Jazz projected as bottom-feeder

             The euphoria Jazz fans felt when the team acquired Trey Burke in the NBA Draft could soon be waning.

            I’m not saying it wasn’t a nice move.

            I’m just sayin’.

            This isn’t going to be an easy recovery.

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 9.24.37 AM            SI.com came out last week with its preseason power rankings, via writer Chris Mannix, and he had the Jazz ranked 14th of 15 teams in the Western Conference. The only team Mannix rated below Utah was Phoenix.

            I believed this in June and I haven’t changed my mind: The Jazz didn’t have a lot of options. They knew where they were going with the Jefferson-Millsap approach – mid-to-low end of the conference.

Better to roll the dice.

            It’s going to be painful and with what they have now, it won’t be smooth. They’re at least two All-Stars away from being serious, maybe more. In fact, Mehmet Okur, Andrei Kirilenko and Devin Harris were All-Stars and even played on the same Jazz teams. They didn’t go far.

            Neither will this team, as it stands.

            I know it’s early, but this might be a good time for Jazz fans to temper expectations. Sports Illustrated can see that from a distance.  From up close, it might have looked better a couple of months ago than it really was.

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17 comments

  1. Russ

    “Jazz fans may have to temper expectations”. I think Jazz fans in general are already way ahead of the curve on tempering expectations. All most everyone that comments on expectations for the team next year believe this will be a time to be patient and maybe have a chance for a high lottery pick next season, in addition to lots of cap space for free agents. I haven’t read really anyone expecting the Jazz to be a playoff team. But it seems most fans are on board and like what the front office is doing to get this team back to a stronger playoff seed down the road a few years. I think Jazz fans are smarter than the media gives them credit for.

  2. Michael Savage

    It wasn’t that long ago when the jazz were picked to be the worst team in NBA history. Some “experts” even went so far as to predict they might not even win a game. I think that we tend to underestimate the value of heart and chemistry in producing wins and focus only on talent. I do agree that the magical combination is a mixture of both, but we have all seen plenty of times when heart has triumphed and talent has bombed.

    Sometimes those who “know” don’t know as much as they think they know. Either way, I think they will be fun to watch, and it will be that much more rewarding when they win.

  3. Wade

    I know my ‘expectations’ are a lot different from the last few years. Yes, I expect the Jazz to win fewer games, but I also expect a more exciting type of ballgame the Jazz will be playing. Nothing was more boring that watching them throw the ball into Jefferson and have everyone else stand around for 10-15 seconds while he decided what he was going to do. Additionally nothing was more frustrating that coming to the end of a close game and have Mo Williams chuck up a 28 footer with 15 seconds left on the shot clock. UGH!!!

    Personally I’m looking forward to the type of ball that the Jazz played in the game against the Bobcats this spring. That was the one with Jefferson and Millsap out and Kanter had a monster 20-20 game and the other young guys got lots of time. That is what I want to see, and I expect most true Jazz fans want to see as well.

  4. Doug

    The Jazz have taken the road less traveled, less traveled by those who win in the league.

    The Jazz are going to win ….when?
    That would be when Oklahoma gets too old to play as they are currently more talented than the Jazz and will continue to be as long as they keep their current players.

    Maybe the Jazz will win when the Heat start being lousy, or maybe the Spurs that everyone wrote off years ago as too old start losing instead of winning the most games in the west.

    This year even Denver who had a bunch of no names last season and have a new coach this year are projected to kick the Jazz down the street.

    The Jazz do not hae the talent that Durrant was when he began with Oklahoma yet the Jazz plan to develop their young players. Hayward Burk and co are not as talented as other teams so when they win it will be when the rest of the league loses their talent not when the Jazz grow into theirs.

    Anyone really think the Lakers are not going to win more games than the Jazz this season even though they lost their center and their star lost his heel.

    I think Corbin will get thrown under thebus this season as the team learns how to lose consistently.

    Jazz = Bobcats of the west.

