How Good Were the '98 Jazz?

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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#41 » by BigtimeNBAfan » Sat May 23, 2020 1:12 pm

GregOden wrote:
HoopsterJones wrote:Good enough to sweep a 61 win Lakers team with 4 all stars in the WCF (including a 35 point blowout in game 1).


Not to mention they easily beat next year's champions (the Spurs) 4-1. A Spurs team so many seem to think a hypothetical 1999 Bulls team would have no chance against.


Well considering how the Bulls struggled with the 98 Jazz and would have been a year older with Jordan recovering from a hand injury it is fair to say they wouldn't have beat the Spurs who were a better team than the 98 Jazz.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#42 » by BigtimeNBAfan » Sat May 23, 2020 1:20 pm

Championships99 wrote:They were good enough to make it to the NBA Finals. They should have won in 1999 or 1994.


94 they weren't as good as the Rockets. They only got to the conference finals because the Sonics got upset. 99 it was possible.

Jerry Sloan's biggest mistake as a coach was not doing load management in the 99 season. I hate load management and when players in their prime do it, it sickens me, but for Utah that year it would have been fair. Their two superstars were over 35 and Hornacek was 36 that year. Over the first 40 games of a 50 game season they were great. 32-8 with the best record in basketball. Then they just were gassed and were a mediocre team after that. Had Stockton, Malone and Hornacek been more monitored and sat 7-10 games out that year they would have been much better come playoff time.

Although they would have made it to the conference finals I don't know if they beat the Spurs. The Spurs were really rolling at that time.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#43 » by pace31 » Sat May 23, 2020 3:03 pm

The best Jazz team that didn't make any real noise was the '95 team. We won 60 games and ran into a newly healthy Rockets team in the 1st round. Had we won that series I think that team could've won it all.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#44 » by Nate505 » Sat May 23, 2020 3:56 pm

Hellcrooner wrote:other than that the true finals were always those on the ecf or second rounds.

Nobody thought that idiocy at the time.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#45 » by MrSparkle » Sat May 23, 2020 6:18 pm

homecourtloss wrote:
MrSparkle wrote:Utah had great 1-5 chemistry and a deep bench. Pretty much every single player on the roster was a + defender, and they had high-IQ two-way shooters. In no era ever could you win 60+ NBA games with 2 good oldplayers and a bunch of scrubs.

To put it simply, they weren't scrubs.


It seems that way, but overall, Utah was 18th in DRtg out of 29 teams and was +.4 rDRtg.

It was a great offensive team but not a very good defensive one.


Eh, I take regular season DRtg with a grain of salt. Don't get me wrong, it does establish a team's ball-park defensive ability, but certain variables can wildly distort a team's "defensive potential," particularly in a 7-game playoff series, where match-ups and versatility become more important than pure defense.

Fact is, between Russell, Shandon and Morris, they had several wings to throw at the Bulls (and Lakers: Kobe/Eddie/Fox). Their worst defender Keefe was a multi-position forward with huge length. Sloan basically had the option of changing his starting line-up multiple times throughout the playoffs, based on mis-matches. Malone/Stockton were amongst the best 2-way players at their positions of all-time. And in that era, the clunky bigs like Ostertag played an important defensive role due to the hand-checking and more physical game.

They basically waltzed through those playoffs against the Lakers, Spurs and Rockets. All 3 were about 1 year off from their much better selves, but that's still a serious set of opponents to defend against. The Lakers had the #2 ORtg behind the Jazz and they were held WAY below their regular season averages in that series - that series was an ugly blowout, with the Lakers dropping from 105+ averages to scoring below 95 while Utah retained its hot scoring pace. That's where that match-up versatility comes into play. They had role-players to manage single assignments on the Lakers' big stars, and it allowed Stockton/Malone to crush their match-ups (Van Axel and Fisher shot absolute garbage percentages... Horry also couldn't get anything going against Karl).

