Friday, February 7, 2014
Impose your will....or not....
Okay Jazz fans, I want you to scan your memory banks. Look hard. You may need to take a look in the way back machine, but here is the question, when was the last time a Jazz team imposed their will on an opponent? I am not talking about for a game or a stretch, but where a team knows that they are going to be in for a fight. Figure it out yet? Exactly....its been a long time, a really long time. Dare I say back to the Jerry Sloan days? Think about that, if I am being kind, I would say maybe the year that Jazz made a Western Conference Finals run with Deron and Booz. But that is being generous.
The last time the Jazz had a team that imposed their will upon an opponent would be the days of Stockton and Malone. Those teams did what they wanted night in and night out. You knew they were going to run the pick and roll with John and Karl. You knew they were going to run the FLEX with Hornacek coming of a pick to hit that elbow jumper. You knew that if you took the ball to the hoop Malone or Ostertag were going to foul you hard. You were going to earn those points.
For the past 5 years this Jazz team has been imposed upon. 5 years! In a "season of discovery" and an opportunity to discover what assets, if any, the Jazz continue to play to their opponent. We can look at this a number of ways. From match-ups, to offensive and defensive game plans. The Jazz never say this is who we are, or this is what we are going to do, now stop it. Granted the Jazz can beat themselves at this with poor execution, bad personnel match-ups etc. But this team has not said, this is who we are and we are going to battle with this win or lose.
This can also be said of the players. For example, both Gordon and Trey are slumping. Their offense is lackluster and does not exhibit any confidence. Advantage defense. There is all this talk of "getting in the gym" or "getting shots up before and after practice". But I think the fast way out of a so-called slump is to be the aggressor. To IMPOSE YOUR WILL! It would serve both these players well to come into the game and make sure that their first shots are going to the basket, being aggressive and putting the oh-nus on the officials. Yeah its going to get you some bumps and bruises and you are not going to get calls at times, but it says to your opponent, this is what I am going to do STOP ME!
The same can be said about the Jazz lineup decisions and rotations. We have 3 very talented bigs, that need time and development together, not substituting for each other. This is where we need to say, Kanter and Favors, Gobert and Favors, Gobert and Kanter, this is who and what we are going to run, STOP US! This season is unlike any other, where the option to run these kinds of lineups and the ramifications of running them do not hurt the over all numbers. They give the staff opportunities to teach and develop, to make these players the kind of players the front office believes they can be, for the future.
Lastly, its the kind of mentality that needs to be developed on this young team. That they know that the staff believes that they CAN succeed. That they CAN impose their will on their opponent. That the opponent has to game plan for the Utah Jazz, not the Utah Jazz game planing for the rest of the league.