Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Best Team in the West

by SonDog

Not to sound like Charles Barkley, but first of all, NBA League Pass is the best thing in the history of satellite television. It really is.

And first of all, it's taken a couple of weeks, but the Western Conference is starting to take shape.

But first of all, it's early, but Utah has a legitimate chance to make it to the Western Conference Finals this year.

Okay, enough Chuckster first of all's. Let's discuss the Utah Jazz. First of all, the Jazz roster reminds me of the Sacramento Kings in their heyday. This was reinforced by watching a few Jazz games this year (including a "wow, that a great blow job" win over a Phoenix team that choked and swallowed a couple of nights ago) and watching game 3 of the 2003 first-round playoff matchup (Malone vs. Webber/Stockton vs. Bibby) that I TiVo'd the other night (Hardwood Classics on NBATV).

The parallels are undeniable:
- Crafty outside shooting Center (Vlade Divac and Memo Okur)
- Injury-prone Power Forward that can take over a game (Chris Webber and Carlos Boozer)
- Injury-prone Small Forward that can change a game with his defense (Peja Stojakovic and AK47) (just kidding... but they are both European)
- Young, clutch Point Guard with big-time college experience who is trying to make a name for himself in the Association (Mike Bibby and Deron Williams)
- Do-it-all 2/3 shooter off the bench (Hedo Turkoglu and Gordon Giricek)
- Shoot-first backup point guard who can score in bunches (Bobby Jackson and Derek Fisher)
- Backup big man that does the dirty work (Scott Pollard and Paul Milsap)
- Bruising veteran reserve Small Forward who brings 6 fouls a night, along with a strong mid-range game (Jimmy Jackson and Matt Harpring)

As of now, they are the number 1 team in the league in scoring and rebounding differential. Deron Williams looks light-years ahead of where he was at this time last year, and Carlos Boozer looks healthy and energized after basically taking last year off. Couple Utah's young, impressionable, talented roster with the legend that is Jerry Sloan, and this team has an opportunity to make some noise in the playoffs.


OZ said...

Sloan was lethargic on the bench in the Kings loss debacle. What was that?

SonDog said...

I don't know, but he looked like he took about 4 bong rips prior to tipoff. All we needed was the cameras to catch him munching on some nachos.