Coach Flip Saunders felt weird walking into Energy Solutions Arena, looking down at the opposing bench and realizing that Jerry Sloan would no longer be on the other side. Sloan made the surprising decision to step down on Feb. 10 after nearly 23 years on the bench as coach of the Utah Jazz. The Jazz has gone 5-15 under Sloan’s replacement, Tyrone Corbin -- although 17 of those games were without Deron Williams, who was traded to New Jersey two weeks later. “It’s very odd,” Saunders said. “Almost doesn’t seem to have the same atmosphere when you walk in. Maybe it’s because when you’re a coach and you’ve gone against a guy 15 years, and you have so much respect for him, you know you’re going to have a great battle when you get in there. And that’s not taking anything away from Tyrone, because he’s still trying to establish who he is and how they play.” Saunders said he was somewhat surprised by Sloan’s decision to walk away.
Trevor Booker and Nick Young are both out. “Jerry’s been at it a long time, he had a certain way. The league has changed, players have changed and I think he got to a point where he said, ‘I don’t think the way I want to do it, either with the organization or with the players. They might not be able to get it done that way. And I’m going to get frustrated, the team isn’t going to have success and it’s better for me to walk away and let them move on. Give him credit for that. Whether he comes back or not, I think he’s going to be pretty content on his John Deere in” Illinois.
Let the conversation begin in the thread below. You can also join the conversation on Twitter with Michael Lee. See your tweets here by using #wizards
Tipoff: 7:00 p.m.; TV: CSN; Radio: 106.7 FM. Check out a live box score from tonight’s game here.