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I'm a man who loves sports, bacon, and a good steak.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The USU game and what I think of the Jazz post trade so far, bonus mwc talk

I haven't been able to watch the Jazz but one quarter this weekend.  So I can't apply the eye test to them after the trade.  I was at the Utah State game tonight and I have continued to notice a trend that we only play one good half.  Maybe I could say we only play one dominate half.  Since I went to the USU game I'll start with that first.

We shot very well tonight and hence we won.  I was actually a lot more impressed at times with Idaho's defense but after we made a few shots it just crumbled.  You can look to that middle of the first half run to see when that really happened.  Tai has really shown the ability to make to finish around the hoop lately.  Hes finished with 20+ in the last 4 of 6 games.  We are a totally different beast when hes finishing around the hoop.  

About the half part, it seems like we lately have just dominated one half against a team and then we play them about even in the other half.  Take this game for example while you could tell we were the better team in the second half the first half was where we shined.  We really cracked down on defense and we made a adjustments on offense.  I especially liked Newbold in the post that was interesting.  I believe all 6 of his points were scored that way.  

It was fun to rush the court even if it was completely unnecessary.  As far as I know this senior class has never had the crowd rush the court.  I was only around for their freshmen year though.  I thought it was fitting to do it in revenge for how Idaho celebrated.  It doesn't show a lot of class but it was fun at least.  Cutting down the nets was nice since frankly you don't get to do it very often.  Stew cutting down part of the net was my favorite part.  

I find it interesting that the Jazz's system makes players look better at least on the state line.  We lost tonight, but Favors had 10 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block, and Harris had 17 points, 2 rebounds, and 12 assists.  Not bad for only practicing once with the team.  I would like to see more rebounds out of Favors, but I'll talk about that more when I actually get to see him play.  I see him right now as how Millsap was his rookie year.  He has 2 inches on Millsap though and is more athletic.  I would like to see a steal out of Harris too, when he was at his best he was averaging 1.7 steals a game and I would love to see him put up close to those numbers for the jazz.  Congratulations on the 12 assists, definitely what to see that consistently.

I still continue to think that we won't make the playoffs.  I know after last nights game it felt like we were going to go to the playoffs.  And then we lost to a 21 win Detroit team and its back to earth.  Jazz went from playing great defense to a high scoring affair and got lite up by Austin Daye.  We might still be bound for the lottery like I hoped.  We just aren't playing good basketball at the moment.  The problem is I just don't know whats really wrong.  Its not the slow starts anymore.  We'll show up eventually.  If only we had a healthy Okur, you have to really wonder what that would do.

Also I know BYU and SDSU are both rated in the top 10 and looking great.  Except I think they are both overrated.  Besides BYU beating Arizona, it think between them they both have no great wins.  Even that BYU win doesn't look so good tonight as Arizona got stomped by UCLA.  Interestingly enough thats the first team to beat BYU.  Now I will say that none of them have bad losses.  SDSU did show that it was willing to show a good resume by playing on the road a lot in non conference.  I present though the problem if you put them in the big east how do you think they would do.  Would they look like top 10 teams in that conference.  I think thats a flat out no.  Honestly if I was to put them against the top 10 teams in the big east I would bet on the big east teams.  Do I think either of those teams could be any of those teams yes, but I they would look more like a fringe top 25 teams and not top 10 teams.  Oh and those St. Mary's and Gonzaga wins don't look so great at the moment either.

Also it kinda reminds me that when Ohio State and Michigan were ranked 1 and 2 in the nation.  Everybody thought they were the two best teams.  Then the heisman trophy winner Troy Smith and Ohio State got killed by LSU.  Michigan also went to on to lose badly to USC in its bowl game.  While good teams they weren't what they thought they were and so is BYU and SDSU.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The great potential that the jazz have

First off what has happened this season isn't exactly ideal.  To start we have an injured at one point in time all-star riding the bench and I don't think he'll come back this season (memo).  We lost Matthews in before the season even started to the ever so lets screw the jazz by trying to overpay their free agents and seeing if they match Trail Blazers.  We were kidding ourselves with miracle comebacks.  How great would it be if I think we had an better chance right now to win the lottery with two different picks.  The one we owe the t-wolves is top 16 protected.  Can't tell you how hard it was to find that info.  Now we are a playoff fringe team with no chance of doing anything in it and can't really fall enough to get a decent draft pick, so not ideal.

Alright so on to what just happened.  We just lost D-will who is 17 on PER rankings at a very respectable 22.17.  Now he has been suffering from a wrist injury, heres hoping he decides its time to shut it down for the season and heal.  Hes probably too competitive for that though.  He is definitely in the conversation as the best point guard in the NBA.  He also was a much better grab for the Nets then Melo was.  Although he doesn't have the same kind of star power.  He has great size, a good finisher, a killer cross over, and also a good shooter.  So that will be missed.  

Now what we got in return.

