Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors (15) trees to keep control of the ball, as he its triple teamed by Los Angeles Lakers forward Wesley Johnson (11), Los Angeles Lakers center Robert Sacre (50), and Los Angeles Lakers forward Ryan Kelly (4), in NBA action, The Utah Jazz vs. The Los Angeles Lakers, at EnergySolutions Arena, Monday, April 14, 2014
Kragthorpe: Larry H. Miller wouldn’t have wanted Jazz to lose to Lakers
First Published Apr 14 2014 11:39 pm • Last Updated Apr 15 2014 07:23 pm

The logical question after this outcome — something resembling the Los Angeles Lakers 119, Jazz 104 ­— is whether the home team actually lost or won Monday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

After all, the Jazz now claim the NBA’s fourth-worst record (24-57) with one game remaining, Wednesday at Minnesota. They’re assured of finishing behind the Lakers. So the Jazz enhanced their lottery odds and potential draft position, which evoked some rejoicing among fans.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Sorry to spoil the celebration of the defeat, but I wish the late Larry H. Miller could be here to address this subject. Do you really believe Miller would have enjoyed watching his team lose, under any circumstances? Not like this, certainly. Not to the hated Lakers. And not with an ugly, fourth-quarter meltdown.

Summarizing the Jazz’s season, Gordon Hayward said, "We were in a lot of games, and then we have a lapse and we’re down 10, 15 points." Or 20, in this episode, after being tied through three quarters.

I understand the big picture of this season, and so would have Miller. But c’mon. What’s fun about this stuff? Jazz fans in the sold-out building had to absorb the taunts of Lakers followers and watch Nick Young prance around the court while scoring 41 points. Well, the L.A. people were entitled to have fun.

The last time the Jazz were this bad (26-56), Miller took the microphone before the final home game of 2004-05. Amid his usual tears, he said, "Two things I’ll promise ya: No. 1, we’ll do everything we know how, through the draft, through free agency … and come back bigger and better and stronger than ever. Number two, you’re looking at an owner who will never, ever say that our fans didn’t stick with us through thick and thin."

That remained true nine years later. Jazz management should be very appreciative of the support they’ve received, with average attendance of 18,175 during the worst home-court performance (16-25) in the Jazz’s 40-year New Orleans-Utah history. Franchise owner Greg Miller’s personality is not like his father’s, but his brief video message of thanks sure seemed inadequate.

And here’s the issue going forward: If the Jazz can’t hang with this version of the Lakers, how are they suddenly supposed to win next season, even with a new coach and a high draft pick?

The Jazz crumbled in the final period, wonderfully playing the role of Washington Generals. If that was the goal, though, you’d never have known it by Tyrone Corbin’s approach.

Corbin coached as if his job depended on winning, fighting for calls and exhorting his players. Asked before the game about having to merely play out the schedule, Corbin said: "That’s not fun, but you understand where you are. You continue to develop."


story continues below
story continues below

Any future development undoubtedly will occur without Corbin, who may have been retained if the season had ended March 1 instead of April 16. These last six weeks have been disturbing, except when viewed from the bottom of the standings.

Which brought us to Monday’s exercise. The Lakers (26-55) sent out their starting lineup of Jordan Hill, Ryan Kelly, Wesley Johnson, Kendall Marshall and Jodie Meeks in an effort to ruin everything for the Jazz, from a lottery perspective. They failed to do so, thanks largely to Young’s performance off the bench.

So a home schedule that began in October with a rimmed-out 3-pointer from Hayward that could have tied Oklahoma City ended with an embarrassing performance. That night, Hayward addressed the crowd and assured everyone the team was "committed to playing Jazz basketball every night."

And then the season started, and that definition kept evolving. Right now, who knows what Jazz basketball is?

kkragthorpe@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribkurt



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.