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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Jazz woes show Ugly Face

Deron is the key to Jazz success 
The Jazz continue to show that their mid-season slump is more than just that. This last month or so has shown this Jazz team true colors.

The Jazz continue to be horrible at rebounding, allowing momentum changing shots, and horrendous porous defense. Nothing has changed since the change in regime either.

The most recent two losses, both to the Suns, have had similar trends. Deron and the Jazz started off hot, to eventually cool down, and choke down the stretch.

One trend that I have noticed in the recent struggle which is the 2010-2011 season, is Deron William's unwillingness to have the ball in his hands at crunch time, and make the plays to win. Here is as guy that has hit many big shots, hit many key free throws, and has created some improbable comebacks, even just this year. Yet in the game against the Bulls in particular, Deron refused to step up when his team needed him.

On three straight possessions with the Jazz within striking distance of the lead, Deron turned the ball over, killing any chance of a comeback versus the "Jazz East." The Jazz lost that game eventually, and started the most recent trend of blowing games in the final 6 minutes.

Yesterday against Phoenix, Utah had an 8 point lead with 7 minutes left, not to mention all the momentum. Enter Steve Nash, good-bye Jazz 'W'.

Utah allowed Phoenix to go on an 11-0 run within 3 minutes of Nash's return to the hardwood, and the Suns never looked back. Entering the 4th quarter, Deron Williams had made 1 shot from the field. Leaving the fourth quarter, he had added only one additional field goal and 6 turnovers.

Do all of the Jazz problems rest solely on Williams shoulder? One could argue he is the team captain, that he needs to hold people responsible for their performance, including his own. One might also add that as the 2 time all-star on the team, the fans expect him to come up with the plays down the stretch that bring the win home.

On the other hand, it is a team game. Injuries have plagued the Jazz of recent, playing yesterday with 9 guys healthy, 2 of which are rookies Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Evans. Another arguement in favor of Deron Williams lack of blame carrier, is the lack of team defense. Jazz continue to show they dont know how to rotate on ball movement, and recover from dribble penetration.

So, is it Deron Williams' fault that Utah is almost on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff race? Not entirely, but he sure needs to step up his game in order for this team to stay intact and have any shot and bringing back fans to the green seats in Salt Lake City.