2005 Utah Jazz Preview
At the time of publish the NBA regular season is around the corner. What better way to get you locked and loaded for a winning season than a free season preview from Maddux Sports. We remind you that MadduxSports.com is an expert NBA handicapper and offers NBA Picks against the point spread. For more information on this years basketball package click here. Onto the individual team preview for this years Utah Jazz.
2005 Utah Jazz Team Preview
What’s up with the Utah Jazz? This former powerhouse, which had made 20 consecutive playoff appearances from 1983 to 2002, hasn’t been in the tournament for the past two years and this season they won a mere 26 games. Their 2,189 fouls and 9 flagrant fouls led the league in 2004-05!
The team managed to jockey into the number three draft spot this year and chose point guard Deron Williams from Illinois. Williams enters the pros with instantaneous pressure, being designated the heir to John Stockton. That means he will not only start for the Jazz but he’s expected to be a major factor in this season’s hoped for turnaround.
The five starters for the Jazz this year have an average of 2.6 years of NBA experience! Of the returning players fourth-year power forward Carlos Boozer has intermittently revealed a flair for mixing it up inside and scoring. But Boozer was frustratingly inconsistent last season and then he was injured, missing the final 31 games of the season. Criticized by management, Boozer seemed to shut it down before his injury. It’s tough to count on a player like Boozer who many times seems like he doesn’t want to or simply can’t play.
Small forward Andrei Kirlenko, who was also hurt last season with a broken wrist and sprained knee, is considered to be one of the best all-around players in the league. He’s a hard worker who can block shots (led the league with an average of 3.32 per game), rebound (6.2 per game) , and put the ball in the hoop (15.6 per game). His injuries have healed and through weight room training he’s put on15 pounds of sculpted muscle on his formerly skinny, fragile body. The hope he’ll be strong enough to stand up to the punishment of an 82-game season. If that hope is realized, Kirlenko will make a big difference.
Center Mehmet Okur is seen as the last piece in Utah’s improvement puzzle. He’s a hard worker but not half the shot blocker Kirlenko has proven to be. Last season he had a very respectable 12.9 points per game and 7.5 rebounds. Can he improve and toughen up? If that happens the Jazz will have the beginnings of a formidable defense.
Last season Utah was playing a funeral dirge. If they can somehow get back to their glory days they’ll be belting out swing tunes once again. The degree of improvement required to achieve this goal is not impossible but it is improbable.
For more information on the 2005 Utah Jazz Team, click here to visit their official team website.