Jazz Suffering From Flat Bill of Health

Carlos Boozer, Deron WilliamsHere’s a list of things that are healthier than the 2008-09 Utah Jazz:

A) The average 95-year-old
B) Amy Winehouse
C) Brett Favre’s Shoulder
D) Joe Theissman’s Leg

Utah simply can’t stay even close to healthy this season. Indeed, if a fully healthy team is playing pitch-perfect notes, the Jazz are flatter than an average fourth grader’s saxophone.

Take a look:

  • All-Star and Olympian Carlos Boozer has missed 40 games, in which the Jazz are 21-19. Though Boozer struggled against the Lakers in the Western Conference Semis last season, clearly Utah’s a far better team when he’s on the floor.
  • Andrei Kirilenko has missed 14 games this season, and the Jazz are only 5-9 when he does not play.
  • The total number of games lost to injury/illness/personal reasons this season by the Jazz is 140 games, compared to 45 last season.
  • When only one of Utah’s top five players (Williams, Boozer, Mehmet Okur, Paul Millsap and Kirilenko) is out, the Jazz are 18-9. When two of those guys or more are out, Utah is 11-14.
  • The top three scorers for Utah (Boozer, Okur and Williams) have yet to appear in a game together this season.

    But the Lakers aren’t planning on resting on their laurels this Wednesday evening. Rather, with veterans like Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant, the Lakers know perhaps better than any NBA teams not to underestimate the Jazz in Salt Lake City … Injuries or not.

    This is the only time in the regular season that L.A. plays in Salt Lake City, but there’s always the potential playoff matchup when a fully healthy Jazz team would certainly be dangerous. Utah may lack the true length at the four and five positions to be the best matchup on paper against a likewise healthy Lakers team featuring Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, but the Jazz have enough good players to give any opponent problems.

    When might they have their full complement? Both Kirilenko and Boozer may be ready to play sometime after the All-Star break. In the meantime, Deron Williams will carry the load: Over his last five games, Williams is averaging 31.6 points (55-93, 59%) and has made 45 of his last 65 two-point field goal attempts (69%).

    Tipoff’s at 6 p.m. Pacific from EnergySolutions Arena.