Game 82 vs. DEN: Going out on a high note
On the one hand, this could be the last of the Jazz we see for months and years and I miss the Jazz already (really do). On the other, this has been the most miserable season in two decades of Jazz fandom and there’s a permanent Jerry-shaped hole in the franchise.
The former outweighs the latter, so hard.
We were out six Jazzmen and down to one wing in Gordon. The first half was a “where has this been all season” type situation. Granted it was one depleted team playing against another depleted team, but the rookies at least got good minutes and the team was looking not like their usual sorry self. It was also only the second time we’ve won two in a row since Jan. 14.(!!!)
I know next to nothing about draft prospects, but one of the concerns people had with Hayward was that he’d lost his shot during his sophomore season at Butler. Somewhere along the line, he’s become the only Jazz player that I believe the ball is going in when he shoots (just ignore the grammar). I also appreciate how polished he is. That’s not to say he doesn’t make rookie mistakes, but he’s remarkably steady on the floor. Gordon scored 34 tonight (the most by a Jazz rookie since the BSM–before Stockton and Malone–era) on 12-17 and 5-6 from downtown.
In related news, he will be shaving his “beard” soon because he has to take his girlfriend to a formal. (You can’t make this stuff up; KFAN)
Big Al had a bounce-back game of sorts with 17 and 10 and Millsap had a truly all-around game with 12-6-5-2-1 and a trey to boot. As for Derrick Favors, he was giving, us, something, we, can, feeeeeel with 12-7-3-3-2 in 32 minutes. Did I mention that he also had as many offensive boards (5) as the rest of the team put together?
I know I’ve already harped about this plenty, but I’m going to harp on anyway. Does this concern anyone else? That the Jazz are essentially slapping him on the butt and sending him on his way with nothing more than a “Hey, get a plan and work hard”? And that he won’t have anyone “specific” to work with him?
This is black or white to me. It’s simple. Let’s say you started watching “Dancing with the Stars” (because Matty Harpring is always mentioning it during games) and now want to learn to ballroom dance. You can buy and practice with instructional DVDs and hit the gym to improve your stamina and flexibility, but you’re going to hit your ceiling quick because those things are not and cannot be substitutes for a real live teacher/trainer. Trying to figure things out on your own can only take you so far, even if dancing comes to you naturally.
Now, let’s imagine that one of the greatest ballroom dancers in history has close ties with the manager of the gym where you work out, and he’s willing to work with you for free. However, the manager doesn’t make any move to introduce you to the dancer because he likes his peace and quiet and doesn’t like that the dancer plays his music too loudly…
I can see this being a case of “We’re Jazz management, we do not like to ever reveal any information that could ever be construed in any manner and also, we like predictability and stability and just the merest wisp of the thought of Karl Malone’s temperamental nature and thoughtless habit of speaking the truth at all times gives us painful, bleeding ulcers so it would be better if we just kept our distance.”
So if this is the way the front office is going to play it, can anyone with an “in” just please, please give Derrick Favors Karl’s number. (Does anyone remember off the top of their head how Deron ended up going to Spokane to train with Stock after his rookie season?)
All right, I guess that’s it for now. I probably have a year to continue ranting about this.
Random Stuff, etc.
** This is for Jazzy Girl, the only person I know who actually likes AK’s [now even longer] hair :)
Steve Brown interviewed AK before the game (he’s the only person I’ve ever heard that calls AK “Drei”) and AK reiterated that the Jazz are his first preference and said that money isn’t that important to him.
A reminder of the good ol’ days and the most awesome hair the NBA had ever seen, courtesy of @shandonfan:
In related news (and thanks to Guybrush for the reminder a couple of weeks ago), “SAVE AK” is now back on the banner and will remain there until he inks his new contract.
** Incidentally, there are still people out there complaining about AK’s salary. If you live in the U.S.A. and you like being able to drive on paved roads to law school classes and/or you have kids that go to public school and/or your parents collect Social Security checks and/or you enjoy living in the land of the free thanks to the armed forces and their weapons, it is really quite hypocritical of you to be complaining about AK’s salary since his U.S. citizen tax dollars are now paying for all of that.
** Guess who was back tonight, not just starting, but dominating at times? The Koof is finally looking comfortable in his own skin (though the back of his head is increasingly Ginobili-y), and had a couple of “Holy Hellas!” dunks.
** Big Al: It was really important [to win this game for the fans]. We been through a lot, but at the same time the fans been through a lot too and they still been there to support us through the thick and thin, so just to finish the season off with a win on our home floor for them mean a lot. (KALL)
[Did Jazz fans live up to everything you thought they would be?] True Jazz fans, them guys been unreal, man. It’s been an honor to play in front of them and the support they gave us year in, year out. I’m really super excited to start next season here. (KFAN)
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Night
** Boler: Big Al, going to town on Koufos.
** Boler on Hayward: We just saw a little left hand…business.
** Ty on Hayward, post-game: He’s learning how he can get into guys.