If you are not going to win it all, lose it all

As I watch the Utah Jazz exceed expectations and continue to win games, I’m not surprised. They are a solid team that has a great coach and should win games.

But I wonder if owner Larry Miller really wants to win games with the team he has right now. Or maybe it’s not “does he want to win,” but “should the team win.”

Obviously, winning games is always the objective when a team goes into a specific contest, but when looking at the big picture, does that change?

What is the main objective in the big picture?

It should be to compete for an NBA Championship, and if not compete for the title, then at least move toward the top of the mountain.

But right now, it seems that the Jazz are going to continue to win their token 30 to 40 games a season and never improve beyond that.

Last season, the Jazz made it to the playoffs as the eighth seed, and they are fighting for that very spot again this year.

But what will they accomplish by winning games?

Gain confidence?

For what?

What is confidence going to do for a team that does not have the talent to make a push toward the leaders of the Western Conference?

With Carlos Arroyo, Andrei Kirilenko, Raul Lopez, Raja Bell, Greg Ostertag and Gordon Giricek, will the Jazz ever have a chance to compete with the big boys unless they add a star?

Absolutely not.

Sure, they can compete and sometimes surprise some of the top teams, but in a playoff series, they cannot win.

It’s just that simple.

So what’s the key to start climbing that hill and competing for a title?

If you are not going to at least compete to win it all, then go ahead and lose it all.

There is no point in trying to finish in the eighth spot because the Jazz will never get a high pick in the draft lottery, and they will turn into a middle-of-the-road team.

Look at the past few teams that have won the title.

The Lakers built their team through free agency and a trade for Kobe Bryant. The Jazz don’t really have that luxury, since they don’t play in a city the size of Los Angeles.

Will there ever be a free agent like Shaquille O’Neal who will come to Utah to not only compete for championships, but to further his music or movie career? To live the nightlife of Salt Lake City?

I highly doubt it, and players in the past have voiced their opinion on not wanting to come to Utah, but you never know-the Jazz might get a prized free agent one day.

But don’t bank on it.

So the Lakers’ situation may not be a good correlation to Utah, but the San Antonio Spurs are a team comparable to the Jazz.

The Spurs were absolutely atrocious the year before they got Tim Duncan, and many thought that ownership wanted them to lose games in order to get him.

They were the worst team in the league-and now look at them. The Spurs have won two NBA titles and Duncan is the league’s back-to-back MVP.

Getting the top pick in the draft was the key for the Spurs and it needs to start being a priority for the Jazz. Maybe not the top pick, but at least a high lottery pick, so they can get a new cornerstone for the franchise.

The one thing Miller will have to get used to in order to get a great team again is losing. Any team that goes through some type of rebuilding process is losing for a couple of years.

Even the Lakers went through it. The Jazz are trying as hard as they can to not lose games, but in the process, they are putting themselves in no man’s land.

Getting used to losing is tough, but if the Jazz want to win, Miller had better get used to a season where the team wins 10 to 20 games and learn to live with the empty seats in the Delta Center.

Unless, of course, the team wants to continue to fight for an eighth-place spot every single year, which I highly doubt.

But I doubt Miller can deal with many more empty seats in the Delta Center-and that is why the team is desperately holding on and winning games.

It’s to try to give the fans a false sense of hope that will never be realized. Does any Jazz fan actually believe that this team can win in the future with the plan it has in place?

The philosophy behind the way the Jazz build their team has to change. Sacrifices must be made and Miller needs to cut his losses. It’s time to change your objective on how you build your team, Mr. Miller, because losing is the only way you will ever get back on top.

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