So the Utah Jazz season has come to a close, losing their last game, but overall they still went about winning 38 games in 2014-2015. That's a big step up from the 25 they won in 2013-2014 with a "more vet" roster that included a non-Rookie head coach. It's a time for positivity in Utah. So what were the top five stories of the week?
1. The regular season is over, but awards season is around the corner
Are there any Utah Jazz players up for awards? Many fans think that in a season with 9 rookies (Jerrelle Benimon), none of them are going to win ROY or be on the All-NBA Rookie teams. But super Soph center is on everyone's lips. CBS's Ken Berger has him as #3 for Most Improved player. Ben Golliver, Chris Ballard, and Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated give Rudy a Defensive Player of the Year runner up shout out. The SI crew of Chris Mannix, Lee Jenkins, Ben Golliver, and Rob Mahoney give Rudy a Most Improved Player runner up, while Chris Ballard awards Rudy that award. Grantland's Zach Lowe has Hood making the All-Rookie 2nd team, and Gobert making the All-Defensive 2nd team. Zach also gives Rudy a shoutout for DPOY, but isn't in his Top 3, but awards him the MIP award., , , , , , , , and
It's going to be interesting to see who gets mentioned. I do see Hood (Rookie team), Gobert (MIP, but never for 6MOY, occasionally in hon. mention for DPOY), and(hon. mention for All-NBA team) have their name thrown in the ring all over the net. I do think that Rudy has made the biggest name for himself, we'll see what the sports writers think.
2. Utah Jazz Summer League!
That's the more ho-hum name (like Las Vegas Summer League, Orlando Summer League) for the return of the Rocky Mountain Revue, which is going to be back this summer. We've been writing about it for a few months now at this site, and the Jazz finally confirmed it a few days after we broke down the dates. NBA.com now has a very sterile write up about it, which you can check here. It's starting small, like it did years ago, with just the Jazz, 76ers, Celtics, and Spurs. Dante Exum and Rodney Hood will be participating.
3. Bryce Cotton is awesome, I can't stop watching this!
Cotton was signed right after going undrafted last June by the San Antonio Spurs. He played in the summer league for them, went to training camp, and was with their NBADL team -- until the Jazz plucked him from them. Since getting a shot with our squad he has really made the best of his minutes. He reminds many of us of former Jazz player, and he was coached by former Jazz player in the DLeague. I can't wait to see what he does this off-season to work on his game.
4. Gary Briggs retires!
Longtime NBA trainer (18 seasons with the Cavaliers, 15 with the Jazz) is set to hang up his, uh, magic spray. A good read on his professional accolades (though slightly dated) can be found at NBA.com here, but this piece by Jody Genessy of the DN is well worth the read.