Welcome to another special installment in the web's best NBA team previews. So special that you will be filled with specialness and specially special and a special sense of the special. To check out all the entries in the series, you can click here.
Today, we will be discussing the Utah Jazz. The Utah Jazz are most notable for being an okay team that does okay and is filled with players who are thoroughly okay. They win some games and lose others. Typically they win more games than they lose, but lost lose the important ones. And that's okay.
Tean I Don't Like With A Few Players I Do Like, I Guess
Things I Like
Deron Williams is a great basketball player. He's easily the second-best point guard in the game today and his duels with Chris Paul are the stuff of legend. He's clearly one of the best overall players in the league and his game is skillful, polished, and athletic. I enjoy the ghost of Andrei Kirilenko who still displays flashes of that multi-talented versatility that used to be so exciting. Paul Millsap should be a starter somewhere and Eric Maynor will always hold a special place in my heart ("IS THIS THE DAGGER?"). Finally, Kyle Korver's corn-eating ways are totally tolerable when teamed with Deron Williams.
Things I Don't Like
Carlos Boozer went to Duke, betrayed Lebron and the Cavaliers, holds back Millsap, and generally causes contract headaches at Utah. He's a skilled enough player, sure, but there is so much that points to pure assholery. In a lot of ways, he's a perfect player for Utah.
Yeah, that's right, I don't like Utah. When I think things like, I don't know basketball and jazz, I don't think of Salt Lake City. I know, I know-- sure. I know all about the great basketball traditions and Stockton and Malone and Jerry Sloan. I know and I don't care. Yes, Stockton and Malone are great players, but is Jerry Sloan a great coach? Oh, he won a lot? I don't care. He is boring. The city is boring. The Utah Jazz are boring. The fact that I can watch them at all is a tribute to how truly great Deron Williams is.
Also Andrei Kirilenko's YouTube highlight reels and mixtapes have the worst soundtracks of any NBA player's. Trust me on this.
There is something truly and horrendously powerful about living in someone's shadow. Here are the facts: Deron Williams is a great point guard. At any other point in history, there is a legitimate case for him being the best point guard in the game (seriously and absolutely). This can't be true in present circumstances, however. Chris Paul is quite simply (if things go according to plan) going to end up being the greatest point guard of all time. Deron Williams may match up with Chris Paul one-on-one, but there are forces of history at work which overwhelm Deron-- he is destined to live in Chris Paul's shadow. Which brings me to the question at hand: Are Deron Williams and Chris Paul the reincarnated forms of Salieri and Mozart?
In several years, Deron Williams will attempt suicide by slitting his own throat while confessing to murdering Chris Paul. He'll be committed to an institution but slowly warm to a young priest who wants to hear the whole and sordid tale of how he and Chris Paul met, and how the horrific plot that led to the murder slowly developed. At the end of the tale, Deron Williams will angrily curse God for making him the "patron saint of mediocrity." As part of this divinely imposed curse, he will be forced to be point guard for the Utah Jazz for longer than John Stockton.
Good but not great, and only really interesting along a single dimension: Watch them when they play the Hornets. Watch Deron Williams highlights. Don't bother going out of your way for anything else.