Five Things To Watch: Utah Jazz

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Karl MaloneGenerations of fans know the Utah Jazz as a model of stability. They were raised on Hall of Famers John Stockton and Karl Malone, coach Jerry Sloan and super significant owner Larry H. Miller, the rock of the franchise. Miller kept the team together, mended issues with coaches and players and even took financial risks to purchase the team.

When Miller died in 2009, the franchise slowly lost all the stability he imparted to it as the sole owner.

It truly fell apart in 2011, when All-NBA point guard Deron Williams and Sloan could no longer co-exist. Sloan resigned as coach, and Williams was traded for “the future.”

Under power-behind-the-throne GM Kevin O’Connor, the Jazz reached for marginal veterans in hope of maintaining the illusion of being a playoff team. Instead, mercenaries came to Salt Lake City, were rewarded with playing time they would not have received elsewhere, then left for greener pastures or larger paydays. There was a playoff berth in 2012, but that model was unsustainable.

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Top five memories from 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend

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LeBron James came into the weekend with the hype he’s built through the monstrous 60 percent, 30-point tear that he’d been on for nearly seven straight games.

Kevin Durant dropped (another) 30-spot: It was his third straight 30-point All-Star game.

Kobe Bryant made an timely, game-sealing block with the West up 134-126 and under 2:40 seconds to play in the game.

Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade each played a well-rounded game.

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NBA players react to All-Star Slam Dunk Contest

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The Slam Dunk contest mostly turned out to be a snooze fest of sorts.

Saturday night actually kicked off with a promising reverse dunk off the side of the backboard from former champion Gerald Green, but took a dive from there, as the contestants repeatedly failed to convert their attempts on the first couple of tries. Green was surprisingly the biggest culprit, as the high-flyer ultimately failed to covert his double-dunk attempt in the allowed time.

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Tweet of the Day: Kenneth Faried

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With just two games remaining on the NBA schedule before All-Star Weekend — Heat/Thunder, Clippers/Lakers tonight on TNT — most of the league has shifted its focus towards this weekends festivities in Houston.

Today’s case study, Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets, who will be a participant in Saturday nights featured event, the Slam Dunk Contest.

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Tweet of the Night: T.J. Ford

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Did y'all just see Evans block shot then BANG on the HEAD of someone @#1playoftheweek
@tj_ford
TJ Ford

If you were on twitter on Wednesday night, you probably heard about what Jeremy Evans did to center Ronny Turiaf during the exhibition game between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers. Evans scored six points and blocked four shots in the game and displayed the type of athleticism that will quickly help everyone get better acquainted with the second-year forward. Watch the clip below to see his fine play on both ends of the court:

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