The Utah Jazz have been blessed to be around players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. NOT! This team has been good for the last 20 years, the reason why they don't win? Because of Kobe and Jordan. Every time the Utah Jazz gets a good playoff roster and possible a championship contending team, Kobe or Jordan demolish them.
It all started in 1989.
Jerry Sloan got the job. Karl Malone was a 29-11 guy. They had the best 6th man in the league who came off the bench only to put up 20ppg, Thurl Baily. And the best true PG of all time, Stockton, a 17-13 guy.
Year after year, they fought to get deeper in the playoffs. Even back then, Jerry Sloan would find defensive guards in the 2nd round. (Sloan and Popovich are the best at finding these gems) They brought in Byron Russell, who has a key contributor for their deep playoff runs. They finally made it to the Finals.. They were playing Jordan, they lost. Next year, they made it again, they met Jordan, they lost. By this time, Malone was down to a 27-10 guy and Stockton was a 12-8 guy. The next 2 years, they lost in the Conf Semifinals, then they lost back to back to back in the 1st round.
2003 comes along, Malone (39) is now a 20-7 guy. Stockton (40) is a 10-7 guy.
Their time is up and it's time to rebuild... The end.
3 straight years, the Utah Jazz miss the playoffs.
By this time, Kirilenko was a household name. Harpring was 27, and the rebuilding process was underway.
The rebuilding process was nearly complete. They brought in a new starting C and PF.
Boozer (23), was a 17-8 with the body of the former star PF from the 90s. Okur (25) coming off a championship run with the Pistons joins them, helps them spread the floor, and gives them a new dimension.
They have a very athletic PG that has a certain killer instinct that Utah loved. His name? Deron Williams. a 10-4 guy in his rookie year, seemed promising.
Their 2nd chance at winning it all.
Deron Williams is now the 2nd best PG in basketball, just next to fellow 2005 draft classmate CP3.
Derek Fisher joins to help give them some grittiness and some experience. The Spurs stopped them in the Conf. Finals.
2008: Meet Kobe
Kobe, Lakers slam on them in Conf Semifinals in a 4-2 series win.
2009: We meet again.
They play the Lakers in the 1st round of the playoffs and this time, the Lakers make is look easier as they win 4-1.
2010: 3rd time's a charm?
Here we are in the Conf. Semifinals and they are down 1-0. Now it's time, their time.. To see what they can do, with Boozer probably leaving and Okur/Kirilenko might not be the same again, injuries and age can really work you. They beat the Nuggets to show they belong in the playoffs.. Where to from here? Will Kobe stop them for a 3rd straight time? The winner of the last 2 times these teams met, went off the the NBA Finals, or should we say, the last time the Lakers beat them, the Lakers advanced to the NBA Finals.
good stuff. But in all fairness, i dont think the jazz are only running into the lakers/kobe. They have injuries and are probably not a title team anyways quite yet. Not enough defense. No perimiter lockdown guy and the bigs are undersized.
Ilperez, I agree with you but if the Lakers were out in the 1st round, and Kirilenko/Okur were in, they would be a championship caliber team.
possibly. overall, i agree with you though, the jazz are gonna be sick of seeing the lakers after this series is over.
Yeah, they will be sick of them.
When you think about it, the Jazz is a team that they probably won't be this good for the next 3-6 years.
Boozer isn't coming back and Okur is pretty much old. Kirilenko isn't a lock down defender that he used to be.
Other teams that fall in this category:
The wouldn't have beaten Boston in 2008 if they got to the Finals.
That Celtics team out the Lakers pretty easily in 3 of their wins.
The Jazz never seem to have that 3rd player either at SG or C that can help out their great PG, PF and this is going back a while.
Even if the Jazz beat the Lakers they wouldn't beat the Spurs.
Maybe they could beat the Suns but Jason Richardson, Amare and the rest of the team is pretty deep.
No way they would beat Orlando or Cleveland.
If they have a healthy Okur, Kirilenko add a top draft pick and homecourt next year and a decent mid level player I could see them going much deeper could make the Finals.
Then again they would have to keep Boozer too which won't happen
Most of these teams if their smart can rebuild quickly once they have cap room.
Utah will have cap room in the summer of 2011 after Kirilenko's deal is up and with the Knicks pick this year whatever it is they definately will have some young talent.
Only 3 players locked into deal for 2011 right now, of course that will change but they should be able to rebuild around Deron Williams and the 2010 draft pick.
Okur is probably the best offensive shooting center.
When it comes down to SG..
Let's take a look at their shooting guards this season:
Wesley Matthews: 9.4ppg
C.J. Miles: 9.9ppg
Kyle Korver: 7.2ppg
That's 26.5ppg coming from the shooting guard position.
Now in the playoffs:
Wesley Matthews: 13.9ppg
C.J. Miles: 14ppg
Kyle Korver: 7.7ppg
That's 35.6ppg coming from the shooting guard position.
No way their getting that much production for SG alone.
Mathew is the SG and Miles SF.
Also very good article except the GM's make the draft picks and have final say.
Though they do take the coachs input.
Theh Spurs and Jazz are def. known to find steals in the draft.
I'm not a huge Okur fan but a big man who can shoot the outside shot would've hurt Gasol and Bynum.
Also why would the Bobcats not be this good for a while.
They weren't that good this year anyway its just the East was so weak.
Without a star player the Bobcats weren't going anywhere still. Wallace is more prolific rebounding and playing D than scoring. Having Stephen Jackson will help but they need a stud PF.
Miles is 6'6", he's actually a SG but he's playing SF, so I'm counting him as a SG.
I don't think they'll (The Bobcat) be a playoff team anymore because Stephen Jackson is really their cornerstone for their success this season and he's already 32.. He'll be 33 next year. I don't think Gerald Wallace will ever average 10rpg.. maybe 8 but not 10.
Their top bench players:
Theo Ratliff - 37yrs old
Nazr Mhammed - 33yrs old
Larry Hughes - 32yrs old
Boris Diaw - Still good in age.
Injuries have sure hurt them, they are sooo small and the stiffs at the end of the bench who are now forced to play are terrible. Fes and Kosta are not ever going to make it in the NBA as real players. Lakers have too much inside, let a lone Kobe. They don't even need Kobe in this series.
The Jazz need to: Resign boozer (not likely) and pickup a talented long center in the draft. They need Cousins, Aldrich, Monroe or Whiteside. Legit bigs who at nothing else can defend Gasol or Bynum. Espeically after last nights game. Millsap and Boozer are just too small...
If Okur and Kirlanko were healthy, it would be a little different, then the lakers would need Kobe.
Both Miles and Mathews have showed up in both games to play. Miles has been off outside but he is playing hard and getting to the line. Both of these are surprises for the Jazz, a silver lining if you will. Overtime, they may be able to slow Kobe, if the other pieces fall in and Kobe continues to show his age...