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View Full Version : Old School Question of the Day: Where woudl the 97-98 Jazz rank today?



JasonJohnHorn
02-19-2014, 12:07 PM
John Stockton and Karl Malone were likely the best players at their respective when they made back-to-back finals appearances, but lost to the Bulls. Many considered them the greatest team to never win a title (though I think the 90-92 Trailblazers rank pretty high on that list, as well as Webber's Kings and the 92-95 Knicks).

If they were playing today, where would the rank among the league's elite, and would they be able to win it all or even get to the finals?

FlashBolt
02-19-2014, 12:12 PM
IMO, the fourth best team. I think right behind Pacers, Miami, and OKC. I think OKC is a bad matchup for them just because of KD being too much of a problem for them.

Ebbs
02-19-2014, 12:24 PM
IMO, the fourth best team. I think right behind Pacers, Miami, and OKC. I think OKC is a bad matchup for them just because of KD being too much of a problem for them.

And uh who on OKC is pushing the mailman off the block.

I'd say the Jazz would be a lock at a minimum for the conference finals. Also I disagree with your list of best teams to never win. Knicks don't deserve a mention. The best team to not win in basketball was the 04 a Lakers

SLY WILLIAMS
02-19-2014, 12:29 PM
Best team to never win a championship? That would be surprising to me. I'm a big Stockton fan but that team was only 3 players deep with those 3 guys in their mid 30's. Still they would be better than most of todays teams based on those 3 players and their coach. I think they would have a legit shot to beat anyone but I can not be sure that they would. I thought that team was better when they were younger even if their record did not reflect that.

FlashBolt
02-19-2014, 12:32 PM
And uh who on OKC is pushing the mailman off the block.

I'd say the Jazz would be a lock at a minimum for the conference finals. Also I disagree with your list of best teams to never win. Knicks don't deserve a mention. The best team to not win in basketball was the 04 a Lakers

Stockton was pretty much finished at that point of his career. Westbrook would destroy him. Stockton is too small and while he was a fearless down and dirty PG, he certainly wouldn't be able to stop Westbrook. As for Karl, yeah, he's pretty much trouble down there but Ibaka can certainly block a couple of shots and try to contain him. I just want to know who can stop Durant from Utah? Who can even try to stop him? I'd much rather have Karl taking his luck in the paint against Ibaka than KD against anyone. Not to mention Westbrook would just drive to the paint against Stockton every time.

D-Leethal
02-19-2014, 12:45 PM
And uh who on OKC is pushing the mailman off the block.

I'd say the Jazz would be a lock at a minimum for the conference finals. Also I disagree with your list of best teams to never win. Knicks don't deserve a mention. The best team to not win in basketball was the 04 a Lakers

Phil Jackson was on record saying many times those Knicks teams were the toughest teams they faced during Jordans 6 year run.

During the 90s, 2 trips to the Finals, 5 trips to the ECF, made the second round 9 straight seasons, only team to take MJ to 7 games during his 6 year invincible run. Probably a top 5 defense of all time, yea I'd say they deserve a mention.

D-Leethal
02-19-2014, 12:46 PM
Stockton was pretty much finished at that point of his career. Westbrook would destroy him. Stockton is too small and while he was a fearless down and dirty PG, he certainly wouldn't be able to stop Westbrook. As for Karl, yeah, he's pretty much trouble down there but Ibaka can certainly block a couple of shots and try to contain him. I just want to know who can stop Durant from Utah? Who can even try to stop him? I'd much rather have Karl taking his luck in the paint against Ibaka than KD against anyone. Not to mention Westbrook would just drive to the paint against Stockton every time.

Byron Russell was a hell of a wing defender IIRC. He is definitely a guy who you are comfortable throwing on the oppositions best player in a playoff series.

Westbrook would be a problem but Stockton could D his *** off. I agree with Sly though, I just think that team relied to heavily on 3 guys in their mid-late 30s.

