Posted by: Spencer D. on March 25th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
SALT LAKE CITY – the Jazz dismanlted the Denver Nuggets Friday night to advance their win streak to 6 games in a row. The streak includes impressive wins over the Lakers, Thunder, and now Denver. This season has had its ups and downs, just like all others, but something is different about this win streak compared to all the others this season. Yes, it is longer. But it looks like something has finally clicked for the Jazz players. They seem gelled together into one big offensive machine. The defense is still a little porous at times -allowing 102 points to Denver as compared to only 90 against Oklahoma City – but the Jazz are playing basketball as a team, and most importantly, having fun. Who’s responsible for this success, though? The Jazz were picked to finish 4th in the Northwest Division above the Timberwolves by CBS.com. ESPN and NBA.com both picked the Jazz to finish last in the Western Conference. Right now, they’re sitting at 7th in the Western Conference, only a half game behind 4th place and homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
If the Jazz can finish the season with a playoff berth, it becomes a no-brainer in my mind to give Head Coach Tyrone Corbin Coach of the Year.
Now, the Coach of the Year award is a touchy spot for many Jazz fans, seeing as Jerry Sloan never won once in his 23 years in Utah. But there’s no doubt that the Jazz are doing much better than expected and that a lot of credit has to go to Coach Corbin.
Look at the team he was given: Alec Burks and Enes Kanter are the two newest additions to the team. Kanter hadn’t played organized basketball in nearly 2 years. Burks had played in the weak PAC-12 Conference for Colorado. Gordon Hayward was coming off a promising rookie season, and Derrick Favors had showed a few signs of brilliance, but nothing incredibly jaw-dropping.
Couple this inexperience with the veterans Paul Milsap, Al Jefferson, Raja Bell, Earl Watson, CJ Miles, and Devin Harris, and you’ve got quite a motley collection of talent. Early in the season, minutes were sporadic for everyone, the offense looked disjointed, and no one seemed to be having fun.
Now, the team is running smoothly, rookies are closing out games, there is a commitment to defense, and everyone is enjoying themselves immensely. Everything happening right now has to be credited to some superior coaching.
A lot of people were frustrated with Corbin at the beginning of the season, saying he put too much emphasis on winning instead of developing the young talent the Jazz are saddled with. I was one of those people, but realized that it’s better for a rookie to get minutes playing on a winning ball club than a losing one. Now we see rookies closing out nearly every game. It’s just taken a little time for everything to come together, but now the Jazz are reaping the benefits of their hard work earlier on in the season.
I think Coach Corbin deserves Coach of the Year. He’s taken a team of second-chance veterans, two solid frontcourt men in Jefferson and Milsap, and a bunch of kids, and turned them into a winning team with a shot at the playoffs. What he’s done is impressive and hopefully he can continue to keep this up.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.