Friday, January 30, 2009

Five year value of Jazz players

This season has been painful to think about. I know all the current Jazz players won't be on the team for the next five years, but this is how I'd rank the value of their contributions to the Jazz if they were to stay with them for the next five years.

15. Jarron Collins - He is done after this season. Is of no value to any team in the future.
14. Matt Harpring -He has the skill, but not the health. Likely will retire after next season.
13. Morris Almond - He could be higher on this list, but needs to improve on overall game.
12. Ronnie Price - Price would be more valuable if he were a true PG. He is small for a SG, but he sure is athletic.
11. Brevin Knight - Knight is getting old. He is a good backup PG who doesn't turn the ball over but who can't shoot. You know what you are getting from him.
10. Kyrylo Fesenko - This guy has some potential, and a lot of size.
9. Kyle Korver - Is already declining, his value looks to be going way down unless he can start shooting lights-out again.
8. CJ Miles - This guy could be higher if he can consistently tap into all the potential he has. For the forseeable future, he just isn't consistent and he doesn't hustle.
7. Ronnie Brewer - If he can be consistent he will be a star for the Jazz. He has pretty much got a manhandle on the SG position, but that may change with the Jazz 2010 lottery pick that they get from the Knicks.
6. Kosta Koufos - This guy reminds me of Millsap his rookie season, only he plays center and some mean defense. He can score too.
5. Andrei Kirilenko - It will be interesting to see what teams are willing to pay this guy when his max-contract runs out.
4. Memo Okur - The money man has one of the most unique skill sets for a guy his size. Only rivaled by Dirk. He still has some great years left in him.
3. Paul Millsap - You could probably flip Boozer and Millsap in a few seasons if Millsap keeps improving the way he is.
2. Carlos Boozer - Fans may hate him, but the Jazz haven't been the same without him this season. He is the best ambidixterous guy I know, and he is a two-time Olympian/all-star.
1. Deron Williams - Who else were you expecting?

Why the Jazz are in trouble without Kirilenko

Some thoughts on the state of the Jazz while AK goes under the knife today.

This is from David Locke, he of Locked on Sports. I did not do the following research.
"With AK the offense scores 105.6 points per game. Without him they only score 96.3 points per game.
With AK the defense allows 98.7 ppg. Without AK the defense allows 103.6 ppg.

Make sure you follow this. The average score of a Jazz game with AK this year has been 105.6 to 98.7. That is a differential of 7 that makes them the 5th best team in the NBA with AK.

In games when he has not played, the Jazz have been outscored 103.6 to 96.3 or a differential of -7.3. That makes the 4th worst team in the NBA, without AK. So without Kirilenko, they are a 21-22 win team level. That is a team that wins only 25% of their games."

That scares me. So Boozer is out 'till after the all-star break. Getting him back will be huge. AK should be back a week after him, it sounds like. So here is how I envision the Jazz games going until then:
1/30 Oklahoma City W
1/31 @Portland L
2/2 Charlotte W
2/5 Dallas L
2/6 @Sacramento L (The Jazz are only 1-10 on back-to-backs this year)
2/8 @Golden State L
2/11 LA Lakers L
==ALL-STAR BREAK== (hopefully Boozer will be back)
2/17 Memphis W
2/19 Boston L
2/21 New Orleans L
2/23 Atlanta L
2/25 @Minnesota L
2/28 Sacramento W
(Kirilenko back?)
23 games left.

That is only 4-9. I'd imagine that'd put the Jazz at least 5 games back from the 8th seed. So that leaves them 23 games to make up 5 games in the playoffs, and that only gives them the 8th seed, which means a first round exit to the Lakers.

It seems like the Jazz have been without at least 2 of their 5 best players practically every game this season. No team is going to be able to win missing 2 of your stars. You have to play practically perfect to win under such a situation. Missing one of your two best players is trying enough, and you will lose a lot of games just due to that. Now without Boozer and AK, if Memo is off, or Millsap is off, or Williams is having an off-night, then the team will not win. The Jazz still have a shot to make it into the playoffs if Boozer and Kirilenko heal fast, but they are sure cutting it close.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why the Minnesota Twins will be the 2009 AL Central Champs

I could write about how bad the Jazz will be while Boozer and Kirilenko are out, but I don't want to write it and you don't want to read it. All these injuries that the Jazz are having is making me look forward to baseball opening day even more.

