Just one day left, Dunkers. The NBA Draft Lottery is set to go down tomorrow, just before the start of game 2 of the ECF. All we know so far is that the Jazz will be sending Bryan Miller, and whatever voodoo luck charm he manages to smuggle into the Barclays Center.
The Jazz are running a mini campaign to find out what fans' good luck charms will be tomorrow night. You can go here to enter to win a decal if you guess the spot the Jazz will pick, correctly. You can post pictures of your good luck charms there, or use #JazzLottoLuck on Instagram.
What were your overall thoughts on the Combine? I was more than a little underwhelmed. I thought that ESPN's coverage was terrible. They seemed more concerned with showing their panel talking, than actually showing what was happening on the court. Couple that with the removal of the 5 on 5 drills, and very few of the projected lottery picks actually participating in the skill drills, and it was a recipe for complete apathy.
In the past, I would watch every minute of the Combine. More and more it's become just a formality; a place where teams go to fill their Summer League rosters.
In Saturday's Downbeat, Amar spoke about current Macabbi Electra Tel-Aviv coach and Moni coaching lust object David Blatt. The next day, Blatt's squad took on the juggernaut that is Real Madrid (featuring players like former Knick and Euroleague MVP Sergio Rodriguez and former Blazer Rudy Fernandez). Blatt's underdog team went on to win the Euroleague championship. Here are highlights from the game:
There is a growing contingency (lead by Moni, of course) that would love to see Blatt coaching the Jazz. He certainly seems like an intriguing option, given his Euroleague resume, and glowing comments from professional references (namely Andrei Kirilenko). I did see one countering opinion of Blatt's ability to work in the NBA:
@ESPNSteinLine He'll never come as an assistant, and I don't think his style would mesh well with NBA culture....— Amin Elhassan (@AminESPN) May 18, 2014
Fitting this goes in the 4 spot, where the Jazz are currently slated to select. If they stay at the 4 spot, there is a strong chance they pick Joel Embiid. With the Magic ahead of them, and plenty of teams fawning over Exum, this could very well happen. There was some (mostly nonsensical) talk about Vonleh going ahead of Embiid, but it seems like organization leaked counterintelligence to me. Here's a great video by Draft Express featuring highlights of Embiid matched up against "NBA Caliber" centers in this draft class. It also features ominous music.
Yesterday's ECF game 1 had the 3rd highest t.v. rating for an ECF Game 1, and saw an increase of 49% from last year. The reason this is important is that it is a good illustration of the growing popularity of the NBA. With t.v. contracts set to expire in 2016, many project the next deal to be quite lucrative.
The interesting thing to keep an eye on is how teams project the growth in revenue, and how it will affect the salary cap / luxury tax. This will play a huge roll in how teams spend next summer.
Further, this is of interest to Jazz fans because Commissioner Silver has already created a panel to explore the options and consult on the coming negotiations. Click on through to the link and you'll see that one of those panel members is Jazz boss Greg Miller.
Interesting stuff that will become more important as we get closer to 2016.
**Edit: Article originally said Ante Tomic played for Real Madrid. Tomic left Real Madrid after the 2011-2012 season when his contract was not renewed. He now plays for FC Barcelona Basquet