D-Leethal
02-19-2014, 12:49 PM
What happened from 88-89 when Portland was 39-43 to 89-90 when they were 59-23 and went to the Finals? They look like they had the same exact roster?

Bruno
02-19-2014, 12:55 PM
And uh who on OKC is pushing the mailman off the block.

I'd say the Jazz would be a lock at a minimum for the conference finals. Also I disagree with your list of best teams to never win. Knicks don't deserve a mention. The best team to not win in basketball was the 04 a Lakers
Shaq was aging and had a bad big toe, Malone was breaking down, the team had no bench and Kobe was never less focused. I don't know about this one ebbs. i think that team was overrated from day one.

Bruno
02-19-2014, 01:04 PM
I don't think they'd make it to the finals. they could get knocked out in the second round in the stacked west against the wrong match up as well.

Ebbs
02-19-2014, 02:05 PM
Shaq was aging and had a bad big toe, Malone was breaking down, the team had no bench and Kobe was never less focused. I don't know about this one ebbs. i think that team was overrated from day one.

The talent they had on the roster, mental health, injuries etc. . . was on them. They massively underachieved.

Also I think everyone is acting like Stockton is a stereotypical white guy who couldn't move. He's the all time leader in steals for a reason. He could definitely hang with Westbrook.

As for the Knicks the Knicks of that era weren't better than the bad boy Pistons who lost in the finals either.

abe_froman
02-19-2014, 02:29 PM
best to never win? umm '93 suns,'02 kings,'80 76ers,'95 magic??

as for the jazz though ,they're def championship contenders

valade16
02-19-2014, 02:33 PM
The talent they had on the roster, mental health, injuries etc. . . was on them. They massively underachieved.

Also I think everyone is acting like Stockton is a stereotypical white guy who couldn't move. He's the all time leader in steals for a reason. He could definitely hang with Westbrook.

As for the Knicks the Knicks of that era weren't better than the bad boy Pistons who lost in the finals either.

I think the intent of the statement was which nucleus of players was the best to have never won a championship. I don't think the intent was to include teams such as the Bad Boy Pistons who won 2 titles by just picking a year they didn't win. That nucleus won rings and thus isn't in the discussion.

That being said, I personally don't consider any team with the duo of Shaq/Kobe in the consideration either because they won 3 rings but I could see how someone could include the '04 squad. I still don't think they'd be the best team to never win a title though.

Ebbs
02-19-2014, 02:33 PM
best to never win? umm '93 suns,'02 kings,'80 76ers,'95 magic??

as for the jazz though ,they're def championship contenders

95 Magic is a good one. 97 Rockets deserve a mention. That team a year younger would've killed it.

valade16
02-19-2014, 02:34 PM
best to never win? umm '93 suns,'02 kings,'80 76ers,'95 magic??

as for the jazz though ,they're def championship contenders

Those would all be great candidates, along with the '91 Blazers, '95 Knicks and '98 Jazz.

Ebbs
02-19-2014, 02:36 PM
I think the intent of the statement was which nucleus of players was the best to have never won a championship. I don't think the intent was to include teams such as the Bad Boy Pistons who won 2 titles by just picking a year they didn't win. That nucleus won rings and thus isn't in the discussion.

That being said, I personally don't consider any team with the duo of Shaq/Kobe in the consideration either because they won 3 rings but I could see how someone could include the '04 squad. I still don't think they'd be the best team to never win a title though.

That's different then. However I don't think a year previous or after should alter the decision if the the goal is to find a specific team.

abe_froman
02-19-2014, 02:43 PM
Those would all be great candidates, along with the '91 Blazers, '95 Knicks and '98 Jazz.

i find those knicks teams to be abit overrated..dont get me wrong,they were very touch teams with a lot of solid role players playing "bully ball",but they never had that 2ndary star to help ewing

D-Leethal
02-19-2014, 02:44 PM
i find those knicks teams to be abit overrated..dont get me wrong,they were very touch teams with a lot of solid role players playing "bully ball",but they never had that 2ndary star to help ewing

Are the Pacers overrated because they don't have a mega star and only have one star? Most contenders IN THE 90s were built around one star, there were very few super teams, few stars angling to team up with each other via FA.

