Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Utah Jazz Season Wrap Up
Well, another season has come and gone for our beloved team, and once again we have been ousted by the hated Los Angeles Lakers. I am very sad that the Jazz didn't make it farther, especially when we had such a great streak of games in the early part of 2010. Instead we saw the Jazz limp into the playoffs, a wounded, but resilient group, that was able to knock out a Denver team that everyone, including me, thought we would lose to. Now begins the soul searching and head scratching as we look forward to an uncertain off season and the hope that we will do better next year.
Here is what we KNOW about the Jazz-
Deron Williams is the best point guard in the league, and he can play through injury better than anyone since Malone and Stockton. Any debate about Chris Paul vs. Deron needs to stop because it isn't fair to Chris Paul anymore.
Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko are soft and can't be counted on to be there when they are needed most. In order for them to stay with the team, the Jazz need to get solid players at their positions who can step up when they inevitably miss time due to their little boo boos.
Carlos Boozer is a very solid 20/10 guy and plays well most of the time. I was very impressed with him this year, and frankly hope that he stays. There are so few guys who can do what he does on a nightly basis that the Jazz need to try to keep him. Also, he and Deron run the Sloan system really well together- except against the Lakers.
Wesley Matthews and C.J. Miles earned a lot of respect this season. These two made huge strides and filled in nicely during Kirilenko's extended absence. I think one of them needs to go so that we can upgrade our wing spots, but because of their strong play, the Jazz can demand someone good in return.
Fesenko and Koufos are not the answer in the post. Get rid of them and get someone who could actually hang with guys like Gasol, Dwight Howard and Amare Stoudemire.
Here is what I think SHOULD happen in the off season-
We resign Boozer.
The Jazz draft Greg Monroe from Georgetown with the Knicks' pick and he becomes the guy who can do what I just said Fes and Koufos can't. He is a great passer and long enough to be a real shot blocking presence inside.
We package Miles and/or Korver and one of our bigs and trade for a starting swingman to play alongside Matthews. Someone like the Hawks' Joe Johnson who underachieved enough this year to be available to us. Maybe even Andre Igoudala would be a possibility.
The Jazz open the season with a starting lineup of Williams, Joe Johnson, Matthews, Boozer and Monroe and a bench of Millsap, Kirilenko, Ronnie Price, Sundiata Gaines and Okur. That's a team that could be deep enough to give any Western Conference rivals real trouble.
You're welcome, Mr. O'Connor.