December 5, 2011

Predictions Post

Predictions Post
By Kyle Kirkham
Yeah I know it’s a bit early for a predictions post, but that doesn’t matter, so here is mine. (By the way, isn’t it good to be posting again?)

League Awards
Rookie of the year
This came down to the top two picks in the draft for me, Williams and Irving. Both should get plenty of minutes on their terrible teams and have a shot to show what they got. While these players should make a difference for their teams, however I don’t see either of them living up to the standards of recent recipients of the award.
Winner: Derrick Williams

Most improved player
My Jazz fan bias automatically put Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward in contention. I also considered Greg Monroe, Arron Afflalo, Paul George, and James Harden. My pick came down to what player is going to get a big boost of minutes and make the most of them.
Winner: Gordon Hayward
Sixth man of the year
At first I was having a hard time deciding on this award. It is a bit more difficult to predict because we don’t know for sure who will start and who will not. I considered most of the recent winners of the award, but ended up going with that dude on the Thunder with the big beard.
Winner: James Harden
Defensive player of the year
This was probably the easiest award for me to predict. I thought about Andre Iguodala, Tony Allen, and LeBron James, but I just don’t see any of these guys preventing the NBA’s best center from winning it a fourth consecutive year.
Winner: Dwight Howard
Most valuable player
This was definitely not an easy pick. I chose between LeBron, Rose, Dirk, Durant, and Howard. It came down to Durant and Rose to me, both who should be at an advantage with a compressed NBA schedule.  
Winner: Kevin Durant

Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat
I picked OKC from the West because I think they have the best combination of talent and youth to survive the compressed NBA season. It was a bit harder for me to choose who came from the East, but I picked the Heat over the Bulls because James/Wade > Rose/Boozer.
Champion/Result: Miami Heat; in 7 games.
Finals MVP: Dwayne Wade

Jazz predictions
Best Rookie
This is kind of a lame thing to predict on because there are only two options but I’ll do it anyways. Both Burks and Kanter will be behind at least 3 players on the depth chart and will have to earn their minutes. Normally a #3 pick would be better than the #12, but in this case I see otherwise, at least for their first year.
Winner: Alec Burks
Most improved player
I thought about giving this to mainly three guys, Favors, Hayward, and Miles. All three will have a good shot and have the potential to make drastic improvements. Playing time will be a major factor for all of them, but Favors and Hayward may be the only ones to get more than last season.
Winner: Gordon Hayward
Most Valuable Player
This was very hard for me to decide on. I immediately narrowed down to Jefferson and Millsap. Both obviously bring different things to the table and are valuable in their own way. I think both players are going to be improved this season and will take turns leading the Jazz.
Winner: TIE Al Jefferson/Paul Millsap

Team record
This will be a fun and painful season for Jazz fans. We are obviously in the process of rebuilding will have to wait and watch our young players develop. I think we are going to go through a lot rough patches, and end up in the lottery for the second straight year.
Final record: 29-37; miss playoffs.

October 3, 2011

Owners' sins might just send us fans to basketball hell.

It's no secret. There is nothing to hide. The elephant in the corner is now upon us and a NBA lockout might cost the league a season, and for us fans there is nothing we can do.

The dreaded and inevitable NBA lockout started on July 1st. 95 days later it enters the most crucial phase, which will decide on whether an NBA season will occur or not. While the owners and players will take turns pointing fingers at each other, all us fans can do is cross ours and hope for the best.

The NBA could not exist without the fans.It's quite simple. With no fans, the owners get no money, and if the owners don't have that income then they can't pay the players. You simply cannot argue the fact that the NBA is a fan driven league, which is why it is so ironic that the fans have absolutely no say in what happens with this disaster of a lockout. Do the owners and players take account of the fans when they sit in there meetings and fight about money? They might acknowledge us in the back of our heads sure, but when it comes down to who gets what, nobody cares about where the money is coming from.

So who do we blame? Well at first it was a mixed bag of who was right and wrong. But it has become very clear now that it's the owners who are going to send us to basketball hell. The players entertain, the fans pay for the entertainment, and yet the owners want all the benefits.

