Things started out in Utah promisingly enough this season. The team reeled off a bunch of wins (going 13-3 in the month of November), and their floor leader’s play had many ready to crown him as the League’s best point guard.
Lately, however, there’s a lot less promise in Salt Lake City, and Deron Williams sounds like a man who’s ready for change in his professional life.
Head coach Jerry Sloan continues to preach patience with his team, as they struggle with frustrating inconsistency, but DWill ain’t trying to hear any of that. With the end of his current deal coming up, it’s do-or-die time for Williams and the Jazz.
NBA.com and the Salt Lake Tribune have the quotes:
But is Utah as good defensively as it used to be? And does this team have the luxury of working all those new players in? “Not really,” Williams said. “My contract’s up in two years. It’s a now or never situation. I don’t know what I’m going to do after this one.”
Williams said that a much-changed Jazz squad had a “better mesh of guys” in 2009-10, longing for the days when ex-Utah guards Wesley Matthews and Kyle Korver could command attention and respect from opposing defenses, in turn stretching the floor and balancing out the team’s offensive attack. And Williams again pointed out the Jazz’s inability to run Sloan’s offense like it needs to be executed, as everything from Utah’s poor floor spacing and timing to the simple inability to set hard screens has prevented his team from “flowing.”
“We’re trying to run half of a system and then half just freelance,” Williams said. “We can’t do that. We’re not the Phoenix Suns. We’re not the New York Knicks. We’re not just coming out here and playing one-on-one. But that’s what’s happening. Things are breaking down and we’re going one-on-one the last five seconds of a shot clock.”
If things don’t change for the better — and very quickly — Utah could soon have itself a Carmelo-like situation on its hands, something no Jazz fan wants to endure.
The Utah Jazz are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference. They need to right the ship, not just for this season’s sake, but for what is turning into a dicey-looking future for them and the face of the franchise.