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The Downbeat #1748: The we're just friends edition

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The team's not perfect yet, and Quin Snyder knows it.
The team's not perfect yet, and Quin Snyder knows it.
Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

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So it looks like Tom Thibideau has been in town, offering advice about defensive sets and such. It's stuff to be excited about. But to me the highlight of everything has to be this, (I've seen this quote via both Andy Larsen and reported by Tony Jones at the Salt Lake Tribune:

"He's just a friend."

That is Quin Snyder explaining his relationship with Thibs. So much I want to know now.

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For those fans in Boise who want to keep up with the Idaho Stampede and its players trying to impress for a callup for the Jazz, there is good news:

Props to Jack Cooley for making the cover.

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Sports Illustrated had its authors state which team will be the surprise team of the next season. Ben Golliver is the smart one because he chose the Utah Jazz:

It might be easy to misread their 38 wins from last year, their gaping hole at point guard, and their offseason inactivity and conclude that the fuss isn’t warranted. Indeed, Las Vegas projects only modest improvement, setting their over/under at 41.5.

I think the Jazz will beat those expectations with ease.

Although the team hasn't been crazy good thus far in the preseason (except a couple of really impressive quarters), I think the Jazz are going to be pretty decent this year. The hope, though, is that they are more than just decent, but instead they prove to be:

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According to Mike Sorensen at the Deseret News, expect the Jazz to continue to experiment around with its lineups:

The Jazz haven’t settled on a starting lineup or even a set rotation with the season less than two weeks away, but Snyder says it may not be settled for awhile.

He indicated earlier this week that he needs to have some experience with the second unit, which means guys like Burks and Burke could come off the bench, allowing players such as Rodney Hood and Raul Neto to start. Snyder also said things are never set in stone as far as lineups and rotations go.

If you could predict the primary starting and bench lineups, what would you predict?

If you could hand pick your ideal starting and main bench lineups, what would you choose?

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Jody Genessey, at DNews, has a nice article about Alec Burks. In particular, I liked the section when Alec and Quin Snyder talk about his defense:

Snyder is willing to cut Burks a bit of slack because of the progress he’s made on the defensive end of the court. Despite his athleticism, Burks hasn’t been known for being a particularly strong defender. That’s why it requires all the more focus from him.

"Especially," Snyder added, "when it’s not quite as instinctive for you off the ball in particular. He’s really made an effort. He’s done a good job. He just needs to keep concentrating on that."

Snyder went over the defensive lapses Burks made Monday during Tuesday’s film session. The mistakes were mostly off-the-ball miscues.

I say this again and again, but I just love how much Quin Snyder just "gets it." He knows what Alec needs to work on, he makes sure Alec knows, and then what he demands isn't that Alec does what he says immediately, but that Alec works on it and makes genuine progress, replacing old habits with new habits, and that given time he becomes the player he can be.

Whether Alec does ultimately become the kind of defensive player Quin wants is really up to him. But I love that Alec is given the best opportunity possible by a coach who understands that learning is a process of skill development and habit-forming, not just a lesson followed by perfection.