You can bet that there will be much more Twins player-by-player analysis/projections/outlooks on this blog as opening day approaches. For now we will take a quick glance at why the Twins have as good a shot as anybody to win the AL Central this year.

1. They won't have any innings pitched by Livan Hernandez. Those innings will be taken over by a full season of a healthy, confident Francisco Liriano, who looks to win his first AL Cy Young. The rest of the young rotation stays the same, a rotation that was responsible for much of the 2008 success.

2. No at-bats from Craig Monroe, Mike Lamb, or Adam Everett. Those guys were black-holes last season. The Twins haven't signed a big bat, but Jason Kubel, Brian Buscher, and Brendan Harris will likely put up better numbers than those other three did last year.

3. The bullpen should be better this year. Again they haven't brought anybody new, but Jose Mijares should take over the 8th inning role nicely, setting up for one of the best closers in the game, Joe Nathan. Jesse Crain is one more year removed from that cuff surgery and he should be better, and Boof Bonser could be a force in the bullpen now that he is getting adjusted to not starting.

4. They will have a full season from Michael Cuddyer and Denard Span. Span was a key cog for the 2nd half of 2008. Cuddyer was the valuable cleanup hitter for the great 2006 year.

5. Delmon Young and Carlos Gomez will be one year older and wiser too. These guys were two of the youngest players in the majors last year. Young especially should be much better this year. They will only get better with time, and could turn into big-time stars.

6. Out of the other competetors only the Indians got better. The White Sox traded or didn't resign a lot of key guys from their team. The Tigers are old. The Indians won't have Sabathia this year, Cliff Lee won't repeat the success he had from last season, they did sign and trade for guys like DeRosa and Kerry Wood, but they lost others like Casey Blake.

7. They re-signed Nick Punto. Ok that one is a joke. But the Twins are so young, and most these guys will get better. Not too many of them have hit their prime yet. It should be an exciting season, as long as injuries don't ravage them. But a blow to Joe Mauer, or Justin Morneau, or a couple of staff members like Kevin Slowey and Scott Baker and all bets are off. I hope I didn't just jinx them.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Boozer gone, Millsap gone, Okur gone?

This season has been worse than anybody could have realistically imagined. And the harmful effects of this season could end up hurting the Jazz even more after the final buzzer of the season has sounded. Lets face it, Carlos Boozer would be crazy to opt out of his contract after this season. Who is going to be able to pay him more than he is making right now? Portland can't now, Miami is saying they don't want to. No playoff team has the money to sign Boozer in the off-season. And even if they could, would they? I would be afraid to sign a guy who just had a bad knee injury.

This is how it could possibly hurt the Jazz this off-season: Memo opts out and signs with another team. Millsap signs a big contract with another team, too big for the Jazz to sign him for, because Boozer decided to not opt out, and the Jazz are still on the hook for his money. Then Boozer has a big year and he leaves the Jazz after his final contract year. For the 2010-2011 team the Jazz could end up without Memo, Boozer, AND Millsap. I know that might sound crazy and a little-farfetched but this season has been just as crazy and unpredictable. Of course the 2010 offseason will be loaded with top-notch free-agents, and teams are already slashing payroll so they can afford someone like LeBron James, or Amare. So if Boozer and Memo and Millsap were gone by then, sure the Jazz would have money, but we know how big free-agents like to come to play for Utah. Plus the Jazz have the Knicks first-round draft pick in 2010 so the Jazz could end up with a young top-3 pick and with a top-notch free-agent to play with Deron.

I'm sure the Jazz brass have considered this and other problems that will happen over the next couple of years and I'm sure they have a plan. They are one of the better front offices in the NBA. Let's just hope they don't let all our talent slip away.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The All-Mormon Basketball Team

The list of Mormons who have done well in basketball is not as impressive as those who have done well in football or baseball, but there are a few who have done well at the professional level:

Danny Ainge - Remembered for the most famous play in BYU basketball history. He also played in the NBA with the Boston Celtics.

Thurl Bailey - He played for the Utah Jazz and several other NBA teams.

Tom Chambers - Was a key offensive part of the Phoenix Suns in the late '80s and early 90's. He played for the Jazz for a couple seasons as well.

Kresimir Cosic - He played for BYU and then returned to Yugoslavia where he was a four time olympian and he got a silver medal in 1968 and a gold in 1980. He was a national hero in Yugoslavia.