That's what IMO some of these GMs don't get. My frustrating Bulls of the 2010-16 era... GarPax never understood that you need to find a way to occupy wings like Lebron and Wade on both ends to let Rose do his thing. By never investing more in wings and tweener forwards for positional versatility, Thibs had to keep playing 1-way player roulette with his rotations. 3 games into that series, Spoelstra figured out that all you had to do to clamp the 60-win Bulls was put Lebron on Rose, and their offense was just about done.

Anyway my point is that offense becomes more connected to defense in the playoffs. What's more important is being able to defend 5 positions competently and still have a balanced 4-5 man scoring threat, as opposed to just having a great defense (like those Thibs Bulls). That Utah team was plain balanced, with many defensive options and no "swiss-cheese." Who was there to really cut up and draw liabilities? Of course MJ schooled Russell but in the end, that was MJ. The defensive rating didn't really represent their defensive capability.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#46 » by hoosierdaddy34 » Sat May 23, 2020 6:49 pm

LofJ wrote:
Galloisdaman wrote:
GSP wrote:
He was like a rich mans Ingles without the size

As for the thread the 97 and 98 Jazz were both really good.

I and many others thought theyd beat the Bulls in 98. I think Vegas mightve even favored the Jazz slightly to win it was def close to even odds either way.


He would be a very very rich man Ingles. He was close to a 20ppg all star type player at one time. Was traded for 2 pretty good players. He wasn't all NBA but was a very solid starter.


The OP brushing off Hornacek made this thread a failure from the start.


100% agree. I feel like those that dismiss Hornecek as a player will stand silently while people try to tell us how good of a player CJ McCollom is. I’d take prime Hornecek over CJ all day long.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#47 » by hoosierdaddy34 » Sat May 23, 2020 6:54 pm

If you take out all the worthless centers the Jazz had, they actually had a very modern looking roster. They had a very interchangeable backcourt that could all shoot, pass, defend. They had long wings that could defend and shoot a little bit. And they had a big man who could score inside or out, could put the ball on the floor and create for himself or in the pick and roll.

I hate the Jazz but anyone looking at this with the narrow scope of the OP really doesn’t know basketball or is insanely biased towards today and has an agenda. That group with some more modern Depth bigs and maybe another wing would compete at the highest level in today’s game.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#48 » by jpengland » Sat May 23, 2020 7:12 pm

Depth was terrible back then.

Guys like Keefe, Ostertag, Foster, Carr (36) were terrible players.

On the Bill's, Wennington, Burrell, Brown, Buchelor wouldn't get near an NBA roster.

The top 7 players in the series were old as ****. Malone, Stockton, Hornacek, Jordan, Pippen, Rodman.

Talent and athletic levels were nowhere near what they are today.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#49 » by jpengland » Sat May 23, 2020 7:14 pm

hoosierdaddy34 wrote:If you take out all the worthless centers the Jazz had, they actually had a very modern looking roster. They had a very interchangeable backcourt that could all shoot, pass, defend. They had long wings that could defend and shoot a little bit. And they had a big man who could score inside or out, could put the ball on the floor and create for himself or in the pick and roll.

I hate the Jazz but anyone looking at this with the narrow scope of the OP really doesn’t know basketball or is insanely biased towards today and has an agenda. That group with some more modern Depth bigs and maybe another wing would compete at the highest level in today’s game.


Just look at the ages of the players. Stockton is my all-time favourite non Mav, but he was old as ****. Alongside Hornacek and Malone. Today they stand zero chance and without a huge influx of youth and talent they scrape into an 8 seed at best.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#50 » by hoosierdaddy34 » Sat May 23, 2020 7:23 pm

jpengland wrote:
hoosierdaddy34 wrote:If you take out all the worthless centers the Jazz had, they actually had a very modern looking roster. They had a very interchangeable backcourt that could all shoot, pass, defend. They had long wings that could defend and shoot a little bit. And they had a big man who could score inside or out, could put the ball on the floor and create for himself or in the pick and roll.

