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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Drama For Deron Williams And All That's Jazz

It's starting to sound like Utah might have a disgruntled Employee #8 on their hands... Per this story in the Salt Lake Tribune Jazz guard Deron Williams, arguably the top PG in the NBA (see here for our take onthe pg debate), is growing frustrated with the inconsistent play of his team this season. Here are some of his comments;

Williams said that a much-changed Jazz squad had a “better mesh of guys” in 2009-10, longing for the days when ex-Utah guards Wesley Matthews and Kyle Korver could command attention and respect from opposing defenses, in turn stretching the floor and balancing out the team’s offensive attack.

And Williams again pointed out the Jazz’s inability to run Sloan’s offense like it needs to be executed, as everything from Utah’s poor floor spacing and timing to the simple inability to set hard screens has prevented his team from “flowing.”

“We’re trying to run half of a system and then half just freelance,” Williams said. “We can’t do that. We’re not the Phoenix Suns. We’re not the New York Knicks. We’re not just coming out here and playing one-on-one. But that’s what’s happening. Things are breaking down and we’re going one-on-one the last five seconds of a shot clock.”

When Williams was asked if he has the ability to ask Sloan for on-the-court changes, his response was layered in sarcasm.

“We’ve been running the same plays for 23 years. Why change now?” Williams said.
He added: “I’m just going to play basketball, man. That’s all I can do.”
Can't say that I fault Williams one bit for his frustrations. During the summer Utah lost Carlos Boozer, Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver to the Bulls while only acquiring Al Jefferson via trade from Minnesota to fill the void. But in that same regard, one thing DW needs to realize that the Jazz may be overachieving as it is. The current roster doesn't have much talent or depth, yet the Jazz are 27-17 and Williams is having a career year. I can understand Deron's competitive approach to the team but in this case reality has to prevail. The Jazz were not supposed to be very good this season.

I think one of two things will  happen in Utah:

1.) DeronWilliams can stick it out in Utah and follow in the footsteps of previous Jazz Hall of Famers John Stockton and Karl Malone. But this is only a good option if the Jazz upgrade the talent to compliment Williams and Paul Milsap/Al Jefferson as they did by adding Jeff Hornacek to the Stockton/Malone combo.


2.) DW8 plays out the remaining year and a half of his current deal without conflict and then explore his options in free agency where he can will generate plenty of interest from legit contenders, where I would almost go as far to guarantee the Lakers and Mavericks will be the top suitors. I'm no psychic, but I see this as the more likely result.

Just remember you heard it first...


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