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All must step up to fix Utah Jazz's woes

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  • grj Bountiful, ut
    Jan. 23, 2011 11:47 p.m.

    Remember the old days - the days when Jerry Sloan would have gone ballistic a few times by now and been tossed from a game or two, and the team would have got the message and started to play again like he expeced them to play?
    Is it just me, or does it seem the team seems to be playing with much less intensity - kind of like their seemingly kinder, gentler coach appears to be softening?

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 12:25 a.m.

    Sloan should have done jail time for physically assaulting refs on different occasions.

  • Viva Los Jazz Garland, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    I've been really happy with Al Jefferson and Deron Williams but the rest of the team has been inconsistant. If we get Okur back healthy it could solve some of the 3 point shooting problems but what if we traded AK for Elton Brand(2 year max contract)and Evan Turner?

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    Jan. 24, 2011 9:46 a.m.

    The Sloan system tends to break down if the PG is disrupted, one or more players slack on the screens, the timing of the plays are off or the other team plays zone and the Jazz can't shoot from the outside.

    All of the above are problems. However, the second one is probably the biggest immediate one. It only takes one player slacking or coasting and setting weak screens to infect the whole line up with a lack of intensity. Why work hard if it negated by one player who lacks intensity?

    The timing is still off. AJ/Millsap have yet to mesh that well. Okur/Millsap are a decent but not great combo. Okur/AJ are probably too slow.

    Fes has limited offense.

    Starting Hayward gives him minutes which is good in the long run but solves none of the above immediate problems. CJ for Bell may help sporadically.

    The Jazz still do not have the ideal players at C, PF and SG. They also need an SF who can shoot.

    They have decent players at those positions. It works WHEN the offense flows.

    The offense is not flowing due to weak screens and timing problems.

  • Motappin Sandy, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    Jerry doesn't seem as firey as he once was & that doesn't help. BUT...

    The biggest problem starts in players' heads. If they can exert the mental energy, the physical play will follow. We are missing the physical play on both ends of the floor, but it starts with mental state.

    Our best games have come when assists are high. If Deron needs to figure his role, he needs to pass more. He's a point guard 1st. He's certainly capable of scoring a lot, and I'm glad, but it's his job to get the ball to guys and yes, sometimes take it himself. If Deron's teammates are not where they're supposed to be on the floor, he should tell them that. He used to come down the court pointing, directing traffic. I haven't seen much of that this year. Deron is the best in the league at his position. He just needs to assert himself. There's a difference between that and being the villain.

    When they get this figured out (and I believe they will, soon) the offense will hum like it should and the wins will come.

  • CJ Miles Dallas, TX
    Jan. 24, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    It's just life in the NBA. Now it's time for Jerry to do what he is paid to do. Coach this team back to winning. That's why teams need coaches. To help in troubling times.

    We do not need trades, we do not need personal changes, the Jazz just need to start playing hard and smart. When the Jazz were winning it was fine. When they are losing, everyone jumps off the ship. Relax...........

    Taking AK out of the starting lineup for Hayward was just not smart. We have scoring problems with the first quarter and you insert a non-scorer?

  • Jazz-Nation Lehi, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    I dont think this team needs a trade, because we have the talent, the problem is starting three forwards and a slower shooting guard. I like our guys, but we need to shake up the playing time and roster starters and finishers. For example, start CJ Miles at the 2 guard to help run with Deron in the back court. Have either Milsap or Jefferson come off the bench as a Power forward and start Fesenko at center or Memo Okur at center. As for the small forwards, start AK, have air Gordan come off the bench. Bell would be great coming off the bench for CJ Miles, and either Milsap or Jefferson can provide the inside scoring, as a flex offense we look inside to score first, always have, we have always had a big guy in the middle to alter shots too. Any thoughts?

  • SnipeHookyoFace Farmington, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 12:13 p.m.

    Defense! Defense! Defense! This team is not a high powered offense, so they need to focus on defense. Bell and AK don't shoot the ball well at all, Millsap usually does but is in a funk lately and Jefferson is still trying to figure things out. Other than DWill nobody on this starting lineup can create their own shot. Therefore, FOCUS on the DEFENSE and it will lead to better (easier) offense by forcing turnovers. Somebody needs to slap Millsap too and tell him to pull his head out!

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    Jan. 24, 2011 12:13 p.m.

    I actually somewhat agree with CJ on this. I would not rule out a no brainer trade but beyond that it is a matter of execution by the existing players. They are fully capable of being one of the best teams in the NBA if they decide to play.