  5. rvalens2

    The veteran Prima Donnas are gone and no one is going to be hogging the ball nor demanding playing time just because they are a veteran. I’ve no doubt that Kanter, Favors, and Hayward will more than make up for the loss of Millsap and Jefferson’s scoring and will be much better at defense. I predict the Jazz will be better than most people expect (30+ wins); however, I do not think they will make the playoffs. Why? Because their Achilles heel this season is going to be their bench.

    This Fall, we (Jazz Fans) may have to suffer through an awful season, but the real goal is to find out if Kanter, Favors and Hayward can lead this team. A secondary goal is to reach next year’s loaded draft with two lottery picks (hopefully) and enough cap space to bring in whatever the team needs to contend for an NBA championship in the long term, 2014-2015 season and beyond.

    Win or lose, this season is going to be an interesting one.

  6. Terry M. Haimes

    Happy to see that me and the Rockmonster don’t agree again. If Corbin don’t mess the team up and a bunch of people get hurt, the Jazz will be near the top and the Suns will not finish last.

  7. Regis

    @Doug

    So with your incessant negativity about the Jazz we all wonder why you continue to follow them and comment???

    Your solution is to criticize everything they ever do…either that or keep Al Jefferson. That premise alone undermines the credibility of any of your statements.

    You criticize them they can’t land any decent free agents or get anyone that other teams are pursuing yet they got Randy Foye and Mo Williams. They could have had Millsap or Jefferson but simply chose not to for obvious losing reasons.

    You criticized them for not playing their young talent they drafted and now you criticize them when the actually attempt to use and develop the players they did draft.

    You blather on about them having no young talent and yet the Olympic Team seems to want Favors and Hayward in their pipeline. Last year (not sure about this) the Jazz were the only team with 2 young players….but yes all those USA Olympic basketball minds are not as sharp as yours that says keep Al Jefferson.

    What a ridiculous statement. How many teams have anyone as talented as Kevin Durrant? There is a reason he and LeBron are it. Duh.

    My guess is you would criticize LeBron James if he came here.

    You need to get a new gig.

  8. Pat

    We may not make it into the playoffs this year, but I think the JAZZ will be really fun to watch!! I hope true fans will appreciate and support this team.

  9. tony

    wow mate, negative much the jazz are doing what was necessary to find out if the young talent has what it takes, thats it nothing more oh and they have cash and draft picks for the next couple of years, lots and lots and LOTS to be positive about, how about you change your attitude bloke and cheer up.

  10. LK Anderson

    There are always Debbie Downers on these posts. A more common name would be “trollers” or better than that fourth graders trying to get their kicks. I appriciate the people who add good comments. This is all part of “thoughtful comments;” This new team will be fun to watch.I think they will surprise a lot of people. Bet the attendance is up too..

  11. Gary

    My thought is they will win very near and a few less games as last year. So probably the 9 or 10 spot in the west. Questions are whether Kanter and Favors can replace the offensive numbers put up by Jefferson and Millsap, while playing better defense. The better defense is a given. Hayward will step up his game one more level and will be given more possessions, which appears to be a positive. Can the collective point guards replace last years numbers? Almost certainly, because last years numbers were so bad. Can the second team be as productive as last years second team. Question mark? Biggest question marks? Do they have enough maturity and grit to finish games and how will the do on the road? Better teams know how to finish games. Either way, I’m excited to watch them go through the process of maturing.

  12. Galen

    Having been a season ticket holder since 1979, I have seen the Jazz go from the worst in the league to one of the better teams, then go on a roller coaster ride over the seasons. I am not a fair weather fan, nor do I have a lot of high expectations about this season, but still look forward to seeing them (and some of the greatest players in the world – who will be playing against them)! As Brad’s former neighbor, I encouraged him to cover the Jazz many years ago. Like I said at that time, we may not have the best team in the NBA, but it is an opportunity to see the players who were the absolute best in college, or who have developed into even better players in the league.

