The Utah Jazz affiliate in the NBA DL is the Idaho Stampede. They went through training camp and pared down a 17 man roster down to 11 (they can't have a full roster because the theory is that the NBA team will occasionally send guys down there). Dean Cooper is the head coach and he is going to be running the Stamps with a closer relationship to the Jazz (much closer than the Jazz had with the Flash). He was involved in the Utah Jazz training camp and took that to Idaho. And you can tell that it matters to him. Asked pregame what he wanted his team to do he replied that he wanted Idaho to be a good transition defensive team, and a good pick and roll defensive team. "That's what professional basketball boils down to," he added. Coop understands that there are personnel differences between the Jazz and the Stamps, and as a result some tweaks are necessary, but he still wants the team to move the ball and play like Utah.
So if you want more and more data on the new Utah Jazz system it's good to watch the Stampede play.
Coach Cooper isn't the only guy we have our eyes on (as the beta tester for our offense), but also a few players. There's Kevin Murphy, whom the Jazz drafted, and played during his rookie season. Murph is a bigtime scorer who needs to learn to do more than just that. Basically he's the second chance on the whole botched development of Morris Almond. There's also Jack Cooley, who is listed as a Jazz property, but playing for Idaho. He's a bigman who is down there specifically to hone his outside shot. And last, but not least, is actual Utah Jazz roster member Toure' Murry. Murry is a combo guard who played his rookie year in the NBA with the New York Knicks.
Because I understand your time is valuable, I'll just give a breakdown of what they did -- and the really crazy people can keep reading after that for a game recap.
- Kevin Murphy: Murphy played 38 minutes, and is the obvious first option for the team. He took the most shots (12 FGA), and did not have his best game ever. He went 4/12, and 0/6 from outside -- he lived at the line going 8/13. Despite his shooting woes Idaho was still +4 in +/- with him out there on the court. He added 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and that's pretty good, right? He didn't foul much (2), but did turn the ball over 5 times. Defensively, well, I wasn't impressed.
- Jack Cooley: Cooligan started, played only 18 minutes though. In that time he managed 8 points (4/7 from the field), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and went 0/1 from deep. He was not an impact player.
- Toure' Murry: Toure' came off the bench and played 23 minutes, and guess what, he also didn't shoot well. He would finish with 7 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist . . . but go 2/9 from the field, and 0/2 from deep. To his credit, he hasn't even played with this team in practice before, as he just got to Idaho hours ago.
Nick Covington (played with the Jazz in Vegas) got the start at PG, played 34 minutes, and finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 3 turn overs. He also shot poorly (2/7, 0/3 from outside), but thems the breaks sometime. The Stamps have a lot of rookies (you may remember the result of the NBA-DL draft), the Jazz picked #7 in the first round and used it on true rookie (no Int'l play) Tre Bussey. The 22 year old rookie only played 13 minutes, and finished with 2 points, 5 rebounds, and nothing else. He was -12 in +/-, and shot 1/7 from the floor, and 0/2 from deep.
So did anyone have a good game? Joel Wright had 12 and 7 off the bench, but mainly because he went 6/10 from the FT line. And another bigman, Kodi Augustus, had 14, and 3 . . . and actually made some threes. (He's like Charlie Villanueva, or Malcolm Thomas -- not like Dirk or anything)
For the most part the team missed a lot of shots on offense, 33FG%, 17 3PT%, but made that up a bit from the line, where they went 33-45 (73%). The shots were not as open as we've seen from the Jazz, but they are working on it. Defensively the other team only got to the line 11 times, but still won. Why did they win? Well, it could be because they shot 41% from downtown against Idaho. (So maybe Idaho does play like Utah, after all?)
The other team has more overt 'star' power because their back court goes as Peyton Siva and Seth Curry -- a guy who was drafted and Stephen Curry 's younger brother. Siva had 15 and 9, and Curry blasted off for 23 points and 6 boards. Drew Crawford was the third guy in their big three, and he finished with 22 points and 9 boards, while going 4/6 from the outside. If he keeps that up NBA scouts will take a look at him.
I'm just going to post this now, because I haven't finished watching the game, and I felt like this is about as much as you want to read about the Stampede. If you want more -- say so. And I will write a full recap on the game, not just some of the players.
So 1 game down for Idaho, 49 more to go.