10 years ago two rising stars in Utah could be seen lighting up the scoreboards en route to a respectable showing in the Western Conference Finals. They would lose to the San Antonio Spurs in 5 games but their future looked bright?
A decade later they made a conference finals again but this time it came on the East side due to midseason trades to the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Their names are Kyle Korver and Deron Williams and they are the two key bench players in The Land.
Kyle Korver can still hit from deep just like he did when wearing the old baby blue Jazz uniform. He now sports the wine and gold and his long range accuracy make he and Kevin Love the Splash Brothers of the East with their 3 point accuracy hovering over 40% in the postseason.
Deron Williams is a stellar backup for Kyrie Irving despite being well past his prime. When he was waived by the Mavericks he flirted with his ex Utah Jazz while finally deciding to help “Defend the Land”.
While excelling in the East these two former Jazz players didn’t fare well when heading to Salt Lake City this year. Deron Williams was heavily booed in December when he played his last game in Utah as a Dallas Maverick. That game ended with Rodney Hood making a Jazz play of the year nominee in a shimmying three point game winner.
Kyle Korver managed just three points against the Jazz in his last game in Utah as a Hawk. The Jazz won this game on November 25th, 2016 by a lopsided score of 95-68.
Kyle Korver managed just 2 points in his inaugural game with the Cavs. This was because he came to the Vivint “Swat” Home Arena and faced one of the stingiest defenses in the NBA in the Utah Jazz. For the third straight year Cleveland received a big fat L when they landed in the “Swat” Lake valley.
A lot has changed in 10 years. D-Will and Kyle are grizzled vets instead of the young baby faced ballers in baby blue they once were. Cleveland and Utah are still contenders in their respective conferences though and unless something drastic happens they will be for years to come.