Utah Jazz: Here's What Needs to Happen

Dallin PageCorrespondent IMarch 25, 2008

This year’s Western Conference has been the main event in what has been the most exciting NBA season in recent memory. You can’t beat it.

Teams are going to be jockeying for seeding until the final bell rings on April 16, and conceivably, a 50-win team might not make the playoffs. What more could you ask for as a sports fan?

How about a little more enthusiasm from the team you’re cheering for?

At least, in my case, that’s what I’m asking.

The Utah Jazz have, in all likelihood, already punched their ticket to the playoffs, (at least I would hope so since they are already advertising playoff ticket packages) but it’s not like there isn’t anything left to play for.

In the playoffs, it’s all about home court advantage and matchups. The Jazz, if given home court and a favorable matchup (meaning against anyone but the Spurs) should be able to beat any team in the West. There have been some signs lately, however, that some players don’t really care about that all too much.

Some players, in my opinion, are not bringing the intensity needed at this point in the season every night. Some players, I feel, want to score 30 points and grab 15 boards a night, but just lounge around on the defensive end of the court.

The player that specifically comes to mind when this is brought up is the lone all-star of the team, Carlos Boozer. Booz can be an animal on the offensive end, and fairly decent on defense when he wants to be but lately it seems that he has lulled himself into believing that he can’t play defense.

So what does he do? He doesn’t play it at all.

That may look fine against teams like the Sonics and Bobcats who have terrible records for a reason, but these weaknesses can really become exploited when the Jazz play a decent team like we saw with Kobe and the Lakers coming to town last week.

This is a problem that really needs to be fixed before playoff time, or there may not be a playoff time for the Jazz, as we may end up seeing with the Dallas Mavericks.

So Carlos, why don’t you take a page out of Deron Williams’ book, and bring it? Bring it every night, and not just when you have to guard Kevin Garnett.

And one more final plea to the team of which I am such a devoted fan, can we please stop playing to the level of our competition by following up a road win at Boston with a loss to the Nets?