Owning an NBA team is an investment. Like any other investment it has its pros and cons. It will have its risks, and if managed right if will have its rewards. Which of course is why people invest, for the reward. The problems with investments is that they are not all safe, they have their risks. If you buy stock in a company, and lose money. You lose that money. You can't go to that company and demand it back, it was your choice, and if you're complaining, then it probably was not a good one.

And that's the problem. The owners are complaining about their lost money, and they expect the players to cover their losses. Look at it how you want, but the owners are the ones giving out the million dollar contracts. They are the ones not investing there money in the right players. But what can the players do? They don't have an NBA season until the owners are happy, which means they don't get their paychecks until the owners are happy. How do you make the owners happy? Cover their losses.

The owners have the players in a choke hold, and all us fans can do is wait for the players to tap out.

* * * * *

And so it comes down to this. Today's and tomorrow's meetings are seriously make or break. Not only does progress need to be made, but serious issues on the cap and BRI have to dealt with to save the season. If there is no serious progress in these next two meetings, a full season is nearly impossible and its being said its either a full season or no season. Lets hope for the best.

September 23, 2011

What really happened in the latest CBA meeting

What really happened in the latest CBA meeting
*This is fiction

What you are about to read, is a legit report of what happened in the latest CBA meeting. This comes from a trusty source I have never used before. Take it for what it is.

*****Editors note: I actually had pictures for everyone, but that didn't work out so well, my bad.

Stern:  Hi guys, glad you could come today. We all know how hard it is for us to find some spare time to do these dumb meetings.

Fisher:  You’re telling me! Can you actually believe that people expected me to miss Metta World Peace’s debut in Dancing with the Stars because the NBA is in a lockout? Good grief.

Hunter:  What are we doing for lunch today? I vote Chinese since Silver picked pizza last time.

Fisher:   There’s a takeout place I know of that could probably deliver here.

Silver:  Why can’t we have pizza? Chinese food disgusts me.

Hunter:  Because you picked last time that why, it’s my turn, back me up Fish.

Fisher:  It’s true Silver, you picked last, let Billy choose.

Silver:  *mumbles under breath* I only got two pieces last time…

Hunter:  Well I want two orders of-        

*interrupted by Stern*

Stern:  We’re getting pizza.

Hunter:  Uhhh why do you get to choose.

Stern:  Because I’m King David, that’s why.

Fisher:  Oh my…

Hunter:  Ok can we get Ham and Pineapple then?

Stern:  We are getting cheese.

Fisher:  Why can’t we compromise? Half ham and pineapple, half cheese

Stern:  You’re kidding right? I don’t compromise Derek…

Silver:  *whispers softly* David, can I get more than 2 pieces this time?

Stern:  Yes Adam, me and you get it all.

Hunter:  You’re a Jackass.

Stern:  Billy, I told you already, please call me King David.

Fisher:  *Sarcastically* I thought LeBron was the King.


Super awkward silence in which Billy Hunter stares at his feet, Derek Fisher draws pretend hearts on the table with his finger and Adam Silver engages in a pretend phone call while holding his cell phone upside down
(35 minutes later)

*Knocks at door*

Fisher:  Who is-

 *interrupted by Stern, again*

Stern:  COME IN.

*JR Smiths enters the room*

Fisher:  What the hell are you doing here?!

Smith:  *lifts up box* Pizza?

Stern:  Set it on the table…. Oh and good luck in China.

*Fisher chuckles*

Smith:  Thanks bro…its $20 guys

Stern:  Billy pay him $30, I tip well.

Fisher:  WTF, why does Billy have to pay?!

Smith:  Hey its cool guys, don’t worry about it. I took this from some delivery boy anyway.  *Leaves room*

Stern proceeds to open the pizza box and divide the slices among him and Adam. Billy and Adam engage in a staring contest, Fisher pulls out his phone and begins to text

Stern:  What do you think you’re doing Derek?

Fisher:  I’m texting Ken Berger, how u?

Stern:  Derek, please put that phone away, or else…

Fisher:  Or what David, OR WHAT?

Stern:  Or I won’t set up the Dwight Howard to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum trade.

Fisher:  *puts phone in pocket* Just messing David…calm down…
Hunter:  Ok let’s settle this CBA thing.

Silver:  And how are we going to do that?” *Looks over at Stern for reassurance after his first bold statement, Stern nods in approval*

Tim Donaghy emerges from from the window curtain

Donaghy:  Well we could play poker or something…

Stern:  Tim. Please leave, we can’t be friends anymore.

