Half of the NBA season concludes tonight as the Utah Jazz take on the Detroit Pistons. 13-14 wins at the half point puts the Jazz with the third worst record after 41 games. I know most Jazz fans are frustrated with how many wins they have but as Joakim Noah said “If you want us to lose you’re not a true fan.” The Jazz gave fans a false impression of who they really are in the first 10-15 games with Trey and Marvin out of the lineup. Since then it seems like “fans” are frustrated when they win. If it was reversed and the Jazz started out going .500 in the first 20 games and then won 3 games up until now they (fans) would be ecstatic.
I for one am completely happy with where the Jazz are at and expect them to win another 13-14 games in the second half. The Jazz finish the season with the hardest schedule in March and April. Even if they play to the best of their abilities they probably will only win 5-7 games. Therefore stop worrying. The Jazz are not even one of the worst 6 teams in the league, but will most likely end with a top 6 pick. Obviously Jabari, Embiid and Wiggins are intriguing, but guess what that’s why there is a lottery. I not only expect the Bucks to not get the number one pick but my guess is they fall to 4th. How disappointing would that be?
The Jazz have impressed on many levels and have shown the young core has been showing doubters they can start and impress in this league.
Gordon Hayward: Being the number one option on an NBA team is not for everyone but Hayward has improved from game to game and is really starting to get the hang of it. B : shooting better would have helped his grade but averaging 17, 5 and 5 is impressive on any level.
Derrick Favors: I’ve been most impressed with Derrick this year out of anyone. He has started to dominate the game and has shown a much improved offensive game. If he gets consistent with that 18 foot jump shot he will be one of the best players in the NBA. A-
Alec Burks: A little inconsistent but has really come into his own as he has been allowed to play his game within the set offense. A 34 point game and averaging 23 in the three games Hayward has missed is a good sign for his future. B-
Enes Kanter: After missing out on most the off season it was evident that Enes had fallen behind. However, since January he looks like he has gotten back to his old form avering 14.7 and 8.3 in just 23 minutes a game. C- but on the rise.
Trey Burke: Anybody think he would be this in control this early in his career? I didn’t. He impacts this game in a positive way every time he touches the court. A-
Marvin and RJ: Both have been solid contributors to the team and are making Ty Corbin look good. B
Coach Corbin: This is why I’m a firm believer in sticking with a guy. He has improved every year in my mind and it shows with his rotations, situational substitutions and the fact that he is playing guys that will help the Jazz win. When Kanter was struggling he inserted Marvin in the starting lineup and the Jazz played better. H e has kept Burks on the bench as the sixth man which the Jazz need desperately and he has used Garret over Lucas for the majority. I know a lot of fans want Corbin fired but I am not one of them and I definitely think he gets an extension at the end of the year. B