24 hours after that embarrassing no show at home, I have finally put it behind me and can think logically again. First of all, the Jazz were missing their best two players (Mo and Hayward), in my opinion. Also Kobe had just basically told the Jazz that they weren’t worth beating, which probably should’ve fueled the Jazz. The comments by Al and by Corbin after the game really worry me, but I see where they are coming from as a loss by 45 is the same as a loss by 1 according to the record. After revisiting that game over and over in my head I realize that things could’ve gone way different if a couple things were handled differently.
The first thing me and my season ticket holding friends noticed was in warmups there was absolutely no energy. If we could see this, then Corbin should’ve been able to see this or at least one of the players… right? This shows me that our leadership without Mo and Hayward is not to be found. Then the game started and Marvin hit a 3, but then the Rockets went on a 12-3 run. At this point, Corbin needed to take his starters out or at least Al and Sap to send a message that if you’re not going to bring it then someone with energy will. David Locke had an argument with DJ and PK about this earlier in the day and he said basically that Al and Sap deserve their minutes cause they’ve earned them. I disagree 100% with that and so did DJ and PK. What has Al and Sap earned? The right to start? Maybe. The right to bring no energy or hustle? No way!
Kanter and Favors make a mistake and they are yanked almost immediately. Sap and Al make mistakes all the time, but they know better so they get to stay in the game. As a young guy this has to frustrate and intimidate them on the floor because they aree so worried about messing up. David Locke then said that Alec Burks needs to play better when he’s on the floor if he wants time out there. I agree with that except for the fact that he plays 10 minutes a night for a couple games and then doesn’t see the floor again for 2-5 games. How are you supposed to build consistency when you’re not getting the time?
The second thing is Tyrone Corbin’s inability to call a timeout at the right time. This game is very much a momentum game and when the team starts sputtering in the wrong direction you have to stop it immediately, not after the other team score 10 more points. The Rockets run the pick and roll with Harden more than any other team and against the Jazz and Al, Harden had his way whenever he wanted. Since everyone knows how bad Al and Sap are on the pick and roll wouldn’t the smart thing to do would be to change things up? Apparently not because no changes were made except for putting Alec at the point for some minutes. Newsflash Tyrone! Al is not the only player on the Jazz. Sure he is clutch and I will give him that. However, when you suck night in and night out until the clutch are you really that good to begin with? The guy has the ball in his hands more than most superstars and averages 17 points a night? Yes Al has offensive ability that most big men dream of but grow a pair and take some fouls and move your point total up to 25 for how many times you touch the ball a game! In my opinion, until he starts going stronger to the basket and stops trying to avoid contact he will never be considered an all-star caliber player.
The last thing that I want to point out that is a weakness of Corbin, is the inability to play match-ups. We have Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors who are both stellar on the defensive end and we start out with Foye on Harden? Whatever happened to throwing the first punch which the Lakers did to the Jazz the other night? In a game where strategy is key the Jazz seem to have none. Unless you count going to Big Al every play is strategy? I doubt it. Corbin is still relatively new at coaching so I try to give him as many breaks as possible but in the NBA you have to learn quicker and adapt faster. It makes me wonder if Sloan was still here, who was so big on defense, if Favors would still be only getting 16-20 minutes a night and if he’d be putting up with Al’s lack of defense. The Jazz don’t have that luxury any more unfortunately, but in a fast paced environment Corbin needs to get aggressive with his decision making and not care so much about losing his job if he takes a risk