    This is Sloan's team it is not DWills. If DWill is confused it is only about what, if anything, he should tell Sloan, which he is not going to do. It is Sloan's responsibility to make roster changes.

    Hayward does not help scoring directly but AK may add a couple of points by playing more PF.

    The bigger more problamatic moves are AJ, Millsap and Okur. That has to be Sloan's call and right now shuffling them may not make much difference.

    I still think the Jazz need a scoring SF/SG and a C who can both score and defend (a Fes with offense). The SF/SG is the easier of find/trade for. That may not happen until next summer.

    I would probaly try CJ at SG for a few games. I think Sloan puts to many minutes on the old vets and they wear down.

  • Sokol Las Vegas, NM
    Jan. 24, 2011 12:40 p.m.

    Why don't one of our crack Jazz reporters ask Williams if he plans to leave the Jazz team? Maybe they are disheartened by his lack of loyalty? I wish that question would be posed, but right now, maybe we are an 8th seed or we are swept again in the first round by anyone we play. How did is all collapse? We are like the Cavaliers, but our superstar says nothing to calm the store, nor does nothing to lead us out of the forest fire...Maybe Barkley is right? Rose is the best point guard in the NBA. Williams does not know how to lead and Sloan just fumbles around, waiting for Malone and Stockton to take over again. Maybe its time to bring in Hornacek to take over?

  • CJ Miles Dallas, TX
    Jan. 24, 2011 12:50 p.m.

    Let's not forget the downward spiral started when Memo showed back up on the scene. The record with him playing is probably below .500 It's probably time to trade him or put him in the starting lineup and limit his minutes. If Jerry starts him, send Millsap back to the bench where he belongs and have him play with the second unit.

    It's time Jerry started Memo and Jefferson instead of Millsap and Jefferson. Bring Millsap off the bench with 4:00 left in the quarter for Memo. Start Bell and bring CJ in with 4:00 left in the quarter. End the quarter with a bang.

    As far as Fes....Who knows why Jerry doesn't play him more. He must not be that good.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    Jan. 24, 2011 12:53 p.m.

    Good previous comment on D-Wil's lack of response. I would say that he wants to play elsewhere. When Boozer was here, they were the only two players "who got to play". They would only pass to each other. D-Wil does not have that "play for the 'brothers'" now, so what will he do. It appears that he will just "sit in the corner and sulk". The "wheels have come off the wagon". It is only going to get worse and then D-Wil will go elsewhere. That now appears to be the "unwritten story".

  • Sokol Las Vegas, NM
    Jan. 24, 2011 1:11 p.m.

    I think William's lack of leadership means that he is not as good as he thinks he is or we think he is either. I think after a franchise has been around like the Jazz almost 40 years, we should expect to have a shot at a championship. Noone holds these softies accountable...Thibedeux benched Boozer once in the fourth quarter....Sloan needs to step up and bench Williams and let Price take over.

  • Fuzzbrain Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 2:42 p.m.

    One thing stands out to me, amidst all the varying comments & ideas about how the Jazz could improve. Most of what everyone is saying is going to involve Jerry Sloan breaking the patterns that he has so religiously tried to lead the Jazz with. I think it would help the team a lot if they rotated more frequently, but I'm not sure that Jerry has ever been the best coach for exploiting mismatches against other teams. It seems like this season, the only time the mismatch is in our favor is when DWill is shredding the other team (which hasn't happened recently) or when Millsap goes off for one of his bizarre scoring surges (& that's only happened twice this year).

  • CJ Miles Dallas, TX
    Jan. 24, 2011 2:46 p.m.

    Sokol......Good stuff. The team goes as Dwill and Jerry go. Never been a fan of Jerry and his stange ways of coaching. Do I think he is a good coach....yes....Do I think he is doing a good job right now....no......

    I think Dwill is showing his lack of leadership and toughness right now. If players are not doing what they need to be doing, he needs to call them out by name. Same with Jerry. Stop the babying.

  • Jazz Source Alpine, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 3:11 p.m.

    We have a system and when the players run it they exceed reasonable expectations which they did through the early part of the season.

    The players thought they were bullet proof with these comebacks and would not listen to their coaches and everyone who told them this would come back to haunt them.

    Now they are not executing and running the system the way they were and they are in a serious slump.

    We have the same coaches and the same players that we did when it was all workin fine and we were winning.

    The players are moping because their egos have told them they can break off plays and win one on one and they are getting a large slice of humble pie because this team is not built to win this way.

    All the Millsap lovers have to be choking a bit on the crow. Given the fact that Millsaps numbers/averages as a starter have dropped every month he has played.

