The Utah Jazz are 1 – 2, and so far the renewed focus on Defense must have been an April Fools joke, cause I haven't seen any Defense yet.
Yesterday was a busy day in sports. Thank god for Tivo! I had the Monday Night Football game to watch, Roddy White and Pierre Thomas are on a few of my Fantasy Teams and I was behind, its safe to say after their performances yesterday I won those leagues.
Game 5 of the World Series was a laugher. As expected the Phillies, with their backs against the wall, and their Ace Cliff Lee on the mound were able to extend the series another game with a 8-6 victory. The Yankees made it interesting in the 9th but the game was never really in doubt. Chase Utley is the best 2nd Baseman in Major League Baseball, just sayin.
Moving on to what I really am supposed to talk about, the Jazz and their Texas matchups. I recorded the Jazz game against the Rockets last night and got up at 5:30 AM this morning before my kids get up to watch it in peace. I don't know who many of you have kids but it's impossible to really enjoy a game when your 3 year old wants to play Transformers with you. Again, thank god for Tivo.
I saw the final score online before I watched the game, Rockets 113 to Utah 96 and I expected something completely different from what I actually saw.
This game wasn't a blowout like the score indicates, Utah was only down 3 points going into the 4th Quarter and they actually led for stretches in the First half. The Rocket shooters started to hit their shots in the 4th, went on a 13-0 run and took control of the game. Jazz fans voiced their displeasure with the team and filed out of the Arena with alittle over 3 minutes to play, clearly repulsed by the lackluster display of defense.
Tonight the Jazz take on an improved Dallas Mavericks team. Dallas is currently 2-1, having won 2 in a row over the Clippers and Lakers. Dallas seems to be clicking on all cylinders and the addition of Shawn Marion seems be paying off already on the defensive end.
Dallas has held the Lakers to 80 points on 39% shooting, and the Clippers to 84 points and 42%. Dallas is playing great on the ball defense, getting in passing lanes, forcing tough shots, and giiving great help defense. Something the Jazz said they would focus on, but clearly haven't.
The Jazz are giving up 108 points per game right now. Boozer has one block in three games, and is shooting 30% from the field. This team is not playing like a Jerry Sloan team should, and has in the past.
“That's not winning basketball, that's just taking your paycheck and going home.”
Jerry Sloan on Utah's 113-96 loss to the Rockets
From watching all three games so far this season, granted a very small sample size, there isn't much change from last season. The biggest problem for the Jazz on defense has always been effort. That was not more evident last night when it came to help defense.
Jazz players would constantly leave their man to help a teammate, but wouldn't commit, leaving their man open but not really double teaming when giving help. It's like they are double teaming half way, they don't quite want to leave their man, but they don't want to help either. Complete lack of effort it's disgusting.
Dallas likes to penetrate with Terry and Kidd and kick out to their shooters, they have alot of them. Utah needs to commit when they help on defense and double guys with more conviction.
I have a feeling this is going to be a recurring problem all season. The personel on this team isn't capable of playing hard nosed, Jerry Sloan defense. Time to get some new players. I'm talking to you Booz.
Carlos Boozer is already mailing it in, dreaming of Miami despite Managements efforts to make him feel welcome and wanted.
The Jazz keep playing like this and half the team is going to start mailing it in. Like the saying goes, one bad apple can ruin the whole bunch. We'll see what happens tonight against Dallas. It's on the road so don't get your hopes up.
I'm just hoping the Jazz hold Dallas to under 120 points.
Danny is the sportstalkbuzz.com Blogger for the Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, and Utah Jazz. Danny likes to take long walks in dangerous high crime areas of town, beats watching a scary movie. Danny is also obsessed with Dr. Phil, that man has his head in the right place. If you have any Dr. Phil questions or just want to talk sports Danny can be reached at email@example.com
About the Author
Written by Danny Shapiro
Danny Shapiro is 26 years old, married and a father to 2 boys, who he hopes one day to play MLB and support him and his wife in their old age. Danny's second love, mistress even, is sports and Danny is living his dream of being a sports writer right now, thanks to Prosportsblogging.com.