It was one of the best defenses ever and regardless of how many stars they had, they were the toughest team in the East for Jordan to oust year after year after year and made it to game 7 of the Finals the year MJ was gone. I'd say they are as prime a candidate for "best team to never win" as any you can find.

Nobody here that said they don't belong on the list have provided one ounce of color as to why, but thats not surprising in this cesspool of a discussion forum.

Ebbs
02-19-2014, 02:48 PM
i find those knicks teams to be abit overrated..dont get me wrong,they were very touch teams with a lot of solid role players playing "bully ball",but they never had that 2ndary star to help ewing

Are the Pacers overrated because they don't have a mega star and only have one star? Most contenders IN THE 90s were built around one star, there were very few super teams, few stars angling to team up with each other via FA.

It was one of the best defenses ever and regardless of how many stars they had, they were the toughest team in the East for Jordan to oust year after year after year and made it to game 7 of the Finals the year MJ was gone. I'd say they are as prime a candidate for "best team to never win" as any you can find.

Nobody here that said they don't belong on the list have provided one ounce of color as to why, but thats not surprising in this cesspool of a discussion forum.

Lol cry more. I gave up reasoning with members defending their own fan base along time ago.

JasonJohnHorn
02-19-2014, 02:56 PM
I think those Jazz teams are among the best to never win. Some other great rosters are mentioned.

the 04 Lakers needed a BIG push form the officials to get to the finals (Minny had them beat in my opinion). Malone and Payton were names, not All-Stars. They still had something to contribute, but they weren't who they were 5 years prior, or even a year prior.


The Barkley/Dream/Drexler/Pippen Rockets had an amazing core of players, but none of those players were aging well. You put those guys together two years before, and there is no stopping them, but that year... they were more about reputation than ability.


The 93 Suns are high on my list for sure. That was an AMAZING roster.
I stand by the 90's Knicks teams. If you watched them play, you'd know how good they were. Their defense was unbelievable. It might have been as good or even a little bit better than the Bad Boys in 89/90. Mason, Oakley, Smith and Ewing with Mark Jackson Xavier and Starks.... then bringing in Houston and Spreewell later..


I think those speaking to Stockon's age and Malone's age didn't see them play at that time. Nobody in the league today pass the ball as well as Stockton, or shoots the ball as well as he did at the point, with the exception of Curry and Calderon. Karl Malone was close to 30/10 those years and won MVP. You don't win MVP by playing like a guy in his mid 30's. Hornacek was an ideal teammate. With Sloan coaching, he was a solid team defender, even if he didn't excel at one-on-one defence, and Bryon Russell would guard the best offensive player on the wing. And Greg Ostertag was rebounding the ball well back then. In 97 he averaged 11 boards per36. Eisley was a very efficient playmaker under Sloan, and Shandon anderson was considered a top prospect while playing with the Jazz. They also picked up Chris Morris the second year who was the 7 or 8th guy in the rotation, and he was a starer the year before.

With that roster though, it was more about the sum than the parts. The chemistry was incredible, the coaching was great, and they had two AMAZING shooters starting, with one of the best PF of all time, an bruiser in the middle in Ostertag and a great perimeter defender in Russell. And for those who might diss Ostertag, keep in mind that in one playoff run he met up against Hakeem, Shaw and Robinson and came out on top in each series.

abe_froman
02-19-2014, 02:58 PM
Are the Pacers overrated because they don't have a mega star and only have one star? Most contenders IN THE 90s were built around one star, there were very few super teams, few stars angling to team up with each other via FA.

It was one of the best defenses ever and regardless of how many stars they had, they were the toughest team in the East for Jordan to oust year after year after year and made it to game 7 of the Finals the year MJ was gone. I'd say they are as prime a candidate for "best team to never win" as any you can find.

