Milk Was a Bad Choice.
So maybe we should have some Sunny D and OJ.
When I looked at the preseason roster, there were three guys that I thought would have not shot at making the team, Nichols, Gaines, and Jeffers. But after the first 3 preseason games, one thing should be very clear, the Jazz have 17 capable NBA players right now. While I currently do think that those same 3 could still be on the outside looking in it should be worth noting that Sunny D has been very impressive and that OJ competes.
Yatta has the confidence to be LeBron James, maybe that is why he wasn’t scared to put a dagger in him last year, in the body of an NFL running back. So far in preseason, even without playing last night, he has averaged 6.5 points and 2 assists in 12 minutes a game. He has done that on 50% percent shooting and 75 % 3point shooting. He has an assist to turnover ratio of 4:1. He is the fourth point guard on a team with 3 point guards with guaranteed contracts. Some players might be down in that situation and press a bit, but Gaines has played the exact opposite. He has thrived in the pressure and played with the kind of back to the wall confidence that served him well in that night in February last season. Sunny D might not make the team, but it won’t be because the guy can’t handle the pressure.
OJ seemed like the longest shot to make the team going into camp. When we did our team cuts here he was the first to be voted off. A guy who might not even have a single NBA skill didn’t seem like he could help the team improve. Yet he has been the one to channel his inner Wes Matthews and compete hard when everyone had him written off. A lot of people, myself included, were looking at Ryan Thompson to become OMSW 2.0. However the guy that has actually been competing the best to make a name for himself has been OJ. With a team that has Raja, CJ, Gordon, and AK to man the wings and the human pogo stick Jeremy Evans securing himself a spot, OJ’s chances didn’t look so hot. With Ryan Thompson drawing all of the Wes Matthews comparisons, people seemed to forget that OJ was still in camp. Yet OJ has seemed to push, grab, steal, and fight for every inch on the floor. I guess a guy that grew up like he did has learned to take nothing for granted. OJ has put up 8 points and nearly 3 rebounds a game in only 10 minutes a night. He can’t shoot from the perimeter, but he does get to the right places on the floor and he takes only good shots, hitting on 67% of his shots. His stats have been far more impressive than I ever would have expected. We are looking for OMSW 2.0, but we may have found Ronnie B 2.0. I know OJ isn’t the athlete that Ronnie B is, but he gets the same king of baskets in the flow of the offense, and because he cuts hard and is always active he has been able to produce. So we may need to replace our Chocolate milk spokesman with an OJ spokesman.
Competing for the last roster spots is going to be a bloodbath!
I don’t know who is going to make this team, but I do know that everyone that does make it will have earned the right to be there. Sloan wants guys who compete. Well we know the end of our bench will definetly do that, and who knows when we might need another “Sunny D”ay from a bench warmer to help us steal a win.