Utah Jazz: Awards for the NBA 2011-2012 Regular Season
As a Jazz fan, I'm officially ecstatic that the Jazz will be appearing in the playoffs this year. Sure, we may have lost two lottery picks because of our run to the postseason, but I'd rather have playoff experience any day of the week.
This season, in general, has been a resounding success for the young squad out of Salt Lake City. And as the playoffs near, I'd like to hand out a few fake awards to the Jazz roster based on what I saw this season. Enjoy!
Mr. Inconsistent: Devin Harris
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Right now, I love Devin Harris. Part of this is due to the fact that he was one of the reasons Utah has found their way into the postseason.
But he has disappeared more times than not this season, and I don't know how much more I can take. Easily the most inconsistent player on the roster (unless Raja Bell is healthy), Harris needs to return to being the Devin Harris that earned an All-Star nod. If he isn't able to produce on a high level on a more consistent basis, he will find himself shipped out of town.
He may have finally earned the good grace of Jazz fans for now, but we are very short-sighted. We are very much a "what are you doing for us now?" type of fanbase.
Congratulations, Mr. Harris. You are the winner of Mr. Inconsistent. May you have better luck next year.
Most Meaningless Contributor: Jeremy Evans
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The NBA dunk contest was predominantly highlighted by no-name players and won by the likes of our very own Jeremy Evans. While I'm happy for his win, I would rather see him contribute more to the team than just high-flying dunks.
The fact that the only accolade to his name is a dunk title is not something that will win him many contracts over the years. He needs to develop a much more well-rounded game if the Jazz are going to keep him. I have no idea whether or not he's going to last in the league much longer.
Dunks don't pay the bills. Just ask Gerald Green.
Leader and Feel-Good Story of the Year: Jamaal Tinsley
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Jamaal Tinsley has been out of the league for a few years. At one point, he was a consistent and established player in the Indiana Pacers' starting lineup.
Most of us thought he was washed up, and Tinsley was touted as being the third-best point guard on the Jazz squad behind the likes of Earl Watson and Devin Harris.
He's made the most of the chances he's been given, showing an effective passing game. Jazz fans' eyes were opened and many even started to call for him to take Earl Watson's spot. Jamaal has been a fantastic leader and great locker-room presence for this young and upcoming Jazz team.
Congratulations, Jamaal. You have been a great leader and the feel-good story of the year.
Fan Favorite and Most Improved: Gordon Hayward
Harry How/Getty Images
Count me among the fans who booed at the selection of Gordon Hayward during the 2010 NBA draft. I did not think he would make it at the NBA level. He seemed too scared and too small to compete with the athleticism and extreme competition of the National Basketball Association.
I admit that I was wrong.
I have more been more than impressed by the play of Gordon Hayward. This kid is going to become a heckuva player. He's easily one of the most well-rounded players on this Jazz roster and has shown flashes of superstardom this year. His defense is outstanding, his hustle is underrated and his offense is up-and-coming.
Recently, in a Salt Lake City Fanzz store, I saw more people buying Hayward gear than any other Jazz gear in the store. Utah loves this kid.
We can't wait to see what the future holds for you, Gordon, but we hope to see you as the main star on a multiple championship-winning team in the near future.
Most Valuable Winner: Al Jefferson and the Jazz Bigs
Photo Courtesy of http://www.dailysportnewspaper.org/nba/does-the-utah-jazz%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98big-lineup%E2%80%99-make-them-dangerous-in-the-nba-playoffs.html
The Utah Jazz have the most feared and dominant front line in the NBA. We can easily attribute our playoff appearance to the Utah Jazz bigs. Ever since Tyrone Corbin started playing Derrick Favors, Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap at the same time, our team has started to dominate the competition.
They are this year's Most Valuable Winners (MVP award, pretty much). Al Jefferson has been nothing short of phenomenal, Paul Millsap has been clutch with his many tip-ins and Derrick Favors has made us all forget who Deron Williams was. Enes Kanter has even shown flashes of dominance, but not enough for a third pick.
Our best hope to knock out the Spurs in the first round will be our front line. Their rebounding, shooting percentages and defense will be relied on above all else.
Either way, Al and company are the most important players on this young team.