Posted by: Shauna Brock on January 26th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Bleary eyed, I woke to a world where for the first time since the first Bush W administration, the Jazz had lost to the Raptors. Peeking through my drooping eyelids, I settled in with my coffee and wandered to my usual outlet for sports news to check the standings, expecting that since the West is as tight as it is, the Jazz had dropped out of the top eight in the conference all together. But there they stood, clinging tightly to the 5th seed like their world depended on it.
Perhaps their world does depend on it. For the last sixteen games, it isn’t just the fans who have been on a wild ride of overinflated hopes and dreams while we watch this little team of castoffs (and by the way, top ten draft picks) rise to a place of prominence that makes the stories going on in Minnesota and Philly pale in comparison. For history’s sake, I’ll say that the Pacers and their rise in the East is just as cool as the Jazz coming back from the Season that Shall Not Be Named.
It appears the players have all bought into the “We Are Utah” idea and have bonded together as a team. They live and die together, not just separately. They are making sure the teammates get the memo – we love you, we’re here for you, now here is how to shake your rut and get over your insecurities. They’re leaving everything on the court. Everything. I’m absolutely sure that after the game last night they were wiping up pieces of Paul Millsap from the hardwood.
Just last week Jazz fans were demanding that Devin Harris be sent anywhere that wanted him. One game does not change a season long slump, but as someone who has been a supporter of Harris in Jazz uniform, I wanted to blow raspberries at all the haters last night. Last night, I heard people whine and gripe about Ty’s coaching choices. It’s so much easier to coach from the couch, isn’t it? He’s as new as these guys. All but the rookies and the guys picked up in free agency have been on the team longer than he’s been a head coach. He’s going to make mistakes just like they are.
But Jazz fans, right now the Jazz sit at 5th in the West. They lose the next few and they won’t be there for long, but they’re clinging, reminding us that the world is a better, much more stable place when they are playing solid ball and ready to hit the playoffs if the playoffs started today. Already this team has exceeded expectations. They lost a double overtime game that they should have won in regulation, but the league is like that.
To paraphrase that famous saying and make it work for this basketball season: there’s 66 games this year. Teams are going to win 22 and lose 22. It’s what they do with the other 22 that counts.
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