Before we get started on the locker room clean out fun. I want to share how fun this season has been for me. I love our community at SLC Dunk. Everyone who writes, comments, and lurks is just fantastic. There were many times in the previous three years that I considered quitting blogging. It didn't seem worth it. I didn't like the direction our team was going. I didn't agree with the coach's decisions, or the incessant need of some of the media and front office to defend the prior coach to the death.
This season was a breath of fresh air. A season I will remember as one where I became a Jazz fan anew. It was a season where we saw what a brilliant head coach could do with a talented young team. A season where the front office goals were the same across the board. A season where the "three D's" were finally achieved. A season where we as fans could once again feel hope, excitement, and joy.
Thank you for making my season an enjoyable one, my dear SLC Dunk community.
On Wednesday during the Houston game Bolerjack and Harpring interviewed Dennis Lindsey, The quote is from Moni's Houston game recap post.
Dennis Lindsey shared something that spoke to Rudy Gobert's personality and drive. I was blown away by this comment but it didn't seem to get much traction on Twitter so I thought maybe I heard it wrong. I was happy to see I heard it correctly once I read it on Moni's blog. I love this quote. It made me love Rudy even more than I do and I did not think it was possible.
** Dennis Lindsey on Rudy Gobert
A year ago, he was, he had a timeline for him and us to be championship-competitive, and this was a kid that played 300-and-some-odd minutes last year. So, he’s ambitious. He wants to be good. He wants the team to be good.
This instantly came to my mind upon hearing Dennis Lindsey's statement.
Lead us to that championship Rudy!
Thanks to the Utah Jazz for providing such excellent content for the player interviews. If you want to listen to the interviews of all 15 players, Dennis Lindsey and Quin Snyder go to this link. (No embedding availability from the Jazz website)
Its nice to hear what the players have to say to the entire media. I encourage you to give them a listen when you have the time. Thanks for posting the interviews Bill Lea!
Quick quotes and snapshots, from twitter, Moni, and the Deseret News, from the interviews:
Hayward: "The way we played after the break, I think we can be pretty good next season."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) April 16, 2015
Gordon Hayward on Quin Snyder: "He showed us the details of the game that we were missing."— Aaron Falk (@tribjazz) April 16, 2015
Gordon Hayward: We had some games go down to the wire. We won some, we lost some. That's going to help us later down the road.— Deseret News: Sports (@desnewssports) April 16, 2015
"We learned from our mistakes at the beginning of the year" - @dfavors14 LIVE: http://t.co/CisSwdFGTN pic.twitter.com/Ub0mnOWkfh— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) April 16, 2015
Derrick Favors: At the start of this year we didn't know our roles with the new coaching staff. "We've kind of found our roles now."— Carter Williams (@cwilliamsDN) April 16, 2015
Favors: "It was bound to happen either way. We were bound to get better defensively whether the trade happened or not"— Ben Wilson (@NapoleonKFAN) April 16, 2015
From Deseret News:
Quotable: "Quin pushed us in practice every day and in games, just improvement. Hopefully, we can continue to do that in training camp next year and keep improving. … I can't wait til next season. Hopefully, everybody will work hard this summer and we'll see how everybody improves. … I'm very excited."
Trevor Booker: "Of course I want to be back. I’ve got the sense that they want me back. I feel it’s mutual."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) April 16, 2015
"Washington was a great experience, but I enjoy my time in Utah a bit more." - Trevor Booker— David J. Smith (@davidjsmith1232) April 16, 2015
** On having a non-guaranteed deal
It’s exciting, you know, just to be — I mean, everybody wants this opportunity, so it’s a blessing. And you know, not trying to think about the, you know, the negative things about it. Try to think about the positive things, and I think I go with a good mindset. You know, just working hard, getting better every day, listening to the coaching staff and my teammates. I think everything else’ll take care of itself.
.@JeremyEvans40 "IF I'm here, I feel so happy, this is my home." pic.twitter.com/LFZNIAsYfc— SLC Dunk (@slcdunk) April 16, 2015
.@JeremyEvans40 still has plans for a summer @officialjrjazz trip despite unknown contract situation LIVE: http://t.co/CisSwdFGTN— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) April 16, 2015
Jeremy Evans on Coach Q: "He comes in and you know he’s not playing. You don’t want to get on his bad side."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) April 16, 2015
Alec Burks, on what the Jazz need: "I hope I'm the missing piece."— Kurt Kragthorpe (@tribkurt) April 16, 2015
Alec Burks says he's still 3 months away from contact after his shoulder surgery. He's halfway through his recovery— Carter Williams (@cwilliamsDN) April 16, 2015
"I'll be able to play next year, and I can't wait!" #swag http://t.co/TiiVDj7uDG pic.twitter.com/fcXrUDTpiY— SLC Dunk (@slcdunk) April 16, 2015
"We can beat some of the top teams. We're all excited about the future." pic.twitter.com/lIGRXuobJh— SLC Dunk (@slcdunk) April 16, 2015
"I think I've still got a lot of room for improvement. I look forward to getting better." - @TreyBurkepic.twitter.com/6nC6mVTe1N— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) April 16, 2015
From Deseret News:
Quotable: "This summer, going into year 3, is probably my biggest summer. I look forward to improving, training hard and changing my body and getting ready for next year."
