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InsideHoops NBA [HOME] Jan. 16, 2004

All That Jazz

 






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Jerry Sloan may be a leading candidate for Coach of the Year, but he still needs players to coach.

Keon Clark, Curtis Borchardt and Ben Handlogten already occupy the injured list. Clark and Borchardt are both still a good month away from returning, and Handlogten is gone the rest of the season. Now Matt Harpring, their leading scorer is out the rest of the season.

When the Jazz had their roster set in October, they looked the worst team in the league on paper. Had people been told in advance that Clark would be out until after the All-Star break, that last year's first round draft pick would spend at least half the season out, and that Matt Harpring would only play 31 games this season, more would have lined up behind ESPN's Frank Hughes's 9-73 prediction.

First of all I'm shocked the Jazz didn't waive Ben Handlogten. He was a good player but he's out for the year. They could've waived him and signed a free agent, then invited Ben to try out next year.

Now all they can look at are trades, and they don't have much to offer besides cap relief to high-priced teams. Would Phoenix throw in a draft pick if Utah would just take Tom Gugliotta off their hands? Would Atlanta like to start over and swap Sharif Abdur-Rahim for Jarron Collins?

Jazz fans may have had their hopes until now that #8 playoff spot was possible. And with a healthy Harpring, it was. They've still won their past two homes games without him. But now it's time to just enjoy the Kirilenko show and hope for a lucky lottery landing next summer.



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