Posted by: Ben S. on March 28th, 2011The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Playoffs, game 7. 4th quarter. ESA is packed full and rockin; everybody on their feet. Thunderstruck is blaring. Bear, risking his life, is on the top step of the giant ladder holding up giant signs. Boler is buckling up. Harpring is doing fry sauce shots. David Locke is breathing into a brown paper bag. Hot Rod is drinking from something in a brown paper bag. Complete strangers are kissing on the jumbotron.
Ok, so that scene aint gonna happen this year. Well, all except the Hot Rod part. If you’re like me, you might have taken those moments for granted over the years and are starting to realize how much you’re going to miss it this season. Hopefully this is the bottom of the tank for the Jazz and they start to fill it back up. Young guys getting better, new guys getting more comfortable, and a good draft pick or two should give this franchise enough of a kick in the pants to get back to the post-season in 2012; unless there is no post-season due to a lock-out or the world coming to an end.
Who are the best 5 on the Jazz right now? I know it depends on match-ups and who’s hot, but assuming everyone is healthy (including Memo), what 4th quarter line-up gives the Jazz the best chance to win a close game? I’ve noticed that most coaches tend to play a player they trust over a player who might be more talented at the end of a tight one. Most fans seem to want the opposite. That’s part of the fun of the game for us, trying to make coaches decisions from the stands or our recliner. If I was coach Corbin, here’s the guys I would go with to close out a tight game:
F-Kirilenko. His play-making, defense and versatility is a must have. He is also not afraid to take a big shot, which I consider a skill, although it can hurt the team sometimes. AK doesn’t seem to get too tired, but when he does he’ll choose to give max effort on the defensive end, opposite of most NBA players.
F-Millsap. Paul has become the best clutch performer for the Jazz. When they absolutely need a basket, I want the ball in his hands. He’s probably the best shooter on the team. I am still amazed that he seems to get no love from the officials.
C-Jefferson. The best center the Jazz have ever had. Yeah, I know. That is like saying who’s the tallest mid… nevermind. I am aware that it is years too early to give big Al that distinction but when have we had a shot-blocking, rebounding, 20 pt. scorer in the middle? He can get that crazy jump hook of his off whenever he wants and is starting to get better at pick-n-rolls and passing out of the double team. I’d like to see him develop a move on the other side of the key to use once or twice per game.
G-Devin Harris. Although he still looks uncomfortable running any of the Jazz plays, and his defense SUCKS, I still think he’s our best option at PG due to his speed and natural play-making ability. Although a great back-up, Earl Watson is just too limited in his ability to break down the defense. Harris is one of my favorite interviews on the team, which helps his cause.
G-Raja Bell. I would almost rather see the Jazz run with only 4 out there sometimes than see what our shooting guards have to offer at the end of close games. Raja gets the nod over CJ for the sole reason that he is SO FREAKING DUE to hit a big shot that I think the next one he takes will go in. When Miles gets it rolling, you could argue he should be in there but I still think he goes outside the offense too much and settles for tough jumpers late in games instead of taking the ball to the hole. Plus Raja’s new facial hair style looks fantastic.
The best Jazz line-up of all-time to win one playoff game?
I can’t believe I chose D-Will over Stockton. Maybe I’ve been sniffing too much glue but Deron could take over games in so many ways. Somebody might change my mind about that by tomorrow. I had to choose the Golden Griff over Horny because having A.D. and Horny in there at the same time would make the line-up too slow. Big Mark over Big Al was an easy choice due to the Mailman and Dantley already fighting each other for space down low (I like my beats fast and my space down low). Al would be in the way.
Check out this picture of him jumping over a guy in a USA game
…….. Ladies and gentleman, Jimmer has left the building. Great season by the Cougars.
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