The Bad News: The Utah Jazz are no longer undefeated....
The Good News: It's just preseason! The Jazz's chance at a perfect 82-0 record in the regular season is not in jeopardy yet.
The game was not televised for Jazz fans so here's a little taste of what went on in Jazz's loss 85-101 to the Suns on Friday night:
Hayward had himself a good game with 24 points, 4 rebounds, and a few assists.
Favors had some nice contributions as well in 26 minutes with 13 points and 7 rebounds with a +10 plus/minus.
The rest of the roster.....not so much.
Burke and Ingles sat this game out so the baby-faced Brazilian got the start with the rest of the normal squad in a starting lineup that quite a few have strangely been on-board for in recent weeks. It's not often you hear people wanting a 2nd round pick with no NBA experience to start over a fairly fresh lottery pick with experience starting in the NBA. Curious indeed....
The pass-friendly point guard only had 1 assist in 23 minutes, 0 steals and 6 points off of 8 shots with a game worst -16 plus/minus.
Booker, Hood, and Cotton had 8 points each off the bench with 6, 7, and 10 field goal attempts, respectively.
I really don't have anything else positive to say about any of our bench players' performance from this game. The Suns steamrolled them.
Markieff had a tidy 18 points off of 10 shots while Alex Len had the game of his short career with 21 points off of 10 shots! He was unstoppable! Sadly, Rudy looked mortal tonight...
The Jazz have a chance to bounce back tonight against the shell of the team that used to be known as the Trailblazers at 7:00 P.M.
The amazing illustrator Mizuho Nishio (twitter handle: @Jashin_mizuho) released his new batch of masterpieces for our newest players! Which one is your favorite?
The Jazz still have 20 players on their roster.
Here they are organized by potential salary this season:
The Jazz will be keeping between 13-15 players for their regular season roster. From what I've seen, even though Exum is out for the season, he will still take up one of our 15 potential roster spots. With that said, this is how I would designate the roster currently:
Burke, Burks, Hayward, Favors, Gobert
Neto, Hood, Millsap, Booker, Pleiß
Ingles, Lyles, Withey
Out for season but takes up spot (Come back soon!):
Just Outside the Bubble:
Cotton (If Jazz carry 15 players, which I don't think they will, Cotton gets last spot), Cooley
No spot for them with current roster:
Johnson, O'Brien, Graham, Jerrett
It's inevitable that a couple of my predictions above are incorrect. The biggest question mark right now is whether the Jazz will choose to go with the full 15 spots filled, which would be the easiest way for more fringe-players to make the team. My (by no means perfect) gut feeling tells me the Jazz will go with 14 just to stay flexible as they often do.
Remember that the Jazz picked up Ingles off the waiver wire at the end of October last season.
The Jazz and their scouts surely are keeping an eye on other teams' potential waived players again.
I know it's natural to grow a connection to those on our roster from top to bottom, but it's definitely not outside the realm of possibilities that another team's 16th best player right now (who can't make their team due to the 15 player limit) is better than our 14th or 15th best player.
What do y'all think? How would you round out the roster assuming the first two strings I list plus Exum take up the first 11 roster spots? You can add 2-4 players after that.
Enough of me lecturing my guesses, let's get hyped for some more of this!
The Jazz twitter account and some other affiliates have recently been pushing a #WeAreUtah campaign. Personally, I don't have anything against it as it includes half of our current team's name "Utah Jazz".
However, I can see it appearing a little exclusive to the thousands of out-of-state Jazz fans as well as muddying up the Jazz fan puddle by unintentionally catering to the Utah Ute fans over BYU fans in the quite-heated-at-times in-state rivalry.
What do you think?
Let's give Utah Jazz marketing a hand with some ideas for an improved slogan over #WeAreUtah #44United #JazzNation etc.
Here's a few to get you started (Note: I did not come up with most of these):
#KissMyJazz #JazzaholicsAnonymous #JazzGeeks #JazzGroovers