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News » Jazz's lack of energy was most disappointing

Jazz's lack of energy was most disappointing

Jazz's lack of energy was most disappointing
If you've ever watched a Utah Jazz game and wondered what in the heck Jerry Sloan was thinking, you're not the only one.

The Jazz coach occasionally asks himself the same thing.

Though he credited New Jersey for doing more than enough to win this one-sided affair -- a surprisingly easy 105-88 win for the Nets at EnergySolutions Arena -- Sloan was questioning at least one decision he made Saturday.

Sloan openly second-guessed his choice to not hold a shootaround on game day, something that usually takes place about eight or nine hours prior to tipoff at the arena.

Turns out, Sloan was surprised that his players -- from effort and activity levels -- seemed to take more than just Saturday morning off.

"I was disappointed in our energy level, because we were at home," Sloan said. "I gave them the morning off, probably made a mistake with that.

"I question myself every time I do something, and I did on that."

And that wasn't the only question Sloan had after the Jazz looked like two completely different teams in a 24-hour period.

"Where was our energy is the only thing I've got to ask. We're playing in our building. Our fans wanted to be behind us," Sloan said. "They were fighting to get back. We got back in the third quarter a little bit with a little bit of a run, but then we just seemed to fizzle out."

The two third quarters provide ample evidence that somebody might have accidentally flipped the energy switch off. Utah scored 44 points in that period in their blowout win over Sacramento on Friday and followed that with a paltry 16-point quarter after halftime in this lopsided loss.

The fizzling Sloan referred to happened after New Jersey took a timeout when the Jazz had trimmed their lead to 64-60 early in the quarter. The Nets fired back to take an 83-67 lead into the fourth.

Sloan was also disgusted that his team allowed New Jersey to shoot 52 percent and let Devin Harris (34 points) and Vince Carter (22 points) go off.

"We didn't come out with a lot of energy," Jazz point guard Deron Williams said. "They were really aggressive, when it should be the other way around. We're at home."

Williams wasn't quite sure how to take Sloan's post-game pondering about not having a shootaround.

"We never practice on back-to-backs. Ever," Williams said.

Then again, the Jazz haven't had a back-to-back at home in seven years, either, so the whole day was a bit odd.

The combination of next week's busy schedule and a loaded home slate this past week --including three games in four nights -- prompted Sloan to call off Saturday's shooting session. He also decided not to hold practice this morning, seeing as the Jazz play four games in five nights, beginning Tuesday night in Sacramento.

"My own personal feeling, I think sometimes we needed time off to gather your legs and everything about you back together," Sloan said prior to Saturday's game, referring to his own playing days.

"Now they practice and lift weights; they do this and do that," he added. "Nine million things."

Certainly not like the old days, suggested Sloan, who isn't softening up so much as he is simply facing reality.

"When I played, we didn't have shootarounds," he said. "Didn't have to go work out if you didn't play 20 minutes. Didn't have to go work out in the weightroom for an hour-and-a-half.

"Your body," the Jazz coach added, "gets kind of worn down with some of that stuff after a while."

Now Sloan just hopes his team doesn't allow this loss to fester.

"You feel sorry for yourselves sometimes with this business. You see them drop their heads down," he said. "But that's where you learn how to fight and you learn how to compete and they jump right back into it the next day and say, 'I'm ready to go."'

Contributing: Tim Buckley

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: November 30, 2008


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