2012 NBA Playoffs: Will the Utah Jazz Be There in the End?
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The Utah Jazz have been one of the most interesting teams in the NBA this season. Coming out the gate in December, they put together a great record to start the season. But lately, they have faltered and it's been tough to watch. One of the more surprising teams at the beginning of the year (many expected them to be in the lottery), the team has been more inconsistent than they ever were with Jerry Sloan at the helm, and have come back to Earth. They now have a 16-18 record and are three spots out of the playoffs.
This team boasts some of the more attractive young pieces in the game, and one of the best frontcourts. Up front, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson have nights where they dominate, but also have nights where they just look lost.
Devin Harris has seemed entirely uninterested in the game of basketball, which has many Jazz fans calling for him to be traded immediately. Either he's lost his desire or has gotten sick of the lack of night-life in Salt Lake City. Remember Devin, not everybody can play in LA or NYC.
And what happened to CJ Miles? He is shooting 27 percent from long-range and his field-goal percentage has gone below 40 percent as well. Once considered to be one of the more underrated players in the league, Miles has all but disappeared on the court at times.
It gets even more confusing when we look at the young pieces the Jazz have accumulated through trades and the draft. Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter seem to receive very inconsistent minutes behind proven stars Millsap and Jefferson. When on the court, both guys seem ready to break out. Alec Burks sees even less time. Some nights he'll play over 20 minutes, and others he will play about five. When given the chance, Burks has proven more than capable with one of the best rookie PERs and always finding ways to get to the line.
With all things considered, the Jazz, like I said, have been confusing. Many are calling for a major trade and there have been rumors of the Jazz receiving anyone from Rajon Rondo to Andre Iguodala. But the Jazz front office appears content to stand pat with the current roster. And with his poor play, Devin Harris doesn't have much trade value anyway.
In March, the Jazz will play 19 games in a span of 31 days. Only seven of those will be at home. The Jazz, historically terrible on the road, have their work cut out for them if they hope to be there in the end. This season, the team has only won three games on the road.
As of now, it seems the Jazz should either pull off a major trade, or just wait out this fluke of a season and look to the draft and the future impact of young players like Favors, Kanter and Hayward. Either way, Jazz fans should keep a smile on. While the time may not be now...Utah's time in the limelight will come soon enough.
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