Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m a loyal LockedonSports follower. I think what David Locke is doing with his podcasts and bringing the players to the fans is a great thing. His new Storyline series I think it going to be excellent. They got me thinking though how I would answer some of these questions were Locke to ask me so I am going to utilize his questions to the team to keep in touch with the Jazz team on a personal level.
Is the Jazz better off for making the playoffs last season?
The case can and will be made both ways. For my part, I think the team learned a more valuable lesson about not quitting, about finding a way to succeed even if the odds are stacked against you. And lets face it, who were they going to get with the 14th overall pick that would have made any more impact on this current roster than Kevin Murphy will as the 47th overall pick? I don’t think anyone in the mid- to late-teens of the draft was going to be a rotation guy on this year’s team.
But I digress. The team had a record of 36-30 (.545) last season. That would have been on pace to reach 45 games in a regular season. At best, the Jazz could win 50 this season unless all the cards fall into place nicely, in which case then they could surprise some people. But, the experience of stretching for and reaching the Playoffs in irreplaceable and unteachable. It was something that Big Al could scratch off his “to do list” now and that internal pressure is no more. And now that he’s been there, he is going to want to go back. And the younger guys will know how to get there. And with the savvy veteran influx, this team will be better poised to have a better experience in this year’s Playoffs and could surprise a sleeping higher seed looking ahead to the next round.