The Downbeat #1251: Jazz Put Up a Fantastic Fight

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Downbeat #1251: Jazz Put Up a Fantastic Fight

Enes Kanter put together his best game of the season last night finishing with 25 and 11. He was one of three Jazz players to record a double double, Favors had 19-12 and Burke 17-11. Enes Kanter has played solid over the past two games and seems to have gotten out of the early season funk. I know it's only two games, but he looks so much better than he did a month ago. He looks confident on offense and is in much better position defensively. It's definitely good to see him get back to his old self. Her is last night's recap from Amar.

Burks also put together a nice night finishing with 20-5-4. For those that missed his performance against Denver Monday night here is a full video breakdown.

This team is incredibly fun to watch. Most night's they play without fear, and are striving to get better. I enjoy watching this team lose more than I enjoyed watching last year's team win. Not because of the draft, I am over that now, but because we can see the guys growing and improving right in front of us. Last night, Burke showed us some of that killer instinct that he used to get to the NCAA championship 9 months ago, Favors is improving his offensive game month by month, Alec continues to dazzle us with his athleticism, and Kanter is on an upswing. I hate losing as much as the next guy, but this team is incredibly fun to watch.

I didn't see this talked about the first two days of the week. So here we go.... Could the Celtics "make a play" for Gordon Hayward? - CelticsBlog. I am not starting a rumor by any means, just bringing up the conversation. More from Yahoo. I am probably late to the conversation, but I don't think this happens. However having two top ten picks wouldn't be a bad thing either.

Another option is to simply trade for Hayward now. The Celtics have assets to offer. On the podcast, Simmons suggested the Nets/Hawks 2014 pick while Zach Lowe indicated that it would take more than that. Hayward is still on his rookie deal, so it would probably take another young player on his way up in the world. Maybe the Celtics would consider sending Avery Bradley and one of the picks. That would mean they wouldn't have to re-sign him in the offseason and in theory he's easier to replace than players at other positions.

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When Will the Utah Jazz return to the Playoffs. Submit your answer in the Poll. Espn 5x5 question from yesterday.

Kevin Arnovitz, ESPN.com: 2017 at the soonest. The high-rent neighborhood in the Western Conference is a densely populated place. Meanwhile, the Jazz's peer class among the aspirational teams is pretty competitive. Phoenix looks like it's bypassing rock bottom. New Orleans and Sacramento have superstar big men in the making. Denver seems to have a floor. The Lakers are the Lakers. That's a lot of leap-froggin' for a team that's still in the discovery phase of team-building.

Matt Cianfrone, Roundball Mining Co.: 2015-2016.The supporting pieces seem to be there in Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks and Trey Burke but the Jazz are missing the main guy. If they can find him in this season's lottery, or even a complementary piece to push Hayward to that role, a playoff return doesn't seem farther off than a year or two of jelling.

Amin Elhassan, ESPN Insider: 2016, and that's not a knock on their talent. The West is stacked with several teams built to be successful for quite a while, so the Jazz will likely have to wait for their young talent to mature some. I'm hedging my bets a bit and assuming they'll be able to retain the services of Gordon Hayward, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. Utah has immense cap flexibility but faces a familiar argument in that it is difficult to lure free agents, so it'll likely have to engineer some trades to bring in the type of vets the Jazz need to supplement their outstanding young core.

Andrew McNeill, 48 Minutes of Hell: Maybe surprisingly, I don't think they're that far off. Utah has several talented young pieces in Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward. A promising swingman from the 2014 draft and added depth on the bench could propel the Jazz to the postseason next season. The big if comes with the Jazz re-signing Hayward this offseason, though.

Ethan Sherwood Strauss, TrueHoop: Three seasons. Their massive collection of high draft picks has disappointed so far, but I still believe in the talent of Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors. That pair, along with rookie Trey Burke, should thrive under the right coach. Perhaps they need another veteran player to goose the growing process, but I like how the Jazz have approached the future. They know they aren't wooing free agents, so the (sound) plan is to lean heavily on the draft.


I say 2015-2016 or in other words the year after next.
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