Friday, December 23, 2011

2011-2012 NBA Preview #20: Utah Jazz

Greetings all... Ryan returns with the interesting roster construction of the Jazz...

Roster Breakdown (Starters in Bold)
  • PG - Devin Harris, Earl Watson, Jamaal Tinsley
  • SG - Raja Bell, Alec Burks
  • SF - CJ Miles, Gordon Hayward, Josh Howard
  • PF - Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors, Jeremy Evans
  • C - Al Jefferson, Enes Kanter

General Thoughts

The Jazz are the ultimate "Are we rebuilding? or are we competing every night?" type team. Don't know what I mean? Okay try this... They drafted Alec Burks and Enes Kanter in the 1st round this year (+1 for rebuilding) but they signed Josh Howard to play semi-heavy minutes despite having CJ Miles and Gordon Hayward already there (+1 competing). You trade your best player (Deron Williams) for Devin Harris and Derrick Favors (+1 rebuilding) and from all reports they have no plans to move Millsap, Raja Bell or Al Jefferson to make room for these young guys (+1 competing)..a bit of a head scratcher right? I personally think they would be better served trading Jefferson and Bell and keeping the rest to completely start over but we have to go with what is currently here. This is a very talented team, but they will take their lumps because they are a pretty young team. The big men, Jefferson and Millsap, don't take a backseat to many frontcourts on any team and they have easily the best rotation of big men in the league. And in the backcourt, they have a good rotation of slashers (Burks, Harris and Miles) and shooters (Hayward and Bell). This is a team that is very well built even though they are in transition and while I don't think they'll scratch the playoffs ,give them a season to figure out the rotation, and I do think they could make noise next year.


Often the forgotten man, I'd say it's Devin Harris. In 2008-09, he averaged 21 pts and 7 asts... in the point guard world, those are elite numbers. Since then?..nothing more than 17 pts and the shot attempts have declined each year since that breakthrough season. He's not getting to the line as many times (maybe the injuries have something to do with that) so its like who is this guy?... which end of the spectrum is he on?... I tend to think that the system in NJ was restrictive with Avery Johnson (ed: Ryan hates Avery Johnson with a fiery passion) and maybe in Utah he can get a little more freedom and be more effective. In terms of the steps the Jazz have to take forward, he's the player to bridge the veterans and the young guys together.

Predicted Finish

12th in the West

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