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No Rythm to Jazz

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 2/2/2011 4:56:08 PM

For what started out as a promising season, the Utah Jazz have been in a major funk and there are signs that things are unraveling at a rapid pace.

They had to go back-to-back to open the run this season and lost both games, but then things started to click. The Jazz got their first win over the high octane Oklahoma Thunder and went on a very successful first road trip of the year.

They kicked off that November odyssey by beating Miami in overtime, whipped Orlando the next night, handled the Hawks in the ATL, then skinned the Bobcats in Charlotte by a point.

What ever happened to that mojo is anybody’s guess.

Their demise started a couple of day’s after Christmas in a loss to at home to Portland and they really went into a nosedive in mid-January when they put together a string of 6 straight defeats.

For a team that for years has been a steady as a rock, there are true concerns in Salt Lake about the locker room and the chemistry of the team.

As a squad, they don’t seem to be playing together, don’t play any defense, don’t seem to play with any kind of emotion and they have lost to some of the dregs of the league.

The Jazz rank second to worst in the league in rebounding and as Coach Pat Riley used to tell his L.A. Lakers, ‘no rebounds, no rings’.

When you get beat by Washington, New Jersey and Philadelphia, the front office has to really think about shaking things up.

The best player on the Jazz, Deron Williams, is obviously frustrated and it showed recently when he kicked the ball out of bounds as the clock was running out in a recent loss. Their ace in the hole over the years has been the Russian Rocket Andrei Kirilenko but that player loses confidence very easily.

The truth of the matter is that Utah has always teased but they are never going to overwhelm anybody in the Association. And now they are sitting as the 6th seed if the playoffs would start today and if that were the case, they would probably have to face Dallas in the first round.

Bettors that have an affiliation and a tendency to wager on the Jazz have to tread lightly if they don’t want their bankrolls to dwindle.

Utah only covered 3 of their first 14 games in January and two covers were against Cleveland and Minnesota, not exactly the powerhouses of the league.

Some thought it could not get worst, but it did in a big way when Williams hyper-extended his wrist and will likely take time to heal.

That leaves bettors being careful before backing the Jazz. They played hard in Williams absence in a win last Friday but they were all out to hold off Minnesota when Kirilenko had his best game of the year.

The concern for bettors is that when a star player goes out, there can be kind of a honeymoon period on a team where they will bond for a short time before they collectively slide back to their sloppy ways.

Bottom line, hoop aficionados must think long and hard before laying it down on the Jazz.

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