Utah Jazz Enter Period of Turmoil Without Jerry Sloan, Deron Williams


Utah Jazz Enter Period of Turmoil Without Jerry Sloan, Deron Williams You think the Celtics have it bad, having just lost their starting center in a midseason trade? That's nothing. Try being the Utah Jazz.

On Jan. 21, the C's secured an impressive win over the Jazz at the TD Garden, beating them 110-86 behind spirited performances from Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. On Monday night, they play the Jazz again, this time at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City. Their opponent this time around will be dramatically different.

On Feb. 10, coach Jerry Sloan resigned, walking away after 23 years. He was the longest-tenured head coach in American pro sports.

On Wednesday, Deron Williams packed his bags for New Jersey after a shocking deadline trade sent him away.

The Jazz are now without their longtime coach and without their longtime best player. They've got Tyrone Corbin calling the shots from the sidelines, and Devin Harris running the point, and they're not handling it well.

They're 1-5 since Corbin stepped in. The grinding, hardworking mentality that Sloan channeled into 19 playoff berths and two West titles is gone.

They hit rock bottom on Saturday night, surrendering 120 points and losing on the road to the lowly Pistons.

Seeing the Jazz on Monday night should help Celtics fans put things into perspective. They may have lost an important player in Kendrick Perkins, their enforcer and defensive backbone, but life could be a lot worse.

Come May, the Celtics will be right in the thick of things, competing for another championship. The Jazz probably won't be so lucky.

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