So far this season the Utah Jazz have won some games they should not have (on paper), and at other times played down to their competition. As a whole I am okay with how things are progressing in the #801, but even more importantly, some of our players are taking that next step from "potential" to "reliable production". Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, and Trey Burke are all getting it together after a mix result for the first 30 games of the season.
G-Time is playing like "The Precious", the unprotected New York Knicks lotto pick that the team waited a decade for. The refs know what he can do, and send him to the line. He's taking better shots from deep, and making more of them. And more importantly, on offense he can create his own shot, and score off of a step back, a midrange pull up, or going all the way to the hole. He has come a long way, and he playing great.
Derrick Favors is channeling Karl Malone, where he gets the ball and almost immediately knows how he is going to score. It's no longer a process of "should I shoot or not;" rather, he's figuring out how to score each time. He can on dump off passes, post ups, pick and rolls, face ups -- and now drives. Last night he had a great move where he up-faked and drove to the rim for a two hander. I was impressed.
Rudy Gobert is getting the one thing he didn't get last season: consistent minutes. And in return he is producing consistent results. He disrupts passes and shots on defense, while being a vacuum on the glass. I don't see him getting a lot of shots up in this current offense, but he can score on tip ins and off the pick and roll. He is not just producing but playing mostly mistake free basketball. He can defend without fouling. This is a new bigman technology that few of our players ever figured out.
Trey Burke has resurrected some of his shot making ability, and while he is trying a little harder on defense, his main benefit is on offense. He isn't sloppy with the ball, and doesn't make the most pure decisions for a pure point guard in transition -- but his pick and roll game is solid: he can score, or pass, and does both at an NBA level now. Being able to consistently make open three pointers must finally be a relief for the second year player as well.
Trevor Booker, he of the most amazing shot in NBA history, is nearly a double double guy in the last 10 games. Dante Exum is either amazing or average on any given play . . . but the real story is Elijah Millsap and Elliot Williams. Williams, who only gets into garbage time right now, is the Ozymandias of the NBA right now. (Yes, a Watchmen reference.) While Millsap is very hands-y on defense, causes deflections, is making his threes, and playing two-way ball in ways only some of our players can dream of! His block last night! Amazing!
Anyway, here are the season stats for ALL of our players. What are you most surprised about? What are you most upset about?
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