Utah Jazz: Jazz Lose In Overtime To Hornets… Perfect!

The performance that the Utah Jazz had against the New Orleans Hornets on Thursday night was exactly what I had in mind when I said that the Jazz should play hard and lose. Of course I didn’t expect Emeka Okafor to hit a crazy shot at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime, but hey, the goal was achieved. And the craziest part about the whole situation is that when Okafor hit the shot to send the game to overtime, I was actually relieved. I understood that the Jazz winning or losing this game wasn’t going to affect them that much one way or the other, but I just didn’t want it to be that one game that the Jazz ended up regretting for having won it when they didn’t really need to.

Even though the Jazz lost, and they were able to entertain the home crowd with an exciting game, there was one thing that still bothered me about this game. That one thing was the fact that Raja Bell played more minutes than anybody else on the Jazz roster. I mentioned in my last post how this was a great game for the Jazz to explore their future options, and that it was also the perfect time for Coach Corbin to cease his love affair with Raja Bell. Those things did not happen, and I feel like that was a wasted opportunity. Yes, Gordon Hayward did play over 36 minutes, but Jeremy Evans and Derrick Favors each played less than 17 minutes, and that was in an overtime game (53 minutes).

Moving forward I am still hopeful that the time distribution will change. Coach Corbin hasn’t given me any reason to believe he will change things up, but I figure hope is all I have left at this point. Maybe once the Jazz are mathematically eliminated, the mindset will change for Corbin, and he will start to evaluate the younger talent on this team by giving them a lot more minutes. Unfortunately, between now and the time the Jazz are mathematically eliminated, several games might go by, and the Jazz will regret not getting the chance to play the youngsters earlier. (Right now there are only 9 games left).

All I can say is that the writing is on the wall, and Coach Corbin better realize that his team is not a playoff contender sooner rather than later. And even if by some miracle the Jazz actually made the playoffs, they will be the victim of a first-round sweep anyway. So it’s time to stop playing players who will not have much impact on the future of this team, and it is time to see what the young talent is truly capable of. If not now, when?

Tags: Derrick Favors Emeka Okafor Gordon Hayward Jeremy Evans New Orleans Hornets Paul Millsap Utah Jazz

  • Mike

    I agree with you that Corbin needs to give players other than Raja Bell minutes. The only reason I could imagine that he continues to do this is because he thinks that playing Bell gives him the best chance to win. You need to remember that Corbin is a new head coach and he is trying to leave his best mark on the team heading into the offseason. So he does want to try and do well for his own sake and his future, which might not be in line with the what the Jazz are looking for as a franchise.
    But believe me, I would also love to see what the young guys are capable of. I just wish the Jazz weren’t dealing with a new head coach in this situation.

    • http://www.PurpleandBlues.com Lee Tawil

      Yes, great point, Mike. It is a tough spot for Corbin to be in as a new head coach. I do think, though, that no matter how the Jazz close out the season, Corbin will not be too hurt or too helped by their performance. With that being said, play the young guns!

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  • Roger Willis

    I think it’s time that the Jazz just admit that they screwed up with the acquisition of Raja Bell. He has not given them the type of season they had hoped for, but then again, how much faith should you really put in a 34 year old with an injury history?

  • Kenny Shulsen

    Last night was a perfect example that COrbin is in over his head. Raja comes in for CJ with over 10 minutes left in the game and then preceeds to play the rest of the game and OT. And on a critical late possession with the Hornets having only 4 defenders it’s Raja who tries to go to the hoop and gets stuffed. There is no excuse for him playing more minutes than anyone on the team and Favors and CJ riding the pine the last 15+ minutes. Embarrassing.