"We (the Jazz) got to a high level of mediocrity," he said. "I found out that's temporary."
Layden built a solid foundation out of well-traveled Adrian Dantley (since
sent traveling again, to Detroit), and such projects as CBA retread Rickey Green and fourth-round pick Mark Eaton. But the Jazz peaked at 45-37 in 1983-84, and since then they've scrambled to top .500. They enter tonight's game 14-16.
"Usually I'd be down about that (record)," Layden said. "But really, we're a little better than .500 (at best). We have a lot of good players - John Stockton, Karl Malone - but everybody has to do it every night for us to win. Against Boston (a 107-99 loss Monday night), we played well. But Thurl Bailey was 4-for-13, so we can't win. Everybody has to play well."
Layden agreed that his analysis ought to sound familiar to Sixers fans. In fact, the Sixers might even have it tougher because of their extreme reliance on Charles Barkley.
"You can't hang your hat on one guy," Layden said. "Over 82 games, he'll wear down."
BEST OF THE REST
The sixth-ranked Temple Owls (8-0) make one of their two Palestra appearances this season tonight at 7 against 1-7 Penn. After tonight, the Owls don't nest at 33rd and Spruce until March 2, against St. Joseph's.
Speaking of the Hawks (4-6, 1-2 in the Atlantic 10 Conference), they host West Virginia (6-4, 2-0) tonight in an A-10 matchup at 8:05 p.m.
The Jazz haven't won two in a row all season and have lost seven of their last 10 games. Utah's Karl Malone averaged 31.7 points in three games last week and was named NBA Player of the Week. The Sixers had lost five in a row before Monday's 122-114 victory over Phoenix at the Spectrum.
Jazz at Sixers
7:30 p.m., at the Spectrum, on PRISM, and on WFIL Radio(560)