NBA Summer League 2014: Dante Exum excites, but Utah Jazz fall to Philadelphia 76ers 74-70

Peter J Novak

We came. We saw. We got conquered.

The Utah Jazz started off their summer league sojurn with a heart breaking loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, who were playing without many of their better prospects. The 74-70 final score was not clearly indicative of how the game actually went. After a Rudy Gobert free throw put the Jazz up 1-0 Philly took control. They were up by 6-12 points for most of the game, while the Jazz made a number of runs to bring it close. Trey Burke and Dante Exum both looked good at times, and both struggled at times. That is completely acceptable, especially since they did hook up for a sweet alley-oop early on in the game. Trey finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and made a three. Dante finished with 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 1 three. Rudy Gobert was a beast during the entire game, and picked up a tech. Does he get fined for summer league techs? He's not actually getting paid right now, right? Beyond his meals? His 11 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist, and 1 steal were solid -- even if he finished with 5 fouls and 3 turn overs.

Rodney Hood struggled with his shot, going 3/13 from the field, and 1/10 from deep. Many of his shots were open misses. It's not always going to be this bad. It's not always going to be as good as the open scrimmage. The average performance will reveal itself over time.

Ian Clark did not really play a Jazz game and forced things. Malcolm Thomas had a very solid game with 13 points (tops on the team), 8 rebounds, and some nice dunks inside.

Everyone else did a great job of either bricking all of their threes (the Jazz went 3/30 for the game), or being Brock Motum, and his thunder dunks from down under.

Overall this was a fun game. Quin Snyder's skeleton offense is interesting to figure out. It revolves around a lot of off the ball movement, screens, but more about dribble hand offs, instead of straight up passing. This is to force extra contact and hopefully cause separation for dribble penetration. It's, essentially, the Spurs offense, and how they try to free up their guards with these rub offs. Interesting.

The defense needs a lot of work though.

I'm happy with this performance, and I think fans are as well. You want to go for the win, and the Jazz will have to do that over the next few games if they want a good seed in the tournament. The Jazz had the lead late, but squandered it with poor offense, and unnecessary turn overs. Gotta clean that up.

The Jazz play next on Monday against Jabari Parker and the Milwaukee Bucks. Should be fun!

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