Hunter:  Are we going to talk about this or not.

Stern:  We have a deal proposed already Billy, it’s a matter of you accepting it.

Hunter:  You really think we are going to accept that deal? I’m sorry, but there is no way I can convince the fans and media to stop making fun of LeBron, it’s not possible.

Silver:  THEN WE HAVE NO DEAL! *Pounds fists on table and looks at Stern once again*

Fisher:  *Stands up* Sorry guys I got to go.

Stern:  Where do you think you’re going Derek.

Hunter:  I got him tickets to Jimmer’s All-Stars

Fisher:  *Facepalms* *mumbles* You weren’t supposed to tell anyone Billy…

Silver:  What’s a Jimmer?

After realizing their meeting had only been around an hour long, David Stern decides that they will take a “nap break” to pass the rest of the time. They leave a few hours later

What really happened in the latest CBA meeting

September 12, 2011

Lockout update + "my reliable source"

Wow, haven't posted here in a while, but don't worry, I've been pretty busy posting in my "lockout journal". Anyways, it has been 73 days since the lockout started, yes 73 days, and I have decided to give you a short summary and an update.

The first 2 months of the lockout was a complete drag. We had 2, maybe 3 meetings in that time, where little or no progress was made. There was much more talk of players going oversees (Deron was first big-name to do so) than there was of negotiating. The follow weeks after that the players and owners begun to meet more often, and there was some progress reported, but not much. How, things have picked up this past week. Here is what happened.

-There was 2 meetings last week. Yes in one week, not 2 months. In a matter of fact, there was almost a third meeting, but they canceled that one so they could meet earlier this week.

-There was the infamous Roger Mason Jr. tweet "Lookin like a season, how u?". Now of course, he said his account was hacked, which is probably right, but why?

-Billy Hunter (Player's Union Rep) and Stern both said there was time to make a deal, and felt like they could get it done in time for a full season.

-Neither side has said they have put their best deal on the table yet.

-There is a "rumor" from SI that Fisher text-messaged numerous players last week indicating that some progress had been made and imploring them to be physically prepared just in case the season started on time.

-There is a meeting tommorow where a new CBA deal will be presented by the owners. Now I don't expect the players to accept it, but they will most likely give a counter-proposal, and maybe they two sides can find something out of that?

The deadline of having a full season is said to be Oct. 1st give or take a few days. I'm am fairly optimistic that something can be worked out in that time, that still gives us over 2 weeks, which could be 3-6 more meetings if they keep up the current pace. Although most players and owners haven't said too much positive things, I'm remain positive myself that something can and will get done, what I'm about to tell you is one reason I think so.

* I've always been iffy on "reliable sources", however this is my first and I do trust it. I'm not going to name names, but here's my story.

I have a brother in-law. My brother in-law's dad, is an executive or some high member is a company (sorry, no names, just trust me). Anyway, "this" source does business with this company, thus he knows, and is good friends with my brother in-law and his father. Thanks to this source, I have attained tickets and autographs from/for a certain sports team. This source happens to be a former athlete (I'll let you guess what sport and association) and currently works for a professional sports team that he may or may have not played for. Soooo, my brother in-law and my sister went out to dinner last week, and happened to see this source there, they talked for a while and caught up and all. Then the source tells them "I'm not supposed to be telling you this, but it looks like there is probably going to be a season."

And that is what my sister told me. I know I can trust my sister 100%, and the source (I know who he is, they told me) I also trust very much, he is a classy guy and not one to fool around. Of course this comes down whether this source's sources are legit or not, which I have no idea, but if so...lookin like a season, how u?

July 1, 2011

Thank god for the Pac-12, NBA Lockout has arrived.

Have you checked out lately? You may have noticed something, there is no current Jazz players on there. Yup, the lockout is here.

We all saw this coming. We all new that the players and owners were far apart months and months ago, and we all know that no serious progress has been made. It sucks really, here are my thoughts.

*Ok first off, let me tell you that my knowledge on the lockout makes my knowledge on the draft look expertise, I don't know alot, mainly just what I have read in comments and other blogs.