Shawn Bradley - Played for BYU. Drafted 2nd overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1993. Many thought he was soft and a bust, but he was a great shot blocker.

Owner - Larry H. Miller Saved the Jazz from leaving Utah and has owned a team that has been one of the winningest teams in the NBA since he took over, including two trips to the NBA finals.

General Manager - Danny Ainge. Ainge is the current Boston Celtics GM. He was thought of being a poor general manager until last season, when he brought in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett and the Celtics ended up winning the NBA championship.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jerry Sloan = Coach of the Year

This is another year where Jerry Sloan deserves the coach of the year award. What he has done with the lineup and team is remarkable considering the injuries the Jazz have had so far. Williams, Boozer, Kirilenko, Harpring, Okur, Brewer, Millsap, Korver, Knight, Miles, and probably others that I can't remember have all missed games due to injury. Yet the Jazz are 25-18, they are 17-4 at home, 17-7 against Western Conference teams, and are just 4 games back from being in 2nd place. If the Jazz had everyone healthy for the whole season and had this record, then the season would have been a disaster. But Jerry has held down the fort and has used Utah's depth to its advantage. A healthy Boozer coming back in February makes me think that the Jazz will leapfrog all the way to #2 seed in the West, win the division, and join the ranks of the Lakers, Celtics, Cavs, and Magic as the elite teams in the NBA. Most coaches in Jerry's position would have likely given up on the season and let his players do whatever but not Jerry. He refuses to quit and has everyone shaking their heads that the Jazz are still even in the playoff hunt. He should have received several COY awards and this season is the perfect chance for voters to repent.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Grading the Jazz at midseason

Deron Williams >> B+. It is difficult to be too hard on Williams performance so far. Only recently has he appeared to be at full strength. The last four games he has averaged 26 points and 12 assists. He is the heart and soul of the Jazz and he will have a monster 2nd half.

Carlos Boozer >> Incomplete. Boozer put up good numbers but has only played 12 games so far this season. Unless he is a beast when he comes back, I don't think he will opt out of his contract after all.

Memo Okur >> B. He is scoring 3 more points a game and getting an extra rebound a game more from last season. He has really been good in the first half over the past few games.

Paul Millsap >> A. Millsap has been the MVP of the Jazz thus far. He has almost doubled his numbers from last year while only playing 10 more minutes a game. He will definitely be the top priority for the Jazz in the offseason. The Jazz want and need him to stay.

Andrei Kirilenko >> B+. He cooled off after a hot start to the season. I'd like to see him cut down on his 3-pointer attempts. He is only 11-46 from beyond the arc this season. Hornacek, what have you done to him??

Ronnie Brewer >> B-. His numbers are very similar to last seasons except his FG% is down from 56% to 48% this season. His biggest problem is his consistency.

CJ Miles >> B-. He can score, but not much else. He really needs more consistency, and needs to work on his overall game if he wants to keep his starting spot.

Kyle Korver >> C+. He has been struggling a bit this season due to his wrist injury. Hopefully he will be able to shoot a little better the rest of the season because for a 3 point specialist he hasn't been amazing (38%).

Brevin Knight >> B. He has been a solid backup for Deron. His minutes keep getting reduced as Williams gets to full strength so he will likely only play 10-15 minutes a game from here on out.

Matt Harpring >> C-. He has been recovering from a bad ankle infection. The Jazz have really missed his old production from the bench, but hopefully he will improve for the second half of the season.

Ronnie Price >> B. Nobody has been jerked around as much as Ronnie has this season. He has started a lot and not played in most the games he has appeared in. But he has admirably dealt with his uncertain role.

Morris Almond >> D. He hasn't done much this season, appearing in only 21 games, mainly in garbage time. He quickly lost his 2nd quarter minutes he was getting due to being unproductive. If his shot is not falling he is worthless on the floor. Maybe the Jazz were right in not picking up his option for next season.

Kosta Koufos >> A-. This guy has been better than anybody thought he would be this season. He's played 13 minutes a game and played in 35 games already. That is a rarity for a rookie in Jerry Sloan's system. The last rookie who got that much playing time and praise from Sloan as a rookie? Jerry Sloan. He could be the defensive center we have needed.

Jarron Collins >> D. He has only played in 7 games the whole season while recovering from a golf cart injury.