I hate the Jazz but anyone looking at this with the narrow scope of the OP really doesn’t know basketball or is insanely biased towards today and has an agenda. That group with some more modern Depth bigs and maybe another wing would compete at the highest level in today’s game.


Just look at the ages of the players. Stockton is my all-time favourite non Mav, but he was old as ****. Alongside Hornacek and Malone. Today they stand zero chance and without a huge influx of youth and talent they scrape into an 8 seed at best.


LeBron is 35. Nash was effective at 35. If you train hard and are lucky and stay injury free like the Jazz did? There is zero reason they wouldn’t have been effective.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#51 » by NW BBALL » Sat May 23, 2020 7:30 pm

The 90s Jazz were very solid teams that executed very well and anchored by two superstars. Modern fans look at the rosters and wonder “who were these guys?”, but like many more recent Spurs rosters were well coached. Two very reliable starters, both with strong arguments as top 5 all-time (or higher) at the their respective positions is a pretty great foundation for any team. Add solid role players such Hornacek (who may be one of the most underappreciated guards of the 90s) and the team was a legit contender and powerhouse. The core of Malone, Stockton and Hornacek had three seasons of at least 60 wins over the span of 4 seasons.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#52 » by HomoSapien » Sat May 23, 2020 7:36 pm

jpengland wrote:Depth was terrible back then.

Guys like Keefe, Ostertag, Foster, Carr (36) were terrible players.

On the Bill's, Wennington, Burrell, Brown, Buchelor wouldn't get near an NBA roster.

The top 7 players in the series were old as ****. Malone, Stockton, Hornacek, Jordan, Pippen, Rodman.

Talent and athletic levels were nowhere near what they are today.


Did you ever see Burrell play? He was a good role player and also very skilled --- strong defender, solid rebounder for his size, could defend 2's, 3's, and smaller 4's, could hit the three, and was reasonably athletic. He'd be valuable in the league today, especially in a small ball world.

Randy Brown was a defensive specialist who'd come in and instantly full-court press, similar to Shaq Harrison now.

Buchler and Wennington were never considered "good". They were mostly end of the bench guys who were on the brink of falling out of the league (Wennington literally had) before joining the Bulls. Buchler brought lots of energy and hustle, while being a fairly reliable three-point shooter (by those standards). Wennington probably isn't in the league because of how obsolete the traditional center has become, then again with his ability to shoot maybe he'd have developed into a modern stretch 5 if he came up now.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#53 » by BigtimeNBAfan » Sat May 23, 2020 7:46 pm

hoosierdaddy34 wrote:
jpengland wrote:
hoosierdaddy34 wrote:If you take out all the worthless centers the Jazz had, they actually had a very modern looking roster. They had a very interchangeable backcourt that could all shoot, pass, defend. They had long wings that could defend and shoot a little bit. And they had a big man who could score inside or out, could put the ball on the floor and create for himself or in the pick and roll.

I hate the Jazz but anyone looking at this with the narrow scope of the OP really doesn’t know basketball or is insanely biased towards today and has an agenda. That group with some more modern Depth bigs and maybe another wing would compete at the highest level in today’s game.


Just look at the ages of the players. Stockton is my all-time favourite non Mav, but he was old as ****. Alongside Hornacek and Malone. Today they stand zero chance and without a huge influx of youth and talent they scrape into an 8 seed at best.


LeBron is 35. Nash was effective at 35. If you train hard and are lucky and stay injury free like the Jazz did? There is zero reason they wouldn’t have been effective.


Yeah age matters, but there isn't a concrete cut off of when a player can play. Steve Nash led the league in assists at 37. That wasn't that long ago. Lebron is 35 and an MVP candidate. I imagine he'll still be a superstar at 36 next year.

For the Jazz Malone was an All Star and on the all nba team and was the leading scorer of a 47 win playoff team at 39. Stockton played 5 straight years over age 36 and never missed a start let alone a game. He also was all nba and an all star at age 37.

