Blog Entry

Deron Williams MRI negative, what about the Jazz?

Posted on: January 28, 2011 1:28 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 1:30 pm
MRI negative for Deron Williams' wrist, day-to-day, but what about the Jazz as a whole?
Posted by Matt Moore

Deron Williams "felt a pop" when he injured his wrist Wednesday night, prompting him to have an MRI done, and stopping the hearts of every Jazz official, player, and fan throughout the land. But the good news is that the results are back, and they are negative. No structural damage for Williams, and he's listed as day-to-day with a strained tendon. 

Losing Williams is not the same as the funk the Jazz are going through. There's a number of people jumping off the good ship Jazz 2011, but in reality, they looked very good at the beginning of the season.  There are a number of areas of concern, however, as outlined by the Salt Lake City Tribune's Kurt Kragthorpe in his midseason review a week ago: 
In previous years, “We had a better chemistry,” Williams said. “I don’t know if you could say better players that fit the system, but a better mesh of guys.”

For all of his leadership and dependability, Raja Bell appears every bit of 34 years old, shooting poorly and defending inadequately. Nobody’s sure what to think of rookie Gordon Hayward.

So the newcomers have not changed the organization’s outlook, and play of the holdovers is no more encouraging. The contract-year version of Andrei Kirilenko is the usual model, a sixth-year C.J. Miles is still not a complete upgrade, Paul Millsap is slumping and not even Williams is exempt from criticism.
via Kragthorpe: Jazz’s downturn leads to depressing forecast | The Salt Lake Tribune.

And all that was much nicer than what was said and is being said about Al Jefferson. The real problems, though, are the things wrong on defense, as Zach Lowe from SI illustrated earlier this week. 

Over the last six weeks or so, the nightmare scenario for Utah has played out. Both of those early problematic trends have continued, while opponents have started to make shots. Teams shot 46 percent from the floor (and 39 percent from three) against the Jazz in December; those numbers have jumped to 47.3 percent and 40 percent so far in January. Meanwhile, the Jazz still give up the most free throws per shot attempt, and, most disturbing of all, they’ve settled in at 27th in defensive rebounding rate. The latter trend is especially disturbing, because Utah ranked fifth in that category last season, meaning their defensive rebounding has collapsed much more dramatically than we should have expected given the loss of Carlos Boozer (a better rebounder than either Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap).

In fact, only seven teams since 1973-74 have seen their place in the league’s defensive rebounding hierarchy (as measured by percentile rather than raw rank, given the changing number of teams in the league) drop further in one season than Utah’s has so far, according to Basketball-Reference.

A deeper look at Utah’s defense suggests the problem lies in the pick-and-roll — and specifically in its inability to stop dribble penetration at the top. An exhaustive look at video points to, primarily, the inability (or reluctance) of Millsap and Jefferson to jump out aggressively and cut off ball-handlers before they turn the corner. For whatever reason, both prefer mostly to sag back as Williams chases point guards over screens. 
via The Point Forward » Posts Monday Musings: Defensive issues mute Jazz «.

In case you're missing the theme, here, it's that the Jazz are playing terribly. The gap, though, is that in years past they would surge in January and February, then fall back to the pack and be easily dismissed in April. January is not the time to be surging. April is. Jerry Sloan has until then to get things straight. If he doesn't, or if the Jazz wind up in the Lakers' side of the bracket, it's going to be yet another predictable, easily-dismissed exit from the playoffs in the first or second round. The list is pretty simple:
  • Shore up the pick and roll defense, getting Al Jefferson more in tune with the defensive principles and awareness he needs
  • Commit to the kind of effort they gave on the glass early on the season.
  • Resolve the shooting woes from the perimeter, finding some option among the plethora of wings they have available.
  • Get everything in tune at once.

But at least they won't be trying to fix these problems now without Deron Williams. 

Since: Feb 2, 2011
Posted on: February 3, 2011 9:58 am

Deron Williams MRI negative, what about the Jazz?

Hello out there! You may be 35% correct here. So what if Sloan is old and stuck in his ways of the give and go! At least he has had job security and has been the longest tenure coach of any pro team anywhere. That's to be commended but I really think that his days r #'d by him, not the Jazz organization or the state of Utah. I disagree though that he's the problem why Utah isn't winning. My gosh, is there anybody on that team that actually plays defense? A wise man once said, "defense wins games" and that is so true. Guess what, the object of the game is to stop the other team from putting a ball into a cylinder that 10 feet high off the wood court. If you can stop the bad guys from scoring more than what the good guys can score then guess what, we have a winner over and over again. I would love to see Greg Pop (Spurs) on the Jazz bench but we know that will never happen. He's the only coach that truly teaches and promotes defense. Don't believe me, watch him and compare him to the others, then call me and we can discuss! It's not fair to call the Utah fans names though. They are one, if the not the one, loudest group of fans in the NBA. I hate that D-Willi is hurt because he brings that energy you speak about. However, like Bron Bron when he was in Cleveland playing 1 on 5 basketball, Deron can't do this alone! So, there does need to be a trade. Raja Bell has done nothing in a Jazz uniform, in fact, I think they are paying him to be a loser. His defense used to get to the Jazz and most of the other teams. Remember what he did to he doesn't even do that. That bothers me like all get out! The Miller's (RIP Larry) and the GM have to stop being greedy and pay some superstars to play or they will never have a championship in SLC!

Since: Mar 28, 2010
Posted on: January 28, 2011 10:05 pm

Deron Williams MRI negative, what about the Jazz?

u r an idiot.  amazing how the internet allows people the ability to appear like thay have a clue while thier hometown peeps know they are an imbecile.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: January 28, 2011 6:34 pm

Deron Williams MRI negative, what about the Jazz?

I wish sloan would mix up the starting line-up so that we could have some more defense, I would like to see fez starting at center and jefferson starting at pf so that we could have a little more size inside because our interior defense is just comical right now... and for the love of god can we trade cj miles and possibly kirilenko as well.. dont know who we would trade for but utah needs defense in the worst way. not sure why gordan hayward is even being talked about as part of the issue, he is an undersized rookie give him a couple seasons to get bigger and develop his game before u start questioning him. One thing I do know is that this team had better be doing everything in its power to get Jimmer wearin a jazz uniform next season!!!

Since: Nov 22, 2010
Posted on: January 28, 2011 5:56 pm

Deron Williams MRI negative, what about the Jazz?

The Problem is Jerry Sloan, Get Rid Of Him !!!  He's the most underachieving coach in the history of the NBA. Has lost in the playoffs (the only time that matters) to lower seeds more than any coach in the history of the game. The guy doesnt know how to make adjustments. Come April. How many coaches do you know had two Hall of Famers in his starting lineup for 3 years and never won an NBA title? Forget 3 years for Jerry Sloan it was 16 years and still never brought the trophy to SLC. Complacent Jazz say "yeah, but he had to face MJ both times", and i say to that "Forget about those two what all the other years he had the team to do it and never did?".  It started way back when they lost to Golden State in the late 80's.Than losing to the Rockets as a 6 seed and they go on to win it all. Losing to Portland, San Antonio, in the 90's. Im sick of this guy getting a free pass from the Jazz media and fans every year for two decades. What is up with looking at this guy like he's Red Auerbach with no rings?  This is the key element with the Jazz. Im sure he gets old to the players too!! New energy needed on the bench with coat and tie in Salt Lake City, not different players. But the Utah fans are a bunch of complacent, doldrum misfits. Let'em keep underachieving it's ok with the people in Utah.

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