Kyrylo Fesenko >> C+. Hasn't earned much playing time but he did have a couple of very impressive games that showed flashes of his potential, especially his game fs Yao Ming and the Rockets.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Turkish Delight

Last night belonged to Memo. 43 points baby. It really looked like he was going to score 50 but he only scored two points in the 4th quarter. 43 points is a career high for Okur and the most for a Jazz player since Karl Malone had 44 in 1998. When Memo is on, he is our most deadly offensive force. There are not a lot of players his size with his skill set. Dirk comes to mind but not a whole lot of others. Anyways Memo has carried us the past few games, especially early on. And viola! the Jazz have a nice little win streak going.

Ronnie Price has played nicely the past few games. When CJ comes back I would be surprised to see him get much playing time. I think Price has stolen CJ's starting job for a while. The difference in the first quarter for the Jazz the past couple of games has been undeniable. Before, the Jazz were always down 10-15 points after the first quarter, and I think CJ and his lack of effort was a big part of it. Now that Price has been putting in his energy in the first quarter the difference has been undeniable. Here is my starting 5 hustle team for the Jazz: Kosta Koufos, Paul Millsap, Andrei Kirilenko, Ronnie Price, Deron Williams.

Monday, January 12, 2009

SLC Dunk: solid Jazz blog

I read several sports blogs on a daily basis. And I'd like to talk about a few of them over the next few days. I'll start more with the Jazz blogs because the Twins blogs seem to be quiet as of late. First up: SLC Dunk. Here is their site: This is probably the best independent Jazz blog. When I say independent I am excluding the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News Jazz blogs, (the ones with the inside sources.) SLC Dunk is definitely the most frequently updated Jazz blog. And it isn't just mundane posting, they don't post just for the sake of posting. Anyways if you want good thoughts on the Jazz, head on over. Plus today they linked to my blog, specifically the one about Millsap being a contender for the all-star game. That was a nice surprise. Here is the entry.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Jazz beat the Pistons (again)

I can't remember the last time the Jazz lost to the Pistons. I think even in the year that the Pistons won the title the Jazz swept the season series with them. The only negative about the game is that Paul Millsap lost his double-double streak, although he would have gotten the necessary stats if he had gotten some playing time in the 4th quarter.

If the Jazz ever make it to the NBA Finals the team I would hope they would face is the Detroit Pistons. Here is the ideal playoff run for the Jazz: 1st round vs Houston Rockets, 2nd round vs Phoenix Suns, Western Finals vs New Orleans Hornets, NBA Finals vs Detroit Pistons. We would probably win the series 4-2, 4-2, 4-1, and 4-0 respectively. An easy road. But not the road we are likely to face.

Hey look who has the spot right below us in the Western Conference, it's the Minnesota Timberwolves!

To close I have to give some love to the Memphis Grizzlies for hurting the Blazers by signing Darius Miles, thus forcing the Blazers to pay the luxury tax this season and be on the hook $9 million more next season. No big free-agent signing in the offseason for the Blazers. Thank you Grizz!

Hot Rod

Which person has been affiliated with the Jazz longer than anybody else? Hot Rod Hundley. He's probably one of the better, definitely one of the most unique play-by-play announcers. I sometimes forget about him ever since the Jazz made the switch to having the radio broadcast be apart from the tv one. Here are some of my favorite Hod Rod-isms:

"With a gentle push, and a mild arc, the old cowhide globe hits home."

"Leapin' leaner."



"Frozen rope."

"Belt-high dribble."

"You gotta love it, baby!"

And my favorite: "The young rookie."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Millsap could be an all-star

I think a new MVP of the Jazz season has emerged: Paul Millsap. And he is getting everybody's attention. He might even make the all-star game, despite not being on the ballot. I think he is averaging something like 19 points, 11 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks since being a starter. Williams was probably really mad at Boozer when he announced he would opt out of his contract after this season, but I think Williams is calming down after playing with Millsap for a while.

"He's doing all the right things," Williams said. "There's some big decisions this summer with him. We definitely want him back. He's playing so great for us right now at both ends of the floor. I like playing with him."

Now it is time to see what the Jazz would do of the offseason started today.

