identify the logo). Those are also Peak ads to Hayward’s left on the scorer’s table and to his right on the basket support. He was wearing Nike to start the season, but made the switch sometime in late November. I guess this explains why there were Peak (and the “fake” Jordan brand) ads on the ESA scorer’s table a few games back. When I saw that, it seemed so random that I just assumed the company was targeting Warriors fans watching the game.
Six. Big Al’s website did a piece on Brian T. Smith’s piece on Al’s post moves. I get their thinking entitling the piece “Post Master General,” but that title just makes me think of the Mailman.
(While you’re on Big Al’s website, click on the “You vs. Big Al” link on the right. It’s insane how big his hand is. My entire hand fits into his palm.)
Seven. Great ESA “signage” from a couple of games back:
Eight. About a month ago, I took a look at the Jazz’s sad, sad dunk stats. One month later, things sadly are not looking up.
Last season, Fes led the way with a dunk percentage of 21%. Guess who was second. Go on, guess. It was The Koof, at 19%.
Back with #9 and #10 later.
…[five hours later]…
All right. I am back from what was possibly the worst year-end office party in history. Moving on…
Nine. Read this Blog a Bull post on Boozer’s benching with one eyebrow raised:
Dan Bernstein…points out that Boozer’s been called out for defensive lapses in the past by Jerry Sloan. And yet unlike Sloan, Thibodeau didn’t explicitly let it be known publicly that’s why Boozer was benched (going instead with some offensive scheme reason).
If you go to the CBSChicago article they cited, you find two quotes from Jerry torching Boozer on his defense, including this one:
“Boozer’s got to work more on his defense. He can’t step out on the floor and expect to get 19, 20 points a game, and his man’s getting 22 or 23. I told him he’s got to do a better job defensively. And he can do a better job…But he’s got to make a commitment to defending. Otherwise, I don’t think we can win with that.”
Can you remember a single time Jerry Sloan criticized Boozer’s defense? I can’t. Over the past five years, I was constantly wondering why Jerry has always preached defense, but gave Boozer a free pass for starting and playing time when Boozer refused to give any effort on D. Those two quotes in the article, were, in fact from 2005 and 2006. I guess Jerry eventually gave up. At the same time, I find it a bit of a stretch that Jerry is portrayed as someone that “explicitly” and “publicly” called out Boozer’s defense when nary a peep came out of Jerry on this issue after Carlos’ first or second year in Utah. So many times I wished he would do just that…
Ten. Finally, there was this today:
So…what’s stopping Deron? Jerry pretty much gives him free rein when it comes to running the offense. Deron’s the one that’s coming slow out of the gate. If it’s because the other four guys aren’t running, tell them to. Don’t sit there and stew about it. Go out and do it.