Utah Jazz In Search of New Identity This Off-Season

Devin Harris Jazz

Like we are currently seeing in the NFL, the 2011 NBA off-season is up in the air with a lockout looming.  Free agency could be delayed and completely restructured depending on the new agreement reached by the owners and players.  Still, The Sports Bank continues to break down all thirty NBA teams to see what areas they need to address in the off-season.  The Utah Jazz begin a new era this off-season without long-time head coach Jerry Sloan and superstar point guard Deron Williams.

By: David Kay

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NBA Power Rankings: #10 Utah Jazz


By: David Kay and Paul M. Banks

2008-09 Season Summary:
In financial terms a “correction” is defined as a sharp, relatively short decline that temporarily interrupts a persistent upward trend in the market. The Utah Jazz experienced a “correction” in 2009. After back-to-back Northwest Division titles, the Jazz had a much tougher season with siginifcant contributors like Deron Williams, Andrei “AK-47” Kirilenko, Mehmet Okur and Carlos Boozer missing large amounts of time due to injuries. Despite a locker room resembling an infirmary, they finished the season with a 48-34 record and 8th seed in the playoffs.

They were eliminated in five games by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1st round. Other than Williams’ clinching fadeaway jumpshot in the final moments of game 3, the lopsided series provided very little excitement for Utah fans. After the breakthrough Western Conference Finals appearance in 2007, the Jazz were eliminated by the Lakers in the second round of ’08 and then a round sooner this past season.

The Jazz play in the league’s smallest market, but a 2008 Forbes.com study ranked the team No. 16 in NBA team value at $342 million. A new ownership regime will seek to maintain this efficiency. On February 20th, Jazz owner Larry H. Miller died of complications from diabetes. During his final months as team owner, his family, led by son Greg Miller, ran the day-to-day business operations. The younger Miller inherited a team with a roster in transition.

Check out the entire Jazz season preview and other NBA Previews.  Don’t forget to take a look at Andy Weise’s Western Conference Preview.