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Utah Jazz: Anatomy of a Collapse

Do you remember when the Utah Jazz staged that crazy comeback in Miami? It was a great game wherein they battled from 22 points down to force an unlikely overtime and eventually pull out a win behind 46 from Paul Millsap? Remember when they did it basically again one night later in Orlando?

Remember how the Jazz were sitting atop the Northwest Division in early December? They were 15-5 and looked to be very capable to keep the Thunder and Nuggets at bay. Remember how people were saying that you can’t count out of the Jazz as long as they were armed with their never-say-die coach Jerry Sloan and superstar point guard Deron Williams?

Flash forward to last night, with the Jazz losing in overtime to a lowly Washington Wizards team, possibly their last win of the season. Since December 1st, they’ve lost 34 games, their franchise point guard, their Hall of Fame coach, and their identity.

So… how did that happen?

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Utah Jazz: Anatomy of a Collapse

Do you remember when the Utah Jazz staged that crazy comeback in Miami? It was a great game wherein they battled from 22 points down to force an unlikely overtime and eventually pull out a win behind 46 from Paul Millsap? Remember when they did it basically again one night later in Orlando?

Remember how the Jazz were sitting atop the Northwest Division in early December? They were 15-5 and looked to be very capable to keep the Thunder and Nuggets at bay. Remember how people were saying that you can’t count out of the Jazz as long as they were armed with their never-say-die coach Jerry Sloan and superstar point guard Deron Williams?

Flash forward to last night, with the Jazz losing in overtime to a lowly Washington Wizards team, possibly their last win of the season. Since December 1st, they’ve lost 34 games, their franchise point guard, their Hall of Fame coach, and their identity.

So… how did that happen?

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N.Y. State of Mind


Losers of 6 straight, and 9 of their last 10 games, the New York Knicks are in a bit of a, “funk,” so to speak.  Acquiring a major talent in one, Carmelo Anthony, just before the NBA Trade Deadline, seemed to be the next big step, in “Righting the Ship.”  However, the Knicks have found themselves in a worse predicament than they were before the deal.  A lot of people, namely “fans,” are suggesting that maybe that was the wrong move to make, in acquiring Anthony.  They feel that blowing up the team, and trading away its young talent, was a mistake.  A record of 7-9, and falling to the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference, would also back those claims.  With the Knicks currently facing a potential playoff match-up with the Celtics, whom the Knicks are 0-3 against; the future doesn’t seem much brighter.

So who gets the blame in this situation?  We could point the finger at the Star Players, Melo & Amare, but they’ve performed consistently.  What about the bench…Or lack thereof?  Naaah, that’d just be a cop out of sorts and besides that only, consists of 3-4 players at max.  The finger can be pointed at the Front Office for making the deal, right?  Let’s face it; the Knicks weren’t exactly playing elite basketball prior to the trade.  Their record only stood, 2 games above .500, which isn’t saying much compared to where they are now.  There isn’t one specific, “Answer,” to the Knicks’ problems.  There are several things wrong with this team. Continue Reading

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Bulls vs Celtics: Playoff Outlook

Image by ARM Climate Research Facility via Flickr

Who's ready for the playoffs? I'm sure most fans are, and if you are like me, then the playoffs couldn't start fast enough. I hate this time of year in the NBA. The last three weeks of the season are always

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NBA Power Rankings (1-15)

Here’s a look at the Saving the Skyhook Power Rankings for the week:

1. Chicago Bulls

Last Week: Wizards (W), Nets (W), Pacers (L)

The Bulls continue to come on strong, led by MVP candidate Derrick Rose (24.9 PPG, 7.8 APG on the season). The Bulls have held their opponents under 85 points seven times in the month of march and have won eight of their last ten.

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D-League Report: Ewing Jr., Danny Green and More Jeffers

Spurs Sign Danny Green

The San Antonio Spurs have signed former UNC standout Danny Green for the remainder of the season. Green played for the North Carolina Tar Heels from 2006-2006 and is the only player in ACC history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 250 assists, 150 three-pointers, 150 blocks and 150 steals. He also played more games (145) and had more wins (123) than any other Tar Heel before him. His team won the NCAA Championship in 2009, the Final Four in 2008 and the Elite Eight in 2007.

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D-League Report: Cousin, McNeal, Alabi and Temple

Another week of heavy activity for the D-League this week as teams try to grab the assets they need to fill holes due to injury, or attempt to shake things up for the stretch. Here are some highlights:

Marcus Cousin Ready for Jazz, His Uniform… Not So Much

Marcus Cousin signed a ten-day deal to join the Utah Jazz on Tuesday and were excited to get him involved quickly. He joined the team in Toronto as the Jazz began a four game road trip with a number of players (Paul Milsap, Andrei Kirilenko, Ronnie Price, Francisco Elson, Kyrylo Fesenko and Mehmet Okur) injured.

Unfortunately, things happened so quickly, that the Jazz failed to make up a new uniform for Cousin in time for his first game, so he had to wear a number 0 jersey with no name on the back.

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Should the Miami Heat be Panicking?

Given that the Heat have now lost four games in a row, and just got swept in their season series with the Bulls, I think it is appropriate to shed some light on the issue. Let me start out by saying that I’m not a Heat fan, but I have watched more Heat games than any other team this year, so I do think I am unbiased in this discussion. There are three things I want to discuss; whether the Heat will succeed in the playoffs, whether crying was warranted after the rough stretch, and whether we are all making too much of this.

So, will the Heat succeed in the playoffs? I’m going to post some numbers and let you decide for yourself. Their average scoring margin is +6.71, which is second in the league. Their offensive rating is 110.5 which is 6th in the NBA. Their defensive rating is 103.2 which is 5th in the NBA. Their field goal percentage is 47.5% while opponents are scoring on 43% shooting. They have LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, three players who were undisputed number one options on their teams last season. Yet, they have struggled against good teams. Does that mean anything? The main problem with the Heat is lack of depth. In the playoffs rotations tighten, which means more minutes for stars. Continue Reading