At first it seems like most people get mad at the players. They call them lazy, rich, greedy, that they don't deserve the money and they are overpaid already. Then they sympathize for the owners, mainly the 22 who lost money last season. This is the easy stance to take, its pretty basic and makes sense.

But are the owners at fault? After all it is them that choose to make decisions that make Boozer, Lewis, Arenas and AK look like the best players in league history (they give them ALOT of money, that isn't earned)

Honestly, I don't even want to write about this, but it is super slow at work right now, so I might as well.

Who am I siding w/? No one, not right now atleast, I need to hear more from each side. But honestly, there is nothing that I can do, so why care?

I feel sorry for all the arena employees who may be out of work next season, w/ no fault at all to them. It sucks to be a fan as well, I mean, when it comes down to it all, we are the ones who help pay for it all- sigh, its going to be a long offseason.

ps- Happy Pac-12 day (and congrats to byu on going independent today), atleast Ill have something to occupy me this fall

-***I'm going to be doing a lockout journal. just short one day entrys on what is happening w/ the lockout. JWhen it is all over, I'll post it, like a timeline of the lockout or something.

June 24, 2011

First thoughts on draft.

Its over. We waited months, then weeks, then days, then hours for the draft to start, and now, its over. Who did I expect, well at first it was Knight and Singleton/Burks. But as the day progressed further and further yesterday, I had a sure feeling we were going to take Kanter. And we all know how the rest goes, the top 3 picks are all semi-obvious, then the draft gets crazy. So crazy that Knight slips to 8, followed by Kemba and Jimmer, then Burks some how lands in our hands and Kawhi falls all the way to 15, crazy.

Am I happy? Yes, cautiously. I have been pretty anti-kanter for 2 main reasons, we don't have room for him, and he doesn't play defense. Do I think that he was BPA, yes I do. Even though I wanted Knight, I still had a gut feeling that Kanter was the better player.

Its funny, after the combine Kanter didn't interview or whatever with the Jazz, and he said he wanted to be a Wizard. That was a complete turnoff for us Jazz fans, we felt that Kanter didn't want to be here. Ironically enough, the kid couldn't be happier. Playing for the team he followed since he was young, playing w/ one of his favorite players in Memo, and going to one of the best  the best fan base in the NBA. His joy in coming here is great for a Jazz fan to hear, especially w/ so many of us cautious about new players since we traded Dwill. Is Kanter the best fit for the Jazz? No, not really. He is going to be a better player than Fez and Elson, so we sorta got a "free upgrade" as Amar would say it. Can he be the best fit for the Jazz? There is a good chance. We can't have a 4 man rotation though, atleast w/ that much $ invested into it. I mean, Favors is going to need time, alot more next season. And so is Kanter, but what about Sap and Al? I mean, you can't turn one of the two into a 10 min a game guy. Definately feels like someone is going to be traded here. We will see.

What about Burks? Love the pick. He has been the main guy I have wanted at 12 for a while now, and I am super excited to get him. I think that he is an automatic upgrade over Bell and could easily be better than CJ miles. Ppl say his shooting is a concern, I think that they are making to big of a deal about that. Remember people, gordo shot like 30 percent in his last college season (from 3). Can he be a starter for the Jazz? This season? Maybe, I mean, anyone is an upgrade over Bell, but it all depends on what the Jazz do w/ CJ and AK. If he starts next season, he would definately have to earn the spot from CJ or Gordo (dependin on the CJ/AK situation, like I said), but there is definately a chance that he does so. I like his game, I love that he plays w/ a chip on his shoulder, kid could something special.

It's interesting that the Jazz didn't draft a point guard. Now I do understand that we have Devin Harris, but is he the PG of the future, w/ a team that has a core of young players like Burks, Kanter, Favors, Gordo, CJ? Idk, the Jazz did say they actually wanted him in the Dwill trade, and he wasn't just a thrown in piece. Next years draft is full of wings and forwards, do we get a pg in that draft. Honestly I don't want to, I want my pg to be one of my more experienced players. So at this point, Harris does work out.

What do I grade the Jazz's draft? Well I think they made the most out of both picks, they didn't pick The Jimmer or trade to pick him out of pressure. But there main pick didn't address needs... I give it an A- as of now, but if all pans out, and the Jazz workout the PF/C logjam is could easily be a A++.