    Millsap can't defend the longer taller guys he faces and it is taking its toll on him and they are scouting him better and he is not adapting well.

    He is a bench player.

  • Jazz-Nation Lehi, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 4:18 p.m.

    Obviously we miss the dynamics that Mathews brought to the starting shooting guard position, woulda coulda, shoulda, signed him. It is time for the Jazz to turn the page again, Bell is not cutting it as our starting shooting guard. We have guys that are better fit to start than Bell is, but for some reason Sloan keeps rolling the washed up 2 guard out on the floor to start games. I dont get it, we start slow every game until the CJ comes in and gives us a scoring spark, why not start the guy that has been providing the scoring off the bench? I think CJ should start, or this team should make some trades to get better.

  • concerned jazz fan Park City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 5:41 p.m.

    I think Paul and AL lately is having a hard time scoring inside the paint,the reason maybe is that teams already know that Bell has struggled in his shooting so they can sag their defense on him making life miserable for Paul and AL inside the paint..I think its time that CJ replace Bell in the shooting guard position,to have more threat outside..but if Sloan sticks to his game plan of having CJ coming off the bench, that's ok just get rid of Bell in the starting line-up, Hayward can play the 2 position, bring back AK in the 3 position

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 5:42 p.m.

    My two cents...the players on the team need to develop a "must win" and "must win every possession" mentality. I'm seeing a lot of dejected heads when we turn the ball over or when our man scores on us.

    Every game matters. In the last four games, we've fallen from the #3 seed to the #6 seed, playing Oklahoma City on the road. Yuck.

    As part of the increase intensity...REBOUND. Only four lousy teams rebound worse than we do. We give up too many offensive boards.

    I'd like to see the players feel SICK for losing to the Nets or the 76ers. It wasn't just a "bad game." Dig down and develop the winning attitude. Every game. Every day.

  • Kakashi Tokyo, Japan
    Jan. 24, 2011 6:07 p.m.

    To be honest...the team lacks desire...all of them are all talk...saying they want to win a championship...but playing without passion and gusto...if they really want to win a championship...they must change their way of thinking...you won't look at the lakers, boston, miami or san antonio as elite contenders...they should look at them as targets...preys if you will...the team needs a Hunter's mentality...and the pride of champion even without winning one...whenever they hit the floor they should always think...im the best in my position there is...and i will obliterate you...from changing their mentality..it will affect their work ethic...striving to be better wanting to be the best...i think that is what separates the winners from the losers...

  • toddfromsantaana Santa Ana, CA
    Jan. 24, 2011 7:29 p.m.

    This team as structured now needs to make changes. I could not agree less. As the season goes on, weaknesses get exposed. I agree Millie and AJ need to be broken and CJ starts. Teams have scouted the Jazz and they are too easy to figure out, so now as teams see the Jazz a 2nd or 3rd time, no adjustments are being made. They are too small in the starting lineup. Maybe Okur shouls start or Fes like the Bulls used to do with Cartwright, couple stints. 8-9 minutes 1st and 3rd Quarter

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    Jan. 24, 2011 7:51 p.m.

    The SlTrib has noted that the Jazz are undersized, lack atheticism and 3 point shooting.

    However, that has been true for several years and has been a consistent pattern.

    That pattern fall squarely on Sloan, KOC and management.

    Go get the right players and the Jazz system will win? Keep delibertly designing weaknesses into the team and it will sputter along. It will play well only with supreme effort.

    If it is hard you are doing it wrong. That is some of the best advice I ever heard.

    The Jazz front office fixed many weaknesses. But they have still designed key weaknesses into the team and then wonder why they are inconsistent and never champs.

    It is not a matter of money or super stars. Sloans system does not requrie superstars. It requires players who can consistently run it and enough depth to not wear out the best 7 players.

    The problems are fixable and there has been a difference in management in the last year.

    Adding one shooter might make the difference this year.

    Worst case it may require replacing AJ, Millsap, AK and Okur and getting a decent SG.

    Get the right players and start winning.

  • Ak Fan Hamburg, GE
    Jan. 24, 2011 8:34 p.m.

    No comment

  • Jazz-Nation Lehi, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 9:11 p.m.

    Trying to think of something positive to say about this Jazz team right now.......I like the Subway commercial w/ two guys w/ a puppet talking to CJ Miles...."Hi im CJ smiles and I am BJ miles" in a high voice.....lol.....Its sad when it takes a commercial to lighten my mood when I am watching the Jazz play on the road.

  • Bigpics Spring Valley, NY
    Jan. 24, 2011 9:30 p.m.

    All the talk about starting CJ ignores his poor defense.

