Chaos theory hurts Utah Jazz

After the first few Utah Jazz games, I was actually excited to be able to look forward to covering playoff games. Now that they have completely collapsed, I go to Jazz games and sit in the press room, watching TV until the game ends.

The team sucks and it’s tough to figure out exactly what happened. You could point to the injuries and discontinuity within the team. However, many teams go through it and this large a drop was unexpected, especially after Andre Kirlenko’s return.

So now that the season is lost, I would usually propagate tanking the rest of the season to get the No. 1 pick in the draft. But we know Jerry Sloan will not allow that, so the possibility can’t be considered-yet.

It’s tough for me to second-guess Sloan’s decisions, since he is a great coach and I can’t think that most of the problems the team is having this year are his.

However, considering what I know, which is obviously limited since I am not on the team and can’t hear Sloan, I disagree with some of the coaching moves made within games.

Players’ work ethics have been questioned on the team, and it seems Carlos Boozer is getting a lot of the criticism as his points per game decrease and as he plays less.

Against the Nuggets Tuesday night, Boozer only played 19 minutes and he only played 21 minutes in Monday night’s game against the Knicks.

Not only is Boozer being shuffled through the lineup, but Sloan has also gone through many starting lineups throughout the season…I think the count is up to 356 different starting lineups.

Although starting lineups don’t always directly correlate with who plays most of the games, the constant changes show the instability of the lineup.

Some would say it is a good thing since Sloan is not taking anybody’s crap and is showing that even the star players will sit on the bench if they aren’t playing well.

The main problem on the team is that everyone is inconsistent. I doubt Sloan knows what any player will give him on any given night, which may also lead him to changing the lineup so much.

Either way, I disagree for the most part.

Though I agree that Sloan needs to exercise his authority over a young team and needs to tell them that they can be replaced, an inconsistent team will remain to be that way if there isn’t any stability in the lineup.

How can anyone expect a player like Gordon Giricek to get going as a pure shooter when he comes in the game for 10 to 15 minutes?

Boozer’s confidence seems to be shaken, and yet he is the one guy who can put up great numbers. Not having him in the game is not going to help this team in the long run.

Larry Miller made an investment in Boozer and Mehmet Okur, and the Jazz need to be patient with these young players.

Face it, the season is lost and now the team just needs to find an identity heading into next season, but this is not the way to do it.

The Jazz have so many players who can start, but having so many lineups doesn’t allow for anyone to find a niche. With so many players, roles need to be established and that just isn’t happening with this team.

The Jazz and Sloan need to stop looking at the short run and concentrate on what this team needs to do in order to succeed over the next three to five years and having 760 lineups is not a progressive step toward that goal.

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