  13. Adam christensen

    Jazz fans have been known as some of the best in the NBA please keep it that way. Win or lose rain or shine, its our team and we must back them. If we don’t I’m sure Seattle would be willing too. I’m lucky in that I get to sit courtside, feet on the hardwood a few games a year and hope when I look around this year I don’t see sections of empty seats it breaks my heart. We will be great again…

  14. Lloyd High

    I wouldn’t bet on the Jazz being low men on the totem pole. I am considering Karl Malone, working with Kanter. Enes has the jump shot and trajectory to drop those 12-15 footers.
    I wouldn’t want to be one of the Golden Gate gang, those three musketeers of underachievers , but I would like to e a fly on the wall when in Jerry’s, or Karl’s office. the topic of discussion concerning the boys from by the bay had better get off their moorings. Once Sloan reads to he class from his captains log I think most will get the picture.. Sloan and Malone bring a lot of motivation and a driving force on the Jazz team.
    I would wager that the Miller family want some return on the investment of 24 million dollar. I’m sure that the coaching staff will find there own way of reminding Huey, Louie, and Dewey, that they are paid to do a job, earn your pay. Just do it !
    Working with the bigs the Jazz really were wise to invite Karl to join the staff and teach the inside . His dedicaton to traing tarining you have Malone with his work ethic,the center from Golden State getting pounded on by Gobert, and Favors. and Sloan working with the team. Both scenarios should be very good for the team. I would wager that our French center along with a trio of underachievers. finally get off their riding lawnmower or golf cart and come and play ball. I don’t see us tanking, I’m excited to see how Kanters arm/ shoulder turned out and I believe that we will see a more developed power forward / center in Enes, a developing College Player of the year, Derick Favors and and his defense,Hayward on a wing, point forward,the slasher Alex at shooting guard and the Jazz might take an extra gear here and there.38-44 wins for the Jazz this year. ( My ‘” dark-horses for the most improved, Team MVP would be Kanter and # 2 guard Burks. )

  15. Robert

    As I consider the situation the Jazz are in this coming season I cannot help but wonder what people thought when Karl Malone was drafted number thirteen overall and John Stockton was also a lower draft pick. Yet these two combined to became the all time best combination of point guard and power forward the game has ever seen. Not to mention all their other contributions and accomplishments. The Utah Jazz have proven in many other instances how well they can bring along the young talent that falls to them. I cannot help but wonder how the combination of Derek Favors and Treye Burke will develop as they play together and are guided by the great basketball minds that the Utah Jazz employ(Jerry Sloan),the man I give a great deal of credit to concerning the development of Stockton and Malone. This time around we not only have the two young men I mentioned, we also have a potential combination of Hayward and Kanter on the other side of the floor. With Haywards passing skills and Kanters finishing ability we have the potential of two dynamic duos in the mold of Stockton and Malone. I believe this franchise is on the verge of greatness and that this year will be far different than anyone has predicted. I have not mentioned the other wing where we are loaded with Burks, Rush and Williams (who can play the 2 or 3). This will be the year of the Jazz coming out of obscurity. We may not have a ceiling with this group, I am not sure the league has ever seen anything like what the Jazz will put on the floor this year. I am of the opinion that this year will be a break out year for Hayward, Favors, and Kantor. With increased playing time Burks will show major improvement and will have a break out year next year. Burke will have a great year because he only has to put the rock in the hands of any other player on the floor to have a great assist average. His shooting and defense may take a few years , but he already has the heart of a champion. The overall team defense will be something to be hold in such a young group of starters, with a few individuals being acclaimed for their efforts. Its all up from here, my prediction is that we will win and keep winning for years to come.

    • Spence

      Robert, when Malone and Stockton were very young, their coach made a bold prediction long before they became known as great players. He said in the future this combination would be the NBA equivalent to the NFL’s Montana to Rice, who were in their prime in those days. But that was not Jerry Sloan. You credit the wrong guy. That was Frank Layden.

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