Author: John Krolik

Utah Jazz v Dallas Mavericks

C.J. Miles and Raja Bell are not thrilled with Ty Corbin


Ty Corbin did a lot of things right in his first full season as the Utah Jazz’s head coach. Even though the Jazz were swept in convincing fashion by the Spurs in the 1st round, the team did make the playoffs the year after Hall-of-Fame coach Jerry Sloan left mid-season and superstar point guard Deron Williams was traded at the deadline, which is no mean feat, especially considering that Derrick Favors, the centerpiece of the trade that sent Williams to New Jersey, appears to be making good progress under Corbin.

Still, not every Jazz player was thrilled with Corbin at the end of the season. Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune has the story:

Raja Bell

Bell does not expect to return to Jazz next year.

Bell hopes the Jazz do the right thing and move him before the 2012-13 season. He was open to it before the trade deadline but never asked for trade.

Bell said Corbin was “unprofessional” at the end of the season. According to Bell, Corbin made things personal by playing everyone in the playoffs except for him and it was obvious.

Bell said if he’s still on Jazz at the start of next season “we’ll cross that bridge” then.

C.J. Miles

Miles said the team was put off by Al Jefferson’s pre-Game 4 comments about no one beating the Spurs in the playoffs and San Antonio being better than Utah.

Miles loves the Jazz, the team’s fans and thinks Corbin will evolve. But he never knew what was expected of him this year.

Miles said communication was much better with former coach Jerry Sloan, and Corbin has struggled relaying his message to team.

Miles: “I don’t even remember us naming a captain, but they wanted leadership.”

Miles wanted to play in Game 4 but said he wasn’t allowed to.

The 35-year old Bell, who has always been a role player, probably wouldn’t have done much to prevent the sweep in anybody’s wildest imagination, but the fact that he was the only player not to get on the court for the Jazz does seem to show that Corbin doesn’t have much of a personal relationship with him. Miles is just 25, but he’s also a role player on the court for the Jazz, so it wouldn’t seem like he would have much leverage if he forced the Jazz to choose between him and their coach.

Miles is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and Bell’s 3.5 million dollar contract expires after the 2012-13 season.

Report: Crawford to opt out of contract, become unrestriced free agent

Jamal Crawford

From HoopsWorld’s Alex Kennedy:

Jamal Crawford will opt-out this summer, source confirms. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent. Wolves, Nets, Suns among potential suitors.

Crawford, the 2010 6th Man of the Year and the NBA’s all-time leader in four-point plays, is a combo guard who can get hot at any time and pour in points at the drop of a hat, although he’s never been a great passer or the most efficient scorer in the world. Last season, the 32-year old Michigan product scored 14 points per game on 38.4% shooting from the field and a disappointing 30.8% from beyond the arc.

The Blazers would pay Crawford 5.2 million dollars next season if he doesn’t opt out of his contract, but the rebuilding Blazers have little use for a veteran scorer like Crawford, who clearly believes he can get more money on the open market. Teams are always willing to pay for scoring, and Crawford can certainly light up the scoreboard, so he’ll probably end up snagging a nice payday this summer if he does indeed decided to opt out.

NBA Playoffs: 76ers take 3-1 series lead over depleted Bulls

Spencer Hawes

You’ve gotta feel for the Chicago Bulls right now. After going 50-16 in the regular season to secure the Eastern Conference’s best record, the Bulls watched their best player tear his ACL with just over a minute remaining in Game 1 of the series, and Game 3 saw Joakim Noah go down with an ankle injury.

Needless to say, this isn’t the same team that made the Eastern Conference Finals last season or had the conference’s best record this year, and they didn’t look like it on Saturday afternoon. Without Rose, the Bulls don’t seem to have any ideas on how to get by Philadelphia’s top-5 ranked defense, and the team shot just 40% from the field on Saturday, while only making 3 shots from beyond the arc and 11 free throws. The Bulls’ game plan seemed to be to force-feed Carlos Boozer and hope for the best, but Boozer needed 24 shots to get his 23 points, which the 76ers were happy to live with.

Meanwhile, with Noah out of the lineup, 76ers center Spencer Hawes was able to have an absolute field day. Hawes had 22 points on just 11 shots, which is a big reason the 76ers were able to win despite the fact that Lou Williams, Jrue Holiday, and Evan Turner combined to shoot just 12-45 from the field.

The Bulls are obviously in dire straights — even if Noah comes back for Game 5, the Bulls are going to have a very hard time winning this series, and even if they manage to escape the 8th-seeded 76ers, it’s pretty clear their odds of advancing much further without Rose are slim to none. Meanwhile, the 76ers’ defense is looking as good as advertised, and it looks like they have a great chance of being the 1st team to beat a 1-seed in the 1st round since the 2007 Warriors, although the 76ers’ win will certainly come with a pretty big asterisk attached to it.