Chris Sheridan of sheridanhoops.com was with 1280 the zone yesterday talking with Spence Checketts about the Jazz and the rumors he dug up last week. In the trade rumor he has Al going to the Spurs and the Jazz bringing back Patty Mills, Tiago Splitter, Stephen Jackson and a European prospect in Lorbek. Asked why he thought the Spurs would go after Al, Chris responded “for interior defense and to protect the rim.” He said that the Spurs lacked that in last years playoffs and they need to improve it if they want to make a run this year.
Now it’s no secret that Al is awful at pick and roll defense and that he lacks desire on defense for most or all of the game. So why does Chris Sheridan think Al would help the Spurs in that area? He says under a “good coach” Al would be a very formidable defender and would protect the rim. I don’t know if he was saying that to praise Poppovich or dog on Ty Corbin but either way he has a point. Think about it, when Al doesn’t play D or lets a player drive right past him does Corbin say anything? Not during the game he doesn’t. If Favors or Kanter do that they get yanked from the game immediately and get ripped into.
There is no accountability for Al with the Jazz and I have to agree with Mr. Sheridan that if Al was with the Spurs he’d have to play defense to even be in the game. I can just imagine Al letting a point guard fly right past him and Al not even putting up a hand. What would Poppovich do? I know Duncan and Parker would be on him in a second. That’s the difference with Corbin and Poppovich. Corbin is scared to disappoint his veterans and scared to come down on them. Management loves Corbin so the Jazz are stuck with him as long as we are putting a decent team on the floor, but it feels like too many games have come down to poor substitutions and bad play calling. Tom took out Boozer on the defensive end of the Jazz-Bulls game and Corbin left Favors on the bench. It’s a learning process and it feels like the Jazz are moving backwards.
Al is gonna be a max contract guy this offseason as he is probably the biggest name other than Dwight. This means that either the Jazz need to trade him to get something or let him walk during free agency. The Jazz will need to pay Favors, Hayward and Kanter big money in the next couple years and keeping Al would most likely mean losing one of those three. Lots to happen in the next 9 days before the trade deadline. Many questions will be answered.