The 2002 Kings that won 60 games and barely lost to the Lakers barely beat the Jazz in the first round. It was 3-1, but all 3 Kings wins were nailbiters. This is when Stockton was 40 and Malone was 38.

Stockton and Malone were legit. It is a shame they didn't win a title. One title and all of a sudden every other accomplishment through the rest of their career would be brought up and they would be seen as winners. That is why ring culture can be really stupid sometimes.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#54 » by Suprasc1 » Sat May 23, 2020 8:18 pm

Cp3 clippers pretty much
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#55 » by wickywack » Sat May 23, 2020 8:37 pm

If you need to ask, just go watch the 98 WCF finals on YouTube. On paper, the Lakers should have killed the Jazz. On paper, that was probably the most talented Lakers' roster of the Shaq/Kobe era, and more talented than perhaps any team today: Shaq, Eddie Jones, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Derek Fisher, with Van Exel and Kobe off the bench. (Would have been something to see Phil Jackson with that roster.)

Stockton and Malone aged really well. They weren't flashy, but both were outstanding 2-way players. More importantly, their games meshed together just perfectly. They might have been the best sum-is-greater-than-parts duo in the NBA history.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#56 » by Shock Defeat » Sat May 23, 2020 8:53 pm

Back then in the pre super team era coaching mattered. Execution mattered. Depth mattered. Nowadays it’s all about stacking your roster with talent because people learned that talent trumps everything and then some.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#57 » by BigtimeNBAfan » Sat May 23, 2020 9:05 pm

wickywack wrote:If you need to ask, just go watch the 98 WCF finals on YouTube. On paper, the Lakers should have killed the Jazz. On paper, that was probably the most talented Lakers' roster of the Shaq/Kobe era, and more talented than perhaps any team today: Shaq, Eddie Jones, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Derek Fisher, with Van Exel and Kobe off the bench. (Would have been something to see Phil Jackson with that roster.)

Stockton and Malone aged really well. They weren't flashy, but both were outstanding 2-way players. More importantly, their games meshed together just perfectly. They might have been the best sum-is-greater-than-parts duo in the NBA history.


It was a talented Lakers team that many thought were going to beat the Jazz. They had lost in 5 the previous year and were an improved team that just took down Payton's sonics in 5. I don't know if I'd go as far as saying they were more talented than later Kobe/Shaq teams for the simple fact that Kobe wasn't that good in 98. He was a sub who wasn't much of a factor for most of the playoffs. So even with a better supporting they weren't as good until the 00's when Kobe became Kobe.

Nick Van Exel was sure brutal in that series. He was awful. One of the worst series performances of all time, no joke. Stockton and the Jazz deserve a lot of credit for that.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#58 » by BigtimeNBAfan » Sat May 23, 2020 9:07 pm

Shock Defeat wrote:Back then in the pre super team era coaching mattered. Execution mattered. Depth mattered. Nowadays it’s all about stacking your roster with talent because people learned that talent trumps everything and then some.


The Lakers had 4 all stars in 98. That is more than any modern superteam.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#59 » by LakerLegend » Sat May 23, 2020 9:17 pm

jpengland wrote:Depth was terrible back then.

Guys like Keefe, Ostertag, Foster, Carr (36) were terrible players.

On the Bill's, Wennington, Burrell, Brown, Buchelor wouldn't get near an NBA roster.

The top 7 players in the series were old as ****. Malone, Stockton, Hornacek, Jordan, Pippen, Rodman.

Talent and athletic levels were nowhere near what they are today.

The guys you named were all good roles players who knew what their skills were and how to execute. All of the top players were around 34/35 old but not ancient who all had excellent conditioning. The game was also much more physical and defense oriented.
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Re: How Good Were the '98 Jazz? 

Post#60 » by otwok » Sat May 23, 2020 11:04 pm

People focus so much on talent and forget execution. Execution is just as important if not more, especially in the playoffs. That Jazz team was discipline and executed amazingly. They knew their roles and took pride in it. These are things you can't quantify in numbers but they lead to results.



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