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Don't Cheer Angry

I am, like most Jazz fans, puzzled by the team thus far. This season the team has been an enigma. At times they are the dynamic, young, aggressive group that surprised the league and went to the Western Conference Finals two years ago, but they also look like the inept, mistake prone misfits that limped into the playoffs last season. Many are quick to point fingers and make bold declarations about what is wrong at what needs to happen to cure their ills. As a lifelong Jazz fan, I am trying to not be the reactionary that my emotions want me to be. I am here to offer some thoughts and suggestions about what might help, but I will stay away from any sweeping pronouncements, angry rants and petty insults.

Consider that it might be time to think about possibly considering the idea of maybe replacing Jerry Sloan. I know better than most what this man has meant to the team, and I am not suggesting a mid-season firing of the hall-of-famer, but rather making Jerry think his job might be in jeopardy, and grooming a possible successor. Letting Jerry think he is on his way out might force him to try to change some of the things he does to reach his players. I really wonder if the team is on the same page as Sloan sometimes, and even though it is difficult to teach an old dog new tricks, this tactic might produce some different results. It also would be nice to see who else might be interested in stepping in to coach if Sloan did exit the locker room. I can see many good prospects lining up a great young point guard like Deron Williams.

Think about playing the players who have the hot hand, rather than just the stars at the end of the game. The other night against the Spurs, rookie Wes Matthews looked great and played the best game of his young career and got to stay in the game. This could be a good way to avoid the let downs that rob the Jazz of victories- i.e. the Houston game or the Dallas game. Chemistry is so important, and if it works don’t mess with it. If Boozer is off, don’t play him, if Kirilenko is hot, get him the ball.

I don’t want to get too preachy, so I’ll save some of my other ideas for a later date, but just remember the season is still young, the team has some talent to work with, and they are not yet at full strength. See, I could have been a lot angrier.

-Conor Bentley


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