Posted by: Danny Hansen on April 14th, 2011The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Déjà vu: The experience of feeling sure that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation.
This is how I feel watching the Chicago Bulls. They have an All-Star point guard guiding the ship, Carlos Boozer manning the post, high flying Ronnie Brewer and sharp-shooting Kyle Korver playing the wings, and an intense head coach. Does it seem like you have experienced this before. This was the same formula the Jazz experimented with to win a championship in the 2000’s but they ultimately failed. This year the Chicago Bulls have secured the best record in the entire NBA and are armed for a championship run. The Jazz never got the home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with that mix. So why have the Bulls succeeded with that core and the Jazz never did?
A Defensive Center
Would you rather have a center who will block the lane, or one that can kill you with the deep shot? One of the biggest differences between the Bulls and the Jazz is the type of center each of the team had. Mehmet Okur has been an All-Star, is clutch down the stretch, but struggles defensively. Joakhim Noah is a defense-first center with limited offensive skills. Chicago is the second best defensive team in the league allowing opponents only 91.3 points a game. The Jazz with Okur were dynamic on offense during that stretch from 2006 to 2010, but their defense left something to be desired. The 2009-2010 season was a good defensive year for them, but they still allowed 98 points a game. Noah helps with that more than Okur ever would.
A Scoring 3
The Jazz and Bulls were flip-flopped. The Jazz had a scoring center (Okur) and a defensive small forward (Kirilenko). The Bulls have a defensive center (Noah) and a scoring small forward (Deng). The Jazz’s inability to get consistent scoring from their wings proved fatal. In the playoffs, Kobe Bryant would back off of Kirilenko and Brewer like they had the plague. Though the Bulls still need more help at the shooting guard, Luol Deng is doing his job at the other wing. This season he is averaging 17.4 points a game. Kirilenko’s best scoring season in the Jazz’s playoff run was 11.9 points a game.
Beasts of the East
The Jazz were attempting to make a playoff run in a very good Western Conference. Last year, every playoff team in the West had at least 50 wins. For years, teams in the Eastern Conference have been making the playoffs with records below .500, including this year. Perhaps the Bulls’ fantastic regular season was due to the fact that they played more games against worse teams. This enabled them to secure home-court throughout the playoffs. One thing the Jazz never had in the 2000’s.
Rose vs. D-Will
Derrick Rose is having a special season. He is most likely going to be the league MVP. He has made quite the jump from last year to this year. Is it possible that Rose is now the best point guard in the league? He is the leader in the MVP race. Deron never was more than 2nd team All-NBA. Now, don’t get me wrong, Deron is a terrific player. He just never did what Rose did this year. And perhaps Rose’s ultra-athleticism will lead the Bulls, and Boozer, and Korver, and Brewer, to an NBA title.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.