How, for one year, the Jazz became the accidental tankers
After the 2002-2003 season, when Jerry Sloan guided the “worst roster in the NBA” to a 42-40 season, the Jazz then landed two significant free agents in Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur, and they had a good draft on paper with Kris Humphries and Kirk Snyder. They re-signed solid role-players Carlos Arroyo and Gordan Giricek. It looked like the Jazz would be able to vault right back into the playoffs.
The following season made Jazzland crashland back to Earth. What caused a team that seemed so promising fail so miserably?
The Jazz began the season on shaky ground. Carlos Arroyo and Raul Lopez were both injured, and so Sloan started Keith McLeod, and they brought in Howard Eisley to be a mentoring backup point guard. Mehmet Okur had shown up to training camp out of shape, so Sloan opted to start Jarron Collins, and he let Okur and sophomore Curtis Borchardt battle for minutes. The Jazz started 4-0 with the lineup of...