Jan 15, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) grabs a rebound as San Antonio Spurs forward Boris Diaw (left) defends during the first half at AT

Utah Jazz: Halfway Point

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.

Halfway Grades:

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. : 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






Tags: Utah Jazz

  • Steven Jaynes

    Had Burke been fit and healthy, or if the Jazz had some sort of credible back up option at point guard in his absence I think Gordon would have had a more effective time earlier in the season. As a result he was left trying to learn the point forward position, which few players even attempt, as well as learn to be the number one option on a team with few others after previously being happy to be play second fiddle to others within the team in previous seasons. I think people tend to forget that some his early season shots and plays came from lack of options within the team, and teams being well aware of his strengths from playing against him previously. Yes he had some learning to do, but his IQ has been developed further by having to play without the support that most players take for granted in the early part of the season…that excites me for the future. Hayward’s growth in future seasons with Burke, Favors and a high draft pick this year to come could be really exciting.

    I wasn’t that impressed with Favors early in the season, I didn’t think he was imposing himself in games like a man of his athleticism should. When I went to the few games I had the opportunity of taking in at ESA I saw someone holding back. Thats always been my criticism of Favors, he plays within himself. Now though he seems to have taken a huge step forward in that regard. Sadly I have moved from Utah back to Scotland, so I can’t see it for myself in person but it seems like Favors has started to relish his increased role within the team and realised that he has a big part to play if this team is going to be successful.

    Now Burke, he has has impressed me with his impact. If you forget the games he missed, and start the season when he was available this team hovers around the 500 mark, impressive when you consider the inexperience within the squad. His shooting could be better, his assists could be higher, but there is an intangible about him that isn’t in the stats that suggests he is a quarterback that his teammates trust and need.

    The change in results wasn’t all on Burke coming back to the team though. Despite last season I was excited to see what Marvin could do this year. Last years team with most of the offense going through Big Al was a detriment to what Marvin’s game even more than others. Marvin isn’t a player who is going to light it up with individual serving stats. However he is a clever player and has experience that the more impactful younger players lack. Im glad for him that he has shown how important he can be, I don’t think it would be a mistake for the Jazz to offer him a contract and keep him around for a couple of more season yet.

    Richard wasn’t a total surprise to me. I thought his experience was going to be imoortant going forward in this season. Yes I was hoping a certain player not named Biedrins would have had more impact than he has had, but its been Jefferson of the three GSW that seems to relish playing again. I knew he had the potential to be a decent acquisition, but hes been a necessary part of the package to allow the good things to happen.

    Corbin has been improving of late, I’m still not convinced though that he is the right man at the helm to make the most of the talent that is going to be in the squad next season. I would still rather the people at the top took a long hard look at what they want from this team going forward and then made a judgement on who has the skills necessary to take the team there. This team should have no place for misguided loyalty at this stage. There are plenty of good people, out of work, and some too in work that have the skills to take this team forward. Corbin seems like a good man but would the team be better served if a bold decision was made to go all in one person that could really up everyones game. I am huge on giving managers, coaches the chance to implement a system and direction and then sticking with them through good and bad times for 15 – 20 years, Successful sports teams don’t always win, but they do put a system in place and trust that one person to run that ship through choppy waters. Its a matter though of settling on that one person to do just that. Is Corbin that man? I don’t see it.

  • Steven Jaynes

    I love the improvement in the guys as the season has gone on, but I worried that as the team has improved, other teams have got steadily worse, and not just one or two teams. Take the first 15 games out of the season, and the Jazz have improved to a 500 level team… beating one team, contending with another in a manner that the result is in question until the games conclusion, and then losing the energy and focus against another opponent like all young teams do. Due to early season losses this team is not going to be a 500 level team but right now it is playing like one, just as a lot of other teams have lost the early season momentum There is a danger that the Jazz might not be in the bottom 5 team at the end of the season. Its quite possible that they might only be the the bottom 8th or 9th worst by the seasons end, A good draft year or not, im not sure the jazz will get the player they want out of this draft. The jazz do have assets to move to move up, but I don’t see any team with a chance of a top 5 pick be willing to move down.

    Id really hate to see the Lakers play poorly all season and get lucky in this draft. They have enough means to improve their roster as it is without getting a good pick in this draft too. Its great to see the fight, the attitude and the improvement of the guys to not accept the current situation as the be all and end all of this season, but that fight might work against the Jazz in the end. If the momentum that has been built in this middle part of the season continues, bad results when the games get harder aren’t going to be guaranteed losses.