Last month the Utah Jazz *kinda* slowed down from the roll they were on right after the All-Star Break. Utah went 9-6, but lost 4 of 5 during a stretch at the end.The Jazz beat the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The team played defense, and slowed the pace down. Opponents usually struggled and died tired against the Jazz. Some of our players are really coming into their own. Gordon Hayward should be an All-Star from this point forward for the next 5-6 years, easy. Derrick Favors can score when he has to, and continues to be a bully in the paint. Rudy Gobert is simply the most talented center in franchise history. But you can't win a game with just three players, after all, it's five on five.
So what did our players do this month?
Dante Exum is proving to be a solid spot up shooter, and he made all of his free throws this month. Unfortunately he only shot 5 times a game from the field, and went to the line two times in 396 minutes. Yikes. While Dante displays discretion, Trey has been placed in the designated hitter role off the bench. In +2.7 mpg over the month Burke is putting up much better stats on the box score. Over the last month he didn't shoot as well from downtown, but was 34 FG% over 32 FG% for Dante. Both are bad numbers. To Trey's credit his off the bench numbers of 12.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.7 apg (2.8 A:TO ratio), and 0.9 spg are *almost* okay across the board. As it is he appears to be our 4th best player right now.
Shooting Guards and Small Forwards:
So, another month were Alec Burks coulda really helped, eh? Well, Gordon Hayward continues to be a beast, 20.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.2 apg, 1.7 spg isn't that shabby. The 3PT% was a little lower than we'd want, but apparently playing through a shoulder injury can be bad for your shot. (Heya Alec!) Rodney Hood emerged as a starter, and while I count him as a small forward, it almost doesn't matter when you shoot 42% from deep over the month. He does a lot of things right on the court when he plays, and he shows us every game a little bit of what we have been missing all season. Joe Ingles is Joe Ingles. Elijah Millsap is Elijah Millsap. Both 27 year old rookies may not have much upside, but are professionals who worked their way to the NBA by being a guy who shows up every day and leaves it all out on the court. Ingles has a higher basketball IQ and is able to make some things look really easy out there on the court -- particularly when the game opens up his talents shine in transition. Eli is a hard working, blue collar guy. He generates on the ball steals with effort and hustle. Ingles does the same with knowing where the ball is going. Chris Johnson made a nice three, but was 2/12 from downtown this month in the three games he played with the Jazz. Ian Clark played one game, and I wish him the best going forward.
Power Forwards and Centers:
Derrick Favors is efficient and awesome, scoring 17 ppg in only 31 mpg. If he played DeMarcus Cousins minutes I guess we'd see DeMarcus Cousins numbers. Rudy Gobert averaged a double double this month with 11 / 15 / 2 / 1 / 2. Dude. That's just unfair. Trevor Booker is a solid guy who is full of energy, can hit a three here or there, and gets blocks and rebounds. If he was two inches taller he'd be a starter. Jack Cooley went 2/2 from the line this last month, in 38 minutes. Against, Dante went 2/2 from the line this month too -- but in 396 minutes. Just strange numbers . . . I guess. Jeremy Evans deserves to play more. Dude is distilled amazing. Jerrelle Benimon got a chance to see what the big show is like; if he wants to make it back he knows what he has to do to get there.
So who was the player of the month?