Right now I'd imagine the Jazz resign Millsap at whatever cost, they let Boozer go, Okur and Korver probably don't opt out of their contracts. They probably would like to keep Price and Knight if they aren't too expensive, they would definitely resign one of them so that they keep a backup point guard who knows the system. I think Almond is a goner after this season as is Collins. It is tough to say one way or the other about Fesenko. If they have any money left they go after a decent SF. The trump card here is the 2010 NY Knicks first round draft pick which could be very high and which could replace one season later a big hole if more than one of Boozer/Okur/Millsap left. This is how I envision the Jazz team next season:

PG Deron Williams Brevin Knight Ronnie Price
SG Ronnie Brewer Kyle Korver
SF Andrei Kirilenko CJ Miles Matt Harpring
PF Paul Millsap Free Agent
C Memo Okur Kosta Koufos Kyrylo Fesenko

Salaries (in millions)
AK - $16.5
Williams - $13.8
Millsap - $9
Memo - $9
Harpring - $6.5
Korver - $5
Miles - $3.7
Brewer - $2.7
Knight - $2
Price - $1.5
Koufos - $1.2
Fesenko - $0.9


Tomorrow the Jazz find out if they are going to be NBA Title contenders, or contenders for a lower seed in the playoffs. Why? Carlos Boozer is having surgery tomorrow. It is as simple as that. There is not much more that needs to be said.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Williams and the Jazz blow out Paul and the Hornets

The Jazz with Williams now have 9 wins versus the Hornets 2 with Williams and Paul playing head to head. Sure people will argue that Paul is better than Williams but head to head there is no doubt who the better player is. Sure Paul had more points tonight (Williams was battling the flu) but the point guard isn't supposed to lead his team in scoring every night, he is supposed to get his teammates the ball and get them involved. Williams usually shuts down Paul, tonight Paul had his best stats vs Williams, but the Jazz still blew out the Hornets. I would love to see the Jazz play the Hornets in the playoffs. We play better against them than any other Western power. By the way Millsap just keeps getting better and better. 27 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal. Carlos who?

Hot Rod Hundley called his 3,000 game tonight and the stars really aligned for him. Not only did the Jazz play against New Orleans but DirectTV stopped showing KJZZ tonight so he probably had a lot more people than normal listening to him on the radio.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jazz vs Warriors

I always like it when the Jazz play the Warriors. Everyone always gets great stats. Millsap picked up his 18th straight double-double. Koufos scored 11 points. Williams had 25 pts. 15 assists. Williams looks like he is at full strength now. I am sure excited to see him school Chris Paul on Wednesday when the Hornets come to the Energy Solutions Arena. The Jazz seem to always beat the Warriors and they always play well against the Hornets. I think D-Will has only lost something like 2 games to Chris Paul and the Hornets. D-Will has to be upset about Chris Paul getting all the attention and we know how Williams plays when he is upset and how Williams destroys Paul when they play each other.

Twins owner Carl Pohlad died

Carl Pohlad, the Twins owner died yesterday at age 93. I was not very pleased with him when he tried to get the Twins deleted from the league although he was likely very frustrated with the inability to get a new stadium built. People have labeled him cheap but he did sign Puckett to the biggest MLB contract ever at that point in time, and supposedly he never has told management that they couldn't spend money on someone. He was a deeply loyal man, and under his ownership the Twins won 2 World Series. It was frusterating watching the Twins have a low payroll and constantly lose players to free agency while Pohlad was one of the richest 25 men in America, but I don't know what goes on behind the scenes. It is interesting to see how people feel about Pohlad now that he is gone.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Projected 2009 value of Twins roster

It looks like the Twins are content to go into 2009 with virtually the same team that they had in 2008. I can't necessarily disagree with the decision. Bill Smith has not shown to have much talent in signing free-agents or making good trades. In his first year at the helm he signed Mike Lamb, Adam Everett, and Livan Hernandez, and traded for Craig Monroe, Delmon Young, Brendan Harris, and Carlos Gomez, while giving up Johan Santana, Matt Garza, and Jason Bartlett. It is not crazy to think that the Twins would have made the World Series if he hadn't made those moves. The Twins clear strength is in drafting/developing players, especially pitching, and trading for other teams minor-leaguers such as Santana, Liriano, Bartlett, Casilla, etc.

Also it seems that the Twins would like to improve at 3B or SS or their bullpen but teams asking prices have been too high. Would you give up Denard Span and Kevin Slowey plus a good prospect just for Rockies 3B Garrett Atkins? I wouldn't. Would you give up Francisco Liriano and Delmon Young for one year of Mariners 3B Adrian Beltre? I wouldn't. It seems the Twins have been looking for help, but the other teams want a ridiculous amount of talent from the Twins. And remember the Twins have one of the youngest teams in the majors. Think about all the young stars that emerged last season. The future is bright and without further ado I'd like to rank from most valuable to least valuable I think each player will be to the Twins in 2009, the final year of the Metrodome.

