It seems like forever since the Utah Jazz played their last game (Golden State). With 3 days off before their showdown with the New Orleans Hornets, the Jazz have ensured themselves of being nice and rested before Deron Williams can own Chris Paul for the umpteenth time. However, my concern is not with their matchup with the Hornets right now, but rather it is with the way the scheduling was made for the Jazz.
After their road game in New Orleans tonight, the Jazz head to Milwaukee to play the Bucks tomorrow night. My question is, why didn’t the NBA just spread out the schedule so that Utah didn’t have to play a back-to-back after a 3-day break? Instead of having a 3 day break between the Golden State game and the New Orleans game, the league could have simply given the Jazz 2 days off followed by the Hornets game. Then the Jazz could have had another day off before playing the Bucks in Milwaukee on Saturday night. To me it just doesn’t make any sense.
I’m sure some of the players really enjoy the miniature vacation that they had this week (obviously there are no real vacations when you’re an NBA player), but it’s only going to be tougher to turn around and play in Milwaukee tomorrow night.
Now, it’s not like I don’t expect the Jazz to take both of these games, but I just feel like it’s as tough as it can be for them. When you get into a consistent flow of playing every day and every other day, a 3-day break can throw a few things off. And to follow that 3-day break by a back-to-back on the road is really asking a lot of a team; even a team coach by Jerry Sloan.
As you all know, Jerry Sloan has been around for 23 years with the Jazz, and there is no doubt that he’s been in this situation countless times before. Despite that, it’s his players who need to go out on the floor and perform in both games. Sloan can have his team prepared to take on the best in the world, but if they don’t go out and execute, it doesn’t really matter. Luckily for Jerry, he has a point guard in Deron Williams who is mentally tough and always looks for a challenge. This will be no different. D-Will has been on fire lately as he has put up a bunch of 30 point games, and he is getting himself mentioned in MVP discussions. He is the leader of this team, and it is going to be up to him to bring the heat for the next two nights. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s not going to be fun, but it’s his responsibility to show his team the way.
Will he be able to do it? Let’s see what YOU think.