MMPG: Team of the Week
Larry H. Miller, the man credited with keeping professional basketball in Utah, died at age 64 last Friday due to complications from Type-2 diabetes. Miller's health had been in decline since he suffered a heart attack last summer, and his lower legs were amputated last month. Considered a meddling owner way before Mark Cuban, Williams was heavily involved with his team, sitting courtside, slapping five with players during pre-game introductions, calling his players out on the radio.
The day after Miller's death, the Jazz won an emotional game against the New Orleans Hornets, 102-88, as point guard Deron Williams had 20 points and 13 assists handed the game ball to Miller's wife, Gail. The victory brought the Jazz within percentage points of the Hornets in the standings and gave Utah a tiebreaker should the teams finish the season with identical records. The Jazz, currently eighth in the Western Conference, trails fifth-place Houston by just two games.
The Jazz has won four in a row overall and is 7-1 in February, with wins over Boston, the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas and New Orleans. Williams has been stellar in his last five games, tying John Stockton's franchise record of consecutive games with at least 18 points and 10 assists. Utah is 10 games above .500 for the first time this season, and moving closer to being at full strength. Andrei Kirilenko returned from an ankle injury on Saturday, and Carlos Boozer -- who has been out since having knee surgery in January - could return on Monday. The Jazz will wear a patch in honor of Miller for the remainder of the season.
Posted by: ivyleague | February 23, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse
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