Joe Mauer
Francisco Liriano
Justin Morneau
Scott Baker
Joe Nathan
Kevin Slowey
Denard Span
Delmon Young
Jason Kubel
Nick Blackburn
Michael Cuddyer
Glen Perkins
Jose Mijares
Carlos Gomez
Boof Bonser
Brendan Harris
Nick Punto
Brian Buscher
Craig Breslow
Jesse Crain
Mike Redmond
Matt Guerrier
Matt Tolbert
Jason Pridie
Phil Humber

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Millsap to return

Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that Paul Millsap participated in practice and will be ready to go tomorrow night in the game at the Lakers. He will have to wear a brace but he doesn't think it will bother him too much. Jarron Collins will also be available for the game tomorrow. Needless to say if the Jazz beat the Lakers at the Staples Center it will be the biggest win of the season so far, and having Millsap back will be a huge help. Surely Boozer isn't milking his injury and he doesn't want to have surgery but perhaps he could get some tips from Millsap on staying healthy, playing through pain, and returning quickly from an injury.

One other note, Millsap actually extended his double-double streak to 16 games while he was injured. It stopped at 15 games but the NBA figured out that he actually got 10 rebounds in his last game, not 9 like had been recorded, so he is up to 16 games. John Stockton has the record for most consecutive double-doubles at 18 games. Millsap's streak is also the longest since Kevin Garnett's streak in 2006. Millsap is a huge part of this team, maybe even it's MVP so far. He has scored more points than anybody else for the Jazz this season.

Looking back at the 1999 NBA Draft

2009 marks the 10th anniversary of the 1999 NBA Draft. I've always liked to go back and look at old drafts and see who were the biggest busts, the biggest steals, and who were some of the first picks. Here was how the 1999 draft ended up.

Top 10:
1. Elton Brand - Chicago Bulls
2. Steve Francis - Vancouver Grizzlies
3. Baron Davis - Charlotte Hornets
4. Lamar Odom - LA Clippers
5. Jonathan Bender - Toronto Raptors
6. Wally Szczerbiak - Minnesota Timberwolves
7. Richard Hamilton - Washington Wizards
8. Andre Miller - Cleveland Cavaliers
9. Shawn Marion - Phoenix Suns
10. Jason Terry - Golden State Warriors

Other notable picks:
13. Corey Maggette - Seattle Supersonics
16. Ron Artest - Chicago Bulls
18. James Posey - Denver Nuggetts
24. Andrei Kirilenko - Utah Jazz
57. Manu Ginobili - San Antonio Spurs

Jazz picks:
19. Quincy Lewis
24. Andrei Kirilenko
28. Scott Padgett
58. Eddie Lucas

This is one of the better draft classes the NBA has had. 9 all-stars is not too shabby. The Jazz and the Spurs definitely got the two steals of the draft. The top 10 is rock solid, and Bender would have been a great player as well if not for injuries.

And here is how I think the draft would look like in a do-over:
Brand, Ginobili, Kirilenko, Davis, Marion, Artest, Hamilton, Terry, Francis, Odom, Miller, Maggette, Szczerbiak, Posey.

Comparing two Jazz Teams

Well it is now over 10 years since John Stockton sent the Utah Jazz to the NBA Finals. Many have compared the current team to the one back then. Here is ranking the 1998 players to the current players from most similar to least similar.

Jerry Sloan - Jerry Sloan
Jeff Hornacek - Kyle Korver
Adam Keefe - Matt Harpring
Bryon Russell - Andrei Kirilenko
William Cunningham - Jarron Collins
Troy Hudson - Ronnie Price
Antoine Carr - Paul Millsap
Chris Morris - CJ Miles
John Stockton - Deron Williams
Shandon Anderson - Ronnie Brewer
Howard Eisley - Brevin Knight
Karl Malone - Carlos Boozer
Greg Foster - Kosta Koufos
Jacque Vaughn - Morris Almond
Greg Ostertag - Memo Okur

Yes I'd have to say if you match the '98 players to their '08 counterparts, then Ostertag and Okur are definitely the most different. Imagine the '98 team with Ostertag shooting like Okur.