    All the talk about rotations doesn't change the fact that this is a group of talented tweeners - with lots of 4-5's, 3-4's and a few 2-3's (with Deron a 1-2), but of no pure quality centers or PF's and no depth @ SG.

    One thing I've noticed is that whenever Sloan has inserted an entire (4-5 players) second unit with Watson, Price, CJ or the rook and often AK, there's been an energy change - but that he usually only does it once in a game and then doesn't do it at all for games on end. Maybe it's all matchups and beyond me, but it leaves me seriously scratching my head.

  • Captain L Provo, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 10:13 p.m.

    I think CJ needs to stay as the 6th man, he is a natural gunner and offensive threat off the bench. He needs to play tougher defense though.
    I would bring AK back to the starting lineup and bench Bell. I like having AK and Hayward with the starters, both can drive, pass and shoot and create opportunities for their teammates. Hayward's shooting should improve with playing time and increased confidence.

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    Jan. 24, 2011 11:48 p.m.

    As is said earlier a couple months ago. Jerry, KOC etc are betting this season on

    1. Hayward developing
    2. Okur coming back to 100%
    3. AK staying healthy enough

    Starting Hayward speeds up his development and may improve his shooting by the playoffs.

    Okur is getting closer. That raises a really thorny question of playing combinations of Okur, Millsap and AJ. That may be affecting the team chemistry.

    Pop of SA will not hesitate to bench a big star Vet for not playing defense or running the offense. Sloan on the other hand rarely takes action on Vets.

    Sloan's methods or personality are biased toward Vets. He lets them figure out how to fix things and lets them decide when and if they will play hard.

    I disagree, but I am not juggling super egos.

    Sloan/KOC have always under utilized the SG position. It is a major weakness. Wings who can shoot are essential to the success of the Sloan system.

    He and KOC have to address that.

    The Jazz are still miss managed but better than last year.

    Improvement at SG is essential. Hayward has to improve fast or a trade is needed for firepower.

  • Kakashi Tokyo, Japan
    Jan. 25, 2011 2:41 a.m.

    i think they should make the trade...one of the reasons why the stockton\malone teams were good because they have hornacek...a reliable and consistent perimeter shooter...right now...we dont have one...since they are already struggling with the plays...why not get a few more pieces to improve the team...and make this season an extended pre-season or a trial season...just to have chemistry within the team...but...i prefer to blow it all up...a complete overhaul from top to bottom...grab top picks on the draft...and create a solid nucleus a team could build on...but...of course its a business...and it wont happen...i think we should support the team whichever method they choose so that they could bring in some hardware...

  • The Great Houdini Rye, CO
    Jan. 25, 2011 8:33 a.m.

    Kakashi,the idea of just "blowing it all up" is crazy and risky.It rarely works and even if it does it`ll take years to rebuild,not to mention the chemistry issue.If Memo comes back strong a solid 2 guard would solve alot of problems.Our problem is who would want Bell or Miles?

  • Captain L Provo, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 10:27 a.m.

    Bugoff: I agree with your comments about Sloan and his bias's.
    We do need a consistent 2 who can shoot and create off the dribble but who is available that would be the type of player we need?
    Hayward has the skill set but needs developing and how long that will take is the big question.
    I love how Okur can spread the floor, but I hate his defense. I would like to see Fes used to start the games and to start the 3rd quarters to get off to a better start in those situations. Playing tough D and getting stops to start each half would possible eliminate the getting in a hole problem. If they would need more offense with Fes in the game, play CJ along side him with AJ, Hayward and DWill.
    If they want CJ as 6th man, I'm OK with that but I'd play AK and Hayward together, they move the ball, pass and create better than most and I know I would love playing with players who see the floor, pass, and create.

  • shaybo Richfield, UT
    Jan. 26, 2011 12:32 p.m.

    The starters have been getting bombed all season long, every single first quarter. What we need is a major shakeup not some minor thing like CJ or Gordon for AK.

    The problem now is that the 2nd team is not coming in and turning it around and it seem's to me Sloan's substitution pattern is completely different since Ocur came back. Before, at the end of the first quarter he would make wholesale subs and have 5 completely different players in starting the 2nd quarter, now he is slipping them in here and there and keeping the original continuity and is not getting that energy surge they were getting before, he has also become very reluctant to put in Fez and Evans who were supplying a lot of that energy. Instead it's Ocur who is adding to the "slow down mode" getting the time.

    We need to start Ocur and move AJ to PF. At least maybe we could out score someone with the low energy team, then come with the energy guys and let them run and play defense like they were doing early on.