RMR: 76ers talent too much for young Jazz

By Chronicle Sports Staff

“Mooorris Aaaalmond Joyyy!”

Fans attending the Rocky Mountain Revue’s exhibition between the Utah Jazz and the Philadelphia 76ers quickly got used to the announcer’s jubilant, if not corny, declarations each time Morris Almond scored.

Unfortunately for the Jazz, the 76ers had heard enough. 76ers guard John Cox and rookie addition Jason Smith took a five point lead at the end of the third quarter and blew it up to 20 points before settling on a 100-85 win.

Cox scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and finished with a game high 20 points. Smith threw in another 19 and the rest of the Sixers ensured the Jazz wouldn’t fight their way back. Former Jazzman Louis Amundson put together a solid double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds.

Almond, Utah’s 25th pick in this year’s draft, played with cooler nerves since last night’s 6-14 shooting performance. This time he finished with 13 points on a much more efficient 5-for-8 outing.

As Philadelphia pulled away by sinking 55 percent of their shots in the fourth, the Jazz couldn’t manage a run of their own, bricking their way to a 35-percent clip. Even happy-go-lucky Jazz guard Dee Brown lost his temper, getting called for a technical foul with just over four minutes remaining.

Brown contributed 11 points and five assists while Paul Millsap scored 12 and added four rebounds.

The Jazz (1-1) next take on the San Antonio Spurs (0-2) Monday at 7 p.m. in the Lifetime Activities Center.

Jason Peterson

Bucking the first-round trend

For most Utah Jazz fans, mid-July means the Rocky Mountain Revue. The Rocky Mountain Revue for Jazz rookies means opportunity. The latest Jazz rookie taking the opportunity to show his talents at the Rocky Mountain Revue–Morris Almond.

There is question of whether or not Almond will still remain with Utah in years to come. Especially when looking at the Jazz’s first round picks over the last seven years.

Since 2000, only two out of eight first round Jazz picks have stuck with the team, those players being Deron Williams and Ronnie Brewer. So, the chance to make an everlasting impression for Almond is right in front of him. According to Jazz personnel they are satisfied with this year’s first round draft choice.

“The Morris Almond pick is a great fit for the player as well as the franchise,” said Utah Jazz assistant Scott Layden. “He’s got some NBA skill that any team would love to have. He’s going to do very well.”

The competition over playing time for Almond will be tough as the Jazz are already loaded at the shooting guard spot. Almond will have to battle with Gordon Giricek, Ronnie Brewer, possibly C.J. Miles and possibly even newest addition Jason Hart at times.

Since Jeff Hornacek retired in 2000 the Jazz have never had the two-guard position completely figured out. Most of the players that have temporarily held the job over the years are rookies drafted in the first round that are no longer with the team.While Almond will likely not be starting anytime soon, he has shown potential to possibly hold that position in the future.

Brett Perfili