Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Wonderful Future That Will Never Happen

So the Lakers closed out the Jazz as expected, and the post-mortem are all about how wonderful the future of the Jazz is, given how good Deron Williams is and how the bigs are young and they're deep and well-coached and Andrei Kirilenko was good again and... um, no.

Look, I hate to break this to Jazz Fan, but this is as good as it gets. Carlos Boozer will never become athletic enough to be a shot blocker and get off against more athletic bigs. That means he'll get his lunch eaten in just about any second or third round playoff series, and the Jazz need him to win that matchup. It will never happen.

So you've got a team that's good enough to win 50+ games every year, so unless there's some kind of monumental draft luck, there isn't going to be anyone to upgrade Boozer... and, well, there's lots of people here who aren't as young as you think. Matt Harpring, who gives them important minutes and a lot of hard defensive fouls, is 31; he's not going to get any better. Mehmet Okur is 28, and he's got the same not quick and getting slower issue. Kirilenko is 27 and injury prone. Kyle Korver is 27 and so bad defensively, I suspect he'll be out of the Association in 3 to 5 years.

So unless you really think that Ronnie Brewer is going to develop an outside shot (right after, presumably, he develops a mid-ranged shot), or that Ronnie Price, CJ Miles or some non-rotation player is going to step up... well, no. They are too well coached to fall apart, and not talented enough to really be more. They've got too much of a home court advantage to fall out of the playoffs and get a decent draft pick. They can't attract a top-tier free agent to come to Mormon Town, and even if they did, the number of top-flight NBA stars who'd be happy and productive there are minimal.

So no, there is no great future for Jazz Fan, even if Williams gets better than Chris Paul. They lost in the third round a year ago, they lost in the second round this year... and they're going to lose in the first round or similar next year.

Because the Association is a players' league, and they just don't have enough.

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