Rudy Gobert: If you watched the second half of the season, I think we played like a playoff team, to be honest."— Kurt Kragthorpe (@tribkurt) April 16, 2015
.@rudygobert27 is going to work on getting a stronger lower body, and his offensive game (post moves, jumper). pic.twitter.com/ZGNr5kzEnO— SLC Dunk (@slcdunk) April 16, 2015
From Deseret News:
Quotable: "I would say winning (was the highlight). We had some tough games early in the season, lost nine in a row. We started winning games. I think that was great for us."
Rudy Gobert says his jump shot is there. It's ready to go. Just need to start pulling the trigger in games more next year— Carter Williams (@cwilliamsDN) April 16, 2015
Joe Ingles on what the next piece is for the Jazz: "Keep building on what we've done. I think the group's really exciting."— Deseret News: Sports (@desnewssports) April 16, 2015
. @Joeingles7 says there's "mutual interest" in his return next season pic.twitter.com/zlvCSp5UtR— SLC Dunk (@slcdunk) April 16, 2015
He's a free agent, but Joe Ingles says there's "mutual interest" from both sides for him to return to the Jazz next season— Carter Williams (@cwilliamsDN) April 16, 2015
From Deseret News:
Quotable: "I think I've pretty much played myself into the NBA. I just feel like right now I just gotta get better. Going into the summer, that's my whole mindset."
Elijah Millsap on watching his brother playing in Utah for years: I always imagined myself playing on the Utah Jazz home court— Deseret News: Sports (@desnewssports) April 16, 2015
Elijah Millsap on positives from this season: just being a part of something special, being a part of growth pic.twitter.com/GaJk9aQSo0— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) April 16, 2015
19-year-old rookie Dante Exum said it was really important for him to play all 82 games this season. Done.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) April 16, 2015
On 82 games @daanteee said "Obviously, it was exhausting." pic.twitter.com/xJlXq9WskH— SLC Dunk (@slcdunk) April 16, 2015
From Deseret News:
Quotable: "I wanted to make sure I played all 82 games and get the most of this opportunity. I know I have a lot of improvement to do. The good news is I know where I need to improve."
** On the level of trust between himself and Quin Snyder
He’s done a great job communicating with me ever since I got here. He let me know he saw a lot of me in the D-League, so he was familiar with my game. So he definitely instilled a lotta confidence in me. And he just told me, you know, not to overthink things when I’m out there and just, you know, play my game and just be myself. And that’s definitely been very beneficial for me, especially with this last five games I played in.
** What was the highlight of your season?
Honestly, for the road and obstacles I’ve had to go through, just getting here was the highlight for me.
**What was the highlight of your season?
I see two. The incorrectly called foul against the Nuggets. That’s the first one. I think it was clean until the body slam at the end. I think that might’ve been a foul. But, and then the 29-point — the 29-rebound D-League game. That was pretty ridiculous.
From Deseret News
Quotable: "It's huge having a coach that trusts you. … When you have a coach that has that faith in you, it's easier to play well. Coach Snyder's great at giving us that confidence to play well, and it shows on the court with us performing well."
** On his level of readiness to play in the league
Really, for me, it’s just getting more experience on the court, which’ll help me. I’ve learned that since playing basketball, it, you get better by playing. And I feel like once that happens, it’ll help me out a lot more.
From Deseret News:
Quotable: "I didn't really expect to get traded, but we know that's part of the business. It's been a long year with a lot of traveling to different places, but it's been a good experience, especially coming here with this organization."
Rodney Hood thinks Alec Burks will be the starter next year, but "regardless of what happens we're both going to be effective on the court."— Aaron Falk (@tribjazz) April 16, 2015
From Deseret News:
Quotable: "I wish I could have played a full season, but at the same time, I felt I grew a lot. Mentally I learned the game. Toward the end I got a lot more comfortable, so it wasn’t necessarily a wasted season."
"Chemistry is fragile and we know it when we see it" Lindsey says they'll get that chemistry back to where it was with John and Karl.— Ben Wilson (@NapoleonKFAN) April 16, 2015
Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey on point guards: "From a baseline production, clearly it has to improve, but there’s no reason it can’t improve."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) April 16, 2015
Lindsey: "While we may not be passing the ball like we did in the John days, I think fans quickly gravitated to our defensive chemistry."— Deseret News: Sports (@desnewssports) April 16, 2015
Dennis Lindsey: "Clearly we sit here today in a better position than when we started. … The group is moving in the right direction."— Aaron Falk (@tribjazz) April 16, 2015
Quin Snyder: "I don’t think our players are satisfied in any way."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) April 16, 2015
Q on Gobert: "I think maybe the most unique thing about Rudy is his competitive desire to get better. We want to channel that."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) April 16, 2015
Snyder compares Rudy's court leadership to that of a middle linebacker.— Ben Wilson (@NapoleonKFAN) April 16, 2015
So its officially the offseason. Locker clean out is over. What will you be doing in your extra free time? My summer will be busy with classes, Praxis exams and family vacations.
But really what I'll be thinking about is perhaps me and Lou playing dominoes in the south of France with Rudy Gobert. SWOON at the way David Gilmour says "dominoes" during the intro to this song!! I absolutely love Gilmour's cover of Syd Barrett's classic. Me, Lou, Rudy Gobert, and dominoes sounds pretty good.