First I love Devin Harris.  He is wicked fast, knows how to get to the line, and can play really good defense.  His draw backs are he can't shoot and is injury prone.  Now he may not have the assists average you would want from a Jazz point guard but I don't think that should be a problem.  As he has been a score first point guard and may actually be better for us in that respect then D-will was.  I think hes ability to drive will actually help players like Al Jefferson and Millsap as he gets opponents bigs in foul trouble and have to play help D.  I don't know how he is with the pick and roll but he if hes good opponents could be in trouble.  Also I am way stoked about his defense, seriously we suck at D we need the help.  We might not keep him because I could see us getting Caron Butler's expiring contract and opening up more cap for next year.  But if we do I think it could add a completely different dimension to us.  Lets pray if he does stay that he can return to his all star form.

Alright well theres Favors, I honestly don't know much about the kid.  I looked on youtube and he can dunk. Maybe him and Evans can have their own dunk contest.  So what jumps out at first is his athleticism.  The guy can run down the court and he can finish.  The main problem right now is that he lacks polish in the offensive game.  I think right now if we keep Millsap and don't shoot ourselves in the foot more for tax relief then he will have a great mentor.  He has upside as well on the defensive end, could be a good shot blocker as he develops more and will help on the boards.  Which I noticed has been a weakness this year.  Overall he has a lot of upside and could make us have a dangerous frontcourt this next year.

Now the two draft picks, the first one is UNPROTECTED pick for the next year!  Why I want to D-will to throw in the towel on the season.  Because this could be huge, if the nets don't start winning games.  Which I doubt they will the team is just frankly terrible.  Right now they are getting the 6th overall draft pick with a 6.3% chance of winning the lottery.  Which isn't great but hey its better then nothing.  I love to think how magical it would be to get the number overall pick in what has been considered a weak draft but whatever.

The second pick comes is the 2012 1st round pick for the Golden State Warriors.  It is protected in the top 7 and then top 6 for the next two years.  Knowing how Golden State plays we will probably get a 10 or 11 pick in 2012.  Which is something to be excited about as well.  In less for some reason they learn to play defense but I doubt that.  Still good enough offensively to win games so we don't have to worry about waiting forever for it.

Overall I think the jazz lose some star power, but I hope this has shown that they gain a lot.  I didn't talk about it but I doubt Deron's leadership abilities.  he's a good player but he hasn't done anything for this team leading them.  They have some building blocks to build around and could be become instantly good again with a little luck and some people getting healthy.  That is if we don't start over again and implode the roster more. Apparently the Jazz are getting calls about Millsap.  It looks like we are going to be about 2 years away from really being considered at least a second tier team.  The future is looking bright and we should be able to build upon Favors, Hayward, the nets draft pick, and hopefully our own from this year. Heres to next season.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

College Basketball Rankings

The first problem with rankings its not the best team at that moment its who is having the best overall season. One example is a few years back when Georgia in football was widely considered to the be the hottest team in the country and would have beat anybody in football. But because they had lost earlier in the season they ended up playing in the sugar bowl against an ranked and highly overrated Hawaii team. Which they stomped.

The next is a team like George Mason which had that great final four run a few years back. It was highly criticized that they even got into the tournament. Then the only preceded to beat the likes of Michigan State, North Carolina, and UConn. Eventually losing the Florida who went on to win the NC. You can also look at Davidson in 2008 going to the elite eight as a 10 seed and they should have beat Kansas in the game that would have got them to the final four. Really rankings are all related to perception. A lot of it goes into the rankings of other things too such as recruiting classes. Kansas state was a ranked third in the preseason, went on to fall out of the rankings, and then beat Kansas, who had just become number 1. Many teams have been ranked and just not soon up in bowl games and NCAA tournaments. Just based on a biased opinion of their league. Just look at the Big Ten in Bowl games. 

There are teams like Utah State who consistently win tons of games. But they haven't won in the post season since an upset of Ohio State in 2003. I love the aggies but they are a classic overrated team. They beat a lot of bad teams and are still good but its unlikely that they will even get the respect of a 24 ranked team on seeding or even win a game no matter what their seed is. Honestly I think BYU is another example. Yes Jimmer has been amazing. But honestly besides SDSU and Arizona they really haven't beat anybody. They've had Arizona's number for awhile and frankly that arizona is different from the one we are seeing right now. SDSU great team but they only beat a Gonzaga team that isn't even going to win its conference, and is behind a team that just lost to team with only 5 wins. 

So really do rankings mean a lot no. I do believe that we should keep them. But do they determine if a team is good not really. It comes from the tendency to overreact to the losses that many good teams have. You can't win every night. Just because you lose once does that mean you are no longer the best team. no it doesn't. The problem is losing your ranking can get you out of a national championship. Which is really the problem with the BCS. You can't argue with the playoff system of march madness, you get your chance to prove yourself. That is if you get into the tournament.