Nobody here that said they don't belong on the list have provided one ounce of color as to why, but thats not surprising in this cesspool of a discussion forum.
not really,many contenders in the 90's had multiple stars(penny+shaq+grant,kj+barkley_payton+kemp) ,just like in every era.its very rare for a team in any era to win/truly contend with only a single star.

it was a tough,very physically dominating defense.i never said otherwise,i even noted they were.but thats usually not enough and teams that have that are usually better teams

Chronz
02-19-2014, 02:59 PM
The talent they had on the roster, mental health, injuries etc. . . was on them. They massively underachieved.

Also I think everyone is acting like Stockton is a stereotypical white guy who couldn't move. He's the all time leader in steals for a reason. He could definitely hang with Westbrook.

As for the Knicks the Knicks of that era weren't better than the bad boy Pistons who lost in the finals either.

They made the Finals and outright dominated when healthy, what more could we expect?

valade16
02-19-2014, 03:18 PM
That's different then. However I don't think a year previous or after should alter the decision if the the goal is to find a specific team.

If that is the case then, how is the Top 10 best teams never to win a title not just whichever of the 80's Lakers and Celtics didn't win the title that year?

MonroeFAN
02-19-2014, 03:47 PM
I think they would be the best team in the league currently.

D_Rose1118
02-19-2014, 03:47 PM
Phil Jackson was on record saying many times those Knicks teams were the toughest teams they faced during Jordans 6 year run.

During the 90s, 2 trips to the Finals, 5 trips to the ECF, made the second round 9 straight seasons, only team to take MJ to 7 games during his 6 year invincible run. Probably a top 5 defense of all time, yea I'd say they deserve a mention.

*the 1998 pacers took them to 7 in the ecf
but which knicks team, you cant just say the knicks in the early 90's
surely 1991 is not the best
1992 is the team that took the bulls to 7 but i still might take the 93 knicks over them, best record in east and met them in the ecf.

but that knicks team is definitely in the top 3 teams to lose to the bulls

hidalgo
02-19-2014, 05:04 PM
hmmm

hidalgo
02-19-2014, 05:05 PM
i think they probably would be champions. they were always better than the sum of their parts. very fundamentaly sound, great execution, very disciplined, great chemistry, everyone contributed & played their roll very well, & great coaching game plans. they were super team killers. they destroyed the Lakers super team in back to back years(i don't see Westbrook embarrassing Stockton if Nick the quick couldn't. he held Van Excel to 9ppg 23%FG in the 1998 WCF, & Nick was an all star that year. Stockton was all defensive many times, he'd be fine), & they beat the very underrated 97 Rockets super team, & of course the 2 epic finals with the Bulls were MJ was just too clutch. they'd definitely be major contenders. favorites

the 1998 Pacers as well would be favorites now imo

DreamShaker
02-19-2014, 08:11 PM
Jazz were no joke. Hidalgo mentioned it, but the names were not as big as the team. The aging guys were aging super well, with Malone an MVP, and Sloane had them gelling so well. They could very well win it all this year.

Bruno
02-19-2014, 09:34 PM
The talent they had on the roster, mental health, injuries etc. . . was on them. They massively underachieved.

Also I think everyone is acting like Stockton is a stereotypical white guy who couldn't move. He's the all time leader in steals for a reason. He could definitely hang with Westbrook.

As for the Knicks the Knicks of that era weren't better than the bad boy Pistons who lost in the finals either.
they didn't massively underachieve. they had a respectable regular season and made it to the finals.

Shaq wasn't Shaq any more. He was 32 and dealing with major toe issues. Malone was 40 years old and missed a game in the finals (played less than two quarters worth of minutes in two other games). In game five Deaven George and Slava Medvedenko started, and Kareem Rush got the most bench minutes. considering that detroit is one of the five greatest defensive teams in NBA history I'd say the 2004 finals ended exactly as it should have. kobe was unfocused and had been recovering from knee surgery all season. he was at his worst.