Utah Jazz Notes: Phoenix Suns Game, John Stockton & Karl Malone


Feb 6, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20) dribbles by Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker (17) and Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Phoenix Suns were the feel-good story of the NBA. Led by first-year coach Jeff Hornacek, a Suns roster that many had written off as one of the least talented in the league won 48 games and nearly advanced to postseason play.

Though they aren’t contending for a playoff berth, many consider the Utah Jazz this season’s feel-good story. Since the trade deadline, Utah has been the best defensive team in the Association and is currently riding high with a three-game win streak. Overall, the Jazz have won 15 of 22 since the break and the future is looking bright.

Tonight, the two square off in the Valley of the Sun.

The Jazz may be without the services of Rodney Hood, who suffered a concussion last Monday at Minnesota. Meanwhile, Alex Len is out for Phoenix with a broken nose and Brandon Knight could also miss the game.

Oddsmakers are looking for this to be a hotly-contested pairing, as the Suns currently stand as one point favorites per Bovada. I predict the game will fall in favor of our boys in blue. Despite the Suns’ record and surprising success last season, it is my firm belief that the Jazz are the better team and will continue to be so going forward.

John Stockton Coaching Daughter in HS Nationals

Jazz legend John Stockton was in New York this week, helping to coach his daughter Laura and the girls of Gonzaga Prep in the High School Nationals.

The Hall of Fame point guard was effusive in his praise of the team and their efforts:

"“I don’t know if coaching girls is always like this, but this group has been amazing,” Stockton told USA Today . “They’ve been completely open to coaching and they all really want to learn. And they aren’t afraid to put the hard work in to get better.”"

Unfortunately, the ladies of Gonzaga Prep lost to Miami Country Day in Friday’s semifinal, 60-59. Still, I would be surprised if this is the last we see of Stockton lending his expertise to young players.

This Day in Utah Jazz History—The Mailman Delivers

18 years ago today, “The Mailman” Karl Malone became the first player in NBA history to cross the 2,000 point mark in 10 consecutive seasons. The milestone came during a 106-79 throttling of the Vancouver Grizzlies.

The game was a ho-hum affair for Malone; the team required only 22 minutes of play from their star to fell Vancouver. For the night, he finished with 16 points, six assists, three rebounds and three steals.

Simply put, it was another in a long line of remarkable achievements in the career of one of the greatest players ever to